Pakistan pick opener Shan Masood for Asia Cup in UAE
Pakistan excluded veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez from the final squad for the Asia Cup tournament, while young all-rounder Imad Wasim was axed after failing the fitness test for the second time.
Hafeez was part of the squad that played five ODIs in Zimbabwe but didn’t feature in a single match. Pakistan’s selectors decided to go with in-form batsman Shan Masood after the opener scored 1,200-plus runs in two domestic one-day tournaments.
Left-arm spinning all-rounder Wasim had failed the fitness on Monday, falling short of the Yo-Yo test benchmark of 17.4 by .02 points. He failed to pass the test on Tuesday and chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said the decision was straightforward.
“We have a clear policy that only players who pass fitness tests will be selected. This isn’t only for Imad, it’s for all players. If they fail a test once, we give them another opportunity. Imad Wasim unfortunately couldn’t pass it,” Inzamam said.
The future of Hafeez now hangs in the balance as at 37 years of age, it will be extremely difficult for him to fight his way back.
The Asia Cup begins on September 15 and includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and a qualifier team. Sarfraz Ahmed leads the Pakistan side which opens its campaign against a qualifier on September 16 before taking on India three days later. Both games are in Dubai.
The final will be held on September 28 in Dubai.
Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Usman Khan Shinwari, Shaheen Shah Afridi