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Pakistan T20 squad: Opener Sharjeel rewarded for prolific run

03 December, 2013

KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) selection committee has included prolific opener Sharjeel Khan and left-handed middle order batsman Haris Sohail in the squad for the Twenty20 matches against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka in the UAE next week.

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As the players start returning home after a busy schedule – home series in the UAE against the Proteas followed by a return tour to South Africa, the selection committee announced a 14-player squad making five changes in the team that featured in the two T20s in Dubai in November.

Mohammad Hafeez's team will play a one-off T20 against Afghanistan on December 8 before playing two games against Sri Lanka on December 11 and 13.

Five changes for the tour

Opening batsman Nasir Jamshed finally paid for his consistent failures this year and has been dropped for the upcoming matches to pave way for another promising left-handed opener – Sharjeel Khan.

Sharjeel is enjoying a good domestic season, with his recent 194-run knock in the President's Cup One-Day Tournament hailed as the best individual innings this season.

Meanwhile, bad luck continues to haunt Mohammad Irfan who failed to recover from a hip strain that kept the fast bowler out of the recently-concluded tour of South Africa.

"Irfan is also unlikely for the ODI series against Sri Lanka," said an official close to the selection committee.

Besides Irfan, seasoned all-rounders Shoaib Malik and Abdul Razzaq have been excluded along with left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman.

Anwar Ali and Bilawal Bhatti have been rewarded for their impressive ODI debuts with inclusion in the T20 team while Zulfiqar Babar returned after recovering from a hand injury.

Young batsman Haris Sohail, who played his maiden T20 against the West Indies in July, has also been recalled.

Meanwhile, Saeed Ajmal will miss the one-off match against Afghanistan due to domestic reasons and will join the squad ahead of the series against Sri Lanka.

Swashbuckling Sharjeel eyes impressive debut

Born on the Independence Day in 1989, Sharjeel is targeting an impressive entry to international cricket.

"I am very excited," the Hyderabad-born batsman told Our Sources.

"Like every domestic cricketer, it was my dream to make the cut for the national team and I am delighted that it has been fulfilled. Now my target is to make records for Pakistan."

Sri Lanka series:

Twenty20 Squad

Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Ahmad Shahzad, Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi , Zulfiqar Babar, Bilawal Bhatti, Junaid Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Anwar Ali Saeed Ajmal, Haris Sohail.