Pakistan left all-rounders Mohammad Hafeez and Imad Wasim out of a 16-man squad for the six-nation Asia Cup, to be played in Dubai and Abu Dhabi from next week, selectors announced on Tuesday.
But left-handed opener Shan Masood gets his first chance in Pakistan’s one-day squad after scoring 1,200-plus runs in the two domestic one-day tournaments, chief selector Inzamamul Haq said.
The 28-year-old has so far played 12 Tests for Pakistan. Sarfraz Ahmed will lead the side, which opens their Cup campaign against the wildcard entrant on September 16 before taking on arch-rivals India in a highly-anticipated match three days later. Both rounds are in Dubai. Hafeez, 37 was part of Pakistan’s 5-0 one-day series win in Zimbabwe in July, but was not played in any of the matches.
“We conducted fitness tests and since there is no compromise on fitness we have not included Hafeez and Imad Wasim,” Inzamam told media while announcing the squad in Lahore.
The Asia Cup begins September 15 and features India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and a qualifier team. Six teams — Hong Kong, Singapore, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Malaysia — are currently facing off in Kuala Lumpur to secure the final berth. Cup teams are divided in two groups.
Two sides are culled for the Super Four rounds, after which the top two finishers go to the September 28 final in Dubai.