Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) interim selection committee chairman Shahid Afridi said on Saturday that skipper Babar Azam should have plenty of options ahead of the World Cup in India in October-November 2023.
Afridi shared his thoughts on Pakistan’s preparation for the 2023 ODI World Cup while hosting a dinner for the team at his home in Karachi.
“We gave new players a chance in the upcoming New Zealand series because we want to give Babar a lot of options to complete the World Cup combination,” said Afridi.
Meanwhile, Pacer Naseem Shah says Pakistan will play a fair number of ODI games in 2023 to prepare for the mega-event.
The right pacesetter said there was still time before the World Cup and Pakistan had some games that would help them prepare properly.
The two-game Test series between Pakistan and New Zealand ended 0-0, depriving New Zealand of their first straight win in Pakistan in 53 years.
Pakistan’s final pair Naseem Shah and Abrar Ahmed survived 21 bullets in the fading light on Friday while Sarfaraz Ahmed struggled for a century to rob New Zealand of victory.
Referring to the Test series, Pakistan striker Aghan Salman said: “It was an exciting series and as cricketers, we enjoyed it very much. I’m sure the fans enjoyed it because New Zealand is one of the best teams in the world.
Shaheen Shah Afridi, who missed the series through injury, was also pleased with the response organized by the Pakistan team. He said that the Pakistani team made a great comeback in the second test. The whole team supports each other, Shaheen said.
Pakistan will now play three ODIs against New Zealand in Karachi. Matches will be played on January 9th, 11th, and 13th at the National Bank Cricket Arena (NBCA).
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (Captain), Tom Latham, Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, and Blair Tickner.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (Captain), Shan Masood (Vice-Captain), Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Salman Ali Agha, Shahnawaz Dahani, Tayyab Tahir, and Usama Mir.