Pakistan make surprising changes in their 17-member squad for Asia Cup 2023 | Cricket

Pakistan claimed an authoritative win against Afghanistan on Saturday in Colombo, scripting a 59-run victory in the third and final ODI match of the series. With the win, Pakistan registered a clean sweep which subsequently took them past Australia to make them the new world No. 1 ranked ODI side. But ahead of their final match before the proceedings shift towards Asia Cup 2023, Pakistan made surprising changes in their 17-member squad for the continental event.

Pakistans’ team members celebrate their win over Afghanistan by 59 runs in the third one day international cricket match between Afghanistan and Pakistan in Colombo(AP)

Having announced their squad earlier this month before they left for Sri Lanka for the Afghanistan series, Pakistan made one addition to the squad on Saturday.

Middle-order batter Saud Shakeel, who was only picked for the contest against Afghanistan, has now been included in the squad. He featured in only one match in the series, in the final ODI, where he scored 9 off 8. It was his first appearance in the format since March 2022 and sixth overall.

Meanwhile, Tayyab Tahir, the right-handed batter, who is yet to make his ODI debut for Pakistan and was part of the initial 17 for the Asia Cup, has now been shifted as a travelling reserve. Tahir only made three international appearances for Pakistan in the T20I format.

Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Haris, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Saud Shakeel, Tayyab Tahir (travelling reserve).

Following the whitewash on Saturday, the Pakistan side will reach Multan on Sunday, August 27 and the players who were part of the Lankan Premier League prior to the ODI series will take rest on the following day and rejoin the squad at the Multan Cricket Ground.

“The team management has provided relaxation to the players who participated in the Lankan Premier League. Babar, Imam-ul-Haq and Naseem Shah will travel to Lahore on Sunday and join the side on Monday evening,” the press release stated.

“The players will train on Tuesday, August 29, at the Multan Cricket Stadium from 1630 till 1930. Before the start of the session, the Pakistan captain will hold pre-series media conference.”

Pakistan will play their Asia Cup 2023 opener on August 30 against qualifier Nepal before travelling to Sri Lanka to take on India on September 2 in their second group game.

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