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Pakistan selectors earmark players and devise plans for New Zealand T20I series


The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is expected to announce the squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series against New Zealand on April 5th. 

The selection committee members are currently assessing the fitness levels of the players at the Kakul fitness camp. They will provide a detailed report to PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi, who is scheduled to visit Kakul today to meet the players. Naqvi has directed the selectors that there will be no compromise on fitness.

Discussions are in progress among the selectors concerning potential players for the squad. Recommendations, following consultations with captain Babar Azam, will be submitted to the Cricket Board Chairman for approval. 

According to sources, selectors are contemplating the implementation of a rotation policy to mitigate the risk of injuries in preparation for the forthcoming T20 World Cup 2024 in the USA and West Indies. Specifically, Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah are earmarked to play in selective matches against New Zealand to manage their workload and mitigate injury risks before the T20 World Cup.

A thorough discussion with Babar Azam regarding the workload of Shaheen and Naseem is planned. Fast bowler Mohammad Amir and all-rounder Imad Wasim, both recently returned from international retirement, are slated to receive ample playing time to attain the match fitness requisite for international cricket.

Fakhar Zaman and Haris Rauf are still recovering from injuries they sustained during the ninth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Usman Khan is likely to be included in the squad and is expected to bat at number four spot in the playing XI against the Kiwis.

The selectors are expected to name approximately 17 to 18 players for the home series, with the final 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup to be chosen from this pool. 

The national team’s fitness camp will conclude on April 8. Meanwhile, the New Zealand team is set to arrive in Pakistan on April 14th for the five-match T20 series commencing on April 18th, with three matches scheduled in Pindi and the remaining two in Lahore.

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