Sharjeel returns to Pak squad after serving ban

Left-handed opening batsman Sharjeel Khan has returned to the Pakistan squad for the first time in four years, getting picked in the T20I squad for the tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe in April and May.

Sharjeel, who was out of cricket for two-and-a-half years after being banned for spot-fixing, was rewarded for his form in the Pakistan Super League. He finished this year’s curtailed PSL season third in the run-getters’ list behind Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam.

“Yes, I understand there is still a lot work that needs to be done on his (Sharjeel’s) fitness and he will improve with time, but at the moment he can win us big games with his bat,” said Pakistan chief selector Mohammed Wasim.

Also returning to the T20I squad are Mohammed Hafeez and Shadab Khan, who will take over as vice-captain.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah won’t travel to Zimbabwe for the Test series as he is still nursing a knee injury.

Pakistan play three ODIs and four T20Is against South Africa before travelling to Zimbabwe, where they will play two Tests and three T20Is. The trip to South Africa begins on April 2 and ends on April 16. They fly to Zimbabwe on April 17 and return home on May 12.

Test squad: Babar Azam (captain), Imran Butt, Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Saud Shakeel, Agha Salman, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Tabish Khan, Hasan Ali, Shahnawaz Dhani, Nauman Ali, Zahid Mahmood, Sajid Khan.

ODI squad: Babar Azam (captain), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Saud Shakeel, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali.

T20I squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali, Arshad Iqbal.