Pakistan on Wednesday removed former captain Safaraz Ahmed from the 20-man lineup in the three international series against New Zealand this month.
Sarfaraz is a goalkeeper and batsman. He has only participated in one of the past 10 ODI matches-against South Africa at Centurion in April. For more than a year, Mohamed Rizwan has been Pakistan’s preferred goalkeeper.
“Mohamed Rizwan is still the preferred goalkeeper,” said Chief Selection Officer Mohamed Wasim.
“We will continue to develop young goalkeepers who are healthy and ready to come forward when opportunities arise.”
20-year-old goalkeeper Mohammad Haris was appointed as Rizwan’s substitute in the ODI team. Other players who have no upper limit include fast bowlers Mohammad Wasim and Shahnawaz Dahani, and Zahid Mahmood with his legs spinning.
Mid-tier batsmen Iftikhar Ahmed and Khushdil Shah were recalled after their last participation in the ODI series against Zimbabwe in Pakistan last year.
“While looking forward to the future, we continue to ensure that we provide opportunities for outstanding players so that we can develop strong bench strength,” said the chief selection officer.
“Intermediate orders have always been our concern, so after trying some options, we decided to involve Iftikhar Ahmed and Khushdil Shah again.”
‘Provide ample opportunities for everyone’
In addition to Sarfaraz, the selector also eliminated the team’s batsmen Haris Sohail, Salman Ali Agha and Sohaib Maqsood, who played the ODI series against England for the last time in July. “I know some players will be disappointed by missing choices,” Vasim said.
“We are about to usher in a busy cricket season, which means that everyone has ample opportunities to show outstanding performance and push them to participate in national trials.”
New Zealand will arrive in Pakistan on September 11 and will play the ODI series at the Pindi Cricket Ground in Rawalpindi on September 17, 19 and 21.
Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim, Saud Shaud , Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir and Zahid Mahmood.