Sharjah, 23 March 2023: Pakistan and Afghanistan are all set to play their first-ever three-match bilateral T20I series, which commences with the first game at Sharjah Cricket Stadium tomorrow. The head-to-head record in this format reads in Pakistan’s favour as they have emerged victorious in all of their three T20Is against neighbouring Afghanistan.
Pakistan, currently ranked No. 3 in the ICC T20I Team Rankings, will be led by dynamic all-rounder Shadab Khan in the absence of Babar Azam, who has been rested for the series. Shadab will be captaining a young Pakistan side, which includes as many as four uncapped players in Ihsanullah, Saim Ayub, Tayyab Tahir and Zaman Khan – all of whom have been rewarded for their stellar showings in the domestic circuit and HBL PSL 8.
The series marks Pakistan’s first T20I assignment since their T20 World Cup campaign in Australia last year, where they finished the tournament as the runners-up. Shadab Khan, while speaking to PCB Digital on the eve of the series opener, looked forward to the challenge of facing Rashid Khan-captained Afghanistan and vowed to adopt an aggressive approach.
Shadab: “I try to play an aggressive and attacking brand of cricket. Modern-day cricket demands you to be fearless as a captain. Afghanistan players have a lot of experience of playing in leagues around the globe. They are a formidable unit in these conditions and we will see a competitive series with our exciting young side.”
“The uncapped players in our squad have earned their call-ups given their consistent performances in domestic cricket and impactful displays in the HBL Pakistan Super League. We also have in-form senior players making a comeback to the side and this augurs well for the team.”
Pakistan T20I squad for Afghanistan series:
Shadab Khan (c), Abdullah Shafique, Azam Khan (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris (wk), Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shan Masood, Tayyab Tahir and Zaman Khan.
Afghanistan T20I series Itinerary:
24 March – First T20I at Sharjah Cricket Stadium
26 March – Second T20I at Sharjah Cricket Stadium
27 March – Third T20I at Sharjah Cricket Stadium