Asif Ali, Talat and Shaheen Afridi picked for WI T20Is
Lahore: Strong performances in the PSL have brought rich rewards upon three uncapped Pakistan players - Asif Ali, Hussain Talat and Shaheen Afridi - who have been called-up to the international side for the upcoming T20I series against West Indies in Karachi. Asif, Talat and Shaheen form part of the 15-man squad for the series, with left-arm fast bowlers Rahat Ali and Usman Khan also coming back into the fray.
Imad Wasim and Rumman Raees, meanwhile, missed out, having failed to recover from their injuries in time. Imad sustained a concussion after his head slammed into the ground after completing a catch, while Raees trod on a ball on the boundary and damaged knee ligaments. Ahmed Shehzad kept his place at the top of the order, while Shoaib Malik, who missed the second half of the tour to New Zealand with concussion after being struck on the head by a wayward throw, also returned.
The T20I series will be played across three consecutive days: April 1, 2 and 3. All matches will be played at the National Stadium in Karachi, which recently hosted the Pakistan Super League final. It will be the first time international cricket will be played in Karachi since 2009, and the first T20I to ever be played at the venue.
Talat, Asif and Afridi have been three of the standout performers in this year's PSL. Talat's composure under pressure and solid technique saw him play vital roles in close games, while Asif's power-hitting, culminating in a six-ball 26 in the final that all but secured the title. Lahore Qalandars' left-arm bowler Shaheen Afridi is understood to have a strong admirer in Mickey Arthur, who compared him to a young Mitchell Starc days after the 17-year old took five wickets for four runs, the best ever figures in the PSL.
T20 squad: Ahmed Shehzad, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Hussain Talat, Faheem Ashraf, Muhammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali, Usman Khan, Shaheen Afridi