Yasir Shah

Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
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Salman Butt Lashes Out At PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja Regarding 1st Test Pitch At Rawalpindi

Salman Butt, the former Pakistan captain spoke in detail about Ramiz Raja’s statement following the first Test in Rawalpindi. Pakistan and Australia had played out a dull draw in the first Test in Rawalpindi.

However, the criticism over the pitch at the Pindi Cricket Stadium has continued with many former Pakistan cricketers lashing out at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The Test saw only 14 wickets falling throughout the five days, with Australia managing to take only four.

Following the first Test’s conclusion, former Pakistan captain Salman Butt had lashed out at the people at the helm of cricket in Pakistan for the poor pitch condition, insisting that the cricket in the country won’t grow with such a “rotten” mindset.

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter

Salman Butt Reacts To Ramiz Raja’s Statement Urging Him To Speak About Pakistan’s Strength

During the same video, Salman Butt also reacted to Ramiz Raja’s statement following the end of the Test where the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman had said that they cannot play to Australia’s strength by making fast and bouncy pitches.

“We don’t have to play to their strengths, we definitely don’t want to do that. The whole Pakistan would agree to it. But what is our strength? Please tell us that. If we go by his words, we don’t have any strength at all. We don’t have fast bowlers, spinners, batsmen don’t have confidence,” said Butt on his official YouTube channel.

Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali
Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali. (Photo: PCB)

“It’s not about the chairman. It is not about Ramiz Raja. He speaks about positive things, but the way these pitches were prepared.. either he doesn’t know or he is misinformed. In both cases, it is him and the Pakistan cricket that is suffering.”

Ramiz Raja more or less confirmed the suspicion that the Rawalpindi pitch had been prepared to nullify Australia’s pace strength as well as cover for Pakistan’s weakened resources, with fast bowlers Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf, the opener Abid Ali, and the leg-spinner Yasir Shah all out injured. The third and final Test takes place in Lahore from March 21-25.

Pakistan all-rounder Faheem Ashraf and fast bowler Hasan Ali were ruled out of the first Test match against Australia, after suffering injuries. Pakistan may look to re-shuffle their pace attack with Hasan Ali, and Haris Rauf in contention to feature. Australia are expected to include a second spinner in Mitchell Swepson should conditions suit. Faheem Ashraf will miss the second Test as well, as he tested positive for COVID and has to isolate for five days.

Salman Butt: Ramiz Raja Should Know Characteristics Of Every Pitch In Pakistan

Salman Butt further added that Ramiz Raja has played cricket for Pakistan and he should know the characteristics of every pitch in the country.

“More importantly, he is not a chartered accountant-chairman. He was a cricketer. If you ask me the characteristic of every stadium in Pakistan, I can readily tell you. And I’m sure he will tell you as well, it is not possible that he doesn’t know. If he doesn’t know, I don’t know who knows,” said Butt.

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

Ramiz Raja has conceded that the drawn Rawalpindi Test was not a good advertisement for Test cricket. He reiterated the claim he made when he first took over the post that Pakistan needed a complete overhaul of its pitches but said the process could only begin after the end of the 2021-22 season.

Mitchell Swepson. © Cricket Australia
Mitchell Swepson. © Cricket Australia
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Australia Likely To Field 2 Spinners In 2nd Test With Mitchell Swepson Making His Debut

Australia are likely to play two spinners as they go in search of a win in Saturday’s second Test in Karachi after Pakistan batted their seamers into the ground in the draw at Rawalpindi.

The historic occasion — Australia’s first Test in Pakistan since 1998 — was marred by a pitch described as “dead” by vice-captain Steve Smith as Pakistan piled up 728 runs combined in both innings for the loss of just four wickets, and one of those was a run out.

Australia's bowlers bowled 239 overs in Rawalpindi and took just four wickets AFP/Getty Images
Australia’s bowlers bowled 239 overs in Rawalpindi and took just four wickets AFP/Getty Images

Australian Pacer And Skipper Pat Cummins Hinted At Fielding 2 Spinners including Debutant Mitchell Swepson In The 2nd Test

Openers Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique both made maiden Test hundreds — Imam-ul-Haq scoring one in each innings — while senior batsman Azhar Ali also passed three figures during five attritional days. The series now moves to Karachi’s National Stadium, a favourite hunting ground for Pakistan, who have won 23 of the 43 Tests they have played there while losing only twice.

Australia have never won in Karachi in eight attempts, losing five and drawing three. With conditions sultry, the pitch is likely to help the slow bowlers, prompting Australia to rest at least one of their famed pace trio of captain Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.

“From our intel in Karachi and Lahore, a second spinner is probably the way to go but we’ll have a look,” said Cummins, hinting that leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson, 28, could make his Test debut alongside veteran off-spinner Nathan Lyon.

Mitchell Swepson. Getty Images.
Mitchell Swepson. Getty Images.

“Just about everyone got into the series,” said Cummins, whose side made 459 in their only innings in Rawalpindi without anyone making a century. All the batters got some runs. We’re still feeling relatively fresh going into the game.”

Pace bowler Hasan Ali, who missed the first Test through injury, is likely to replace Naseem Shah for the hosts. But Faheem Ashraf, who missed the first Test through injury, has now been sidelined with Covid-19.

Mitchell Swepson is in line to make his Test debut for Australia with Pat Cummins conceding after the Rawalpindi draw against Pakistan that two spinners is “probably the way to go”. Conditions in Karachi, where the second Test starts, are expected to be more conducive to spin, further strengthening the case for Mitchell Swepson to debut, Pat Cummins said after the first Test.

Mitchell Swepson would be the first specialist leg-spinner to earn his Test debut for Australia since Bryce McGain in Cape Town in 2009. The 28-year-old has taken 154 first class wickets at 34.55.

Babar Azam Praised Effort Of Pakistan Batsmen And Nauman Ali While Ramiz Raja defended The Flat Pitch

Left-arm spinner Nauman Ali, who took a career best 6-107 in Rawalpindi, was Pakistan’s match-winner in Karachi last year on debut against South Africa with seven wickets.

“The way our batters played and how Nauman bowled in difficult conditions was good,” said Pakistan captain Babar Azam of his side’s performance in the first Test of the three-match series.

“There were some positives to take for us. We have some of our fast bowlers available for the second Test so we should be stronger in that department.”

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

Ramiz Raja, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, defended the flat pitch in Rawalpindi.

“I understand the frustration of the fans but there is a lot of cricket still remaining to be played,” said Raja.

“Just for the heck of it, we can’t prepare a fast pitch or a bouncy pitch and put the game in Australia’s lap.”

Ramiz Raja has conceded that the drawn Rawalpindi Test was not a good advertisement for Test cricket. He reiterated the claim he made when he first took over the post that Pakistan needed a complete overhaul of its pitches but said the process could only begin after the end of the 2021-22 season.

Ramiz Raja more or less confirmed the suspicion that the Rawalpindi pitch had been prepared to nullify Australia’s pace strength as well as cover for Pakistan’s weakened resources, with fast bowlers Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf, the opener Abid Ali, and the leg-spinner Yasir Shah all out injured. The third and final Test takes place in Lahore from March 21-25.

Mohammad Nawaz will miss the Test series against Australia due to a foot injury. ICC
Mohammad Nawaz will miss the Test series against Australia due to a foot injury. ICC
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Mohammad Nawaz Ruled Out Of Australia Test Series With Foot Injury

Mohammad Nawaz, Pakistan’s all-rounder has been ruled out of the Australia series with a foot injury, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Wednesday. Australia will tour Pakistan for three Tests, three ODIs, and one T20I.

The PCB cricket selectors had earlier announced a 16-member Pakistan squad and five reserves for the three Tests against Australia on February 9.

Mohammad Nawaz. Photo- Twitter
Mohammad Nawaz. Photo- Twitter

Mohammad Nawaz Ruled Out Of Australia Test Series With A Foot Injury

In a media release on February 23, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) stated that Mohammad Nawaz has been ruled out of the series with a foot injury. He will not be replaced on the side. Apart from this, Naseem Shah and Sarfaraz Ahmed have now been added as travelling reserves. They will only be considered for selection if there is an injury.

“Mohammad Nawaz has been ruled out of the series with a foot injury. He will not be replaced in the side,” PCB said in a statement.

Naseem Shah- GETTY IMAGES
Naseem Shah- GETTY IMAGES.

Naseem Shah and Sarfaraz Ahmed have been added as travelling reserves. They will only be considered for selection if there is an injury.

“Mohammad Haris has been added to the reserve players list. However, he, along with Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Abbas, and Yasir Shah have been advised to participate in the Pakistan Cup, which commences on 2 March. If required, they will be drafted into the side,” PCB said.

The 27-year-old all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz had been set to return to the Pakistan Test XI for the first time since his debut series against West Indies in 2016 but will have to wait a while longer for his fourth Test cap. Mohammad Haris, Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Abbas, and Yasir Shah are also on the reserve list, but they all have been advised to participate in the Pakistan Cup, which commences on 2 March.

Australia To Tour Pakistan For The First Time In 24 Years

Meanwhile, Test players who attended a training camp in Karachi and those not involved in PSL 2022 playoffs will arrive in Islamabad on Wednesday. After observing three-day room isolation, they will hold a training session on Sunday. Also, Test players involved in the PSL 2022 playoffs will travel to Islamabad in a bubble on Monday and will participate in a training session on March 1.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

The much-awaited Test series against Australia will commence on March 4 in Rawalpindi. This will be the first time an Aussie squad will visit Pakistan in 24 years. The first Test will be played in Rawalpindi from March 4.

The second Test match of the series will be played in Karachi from March 12-16 and the final third Test match will be hosted by Lahore from March 21-25.

Yasir Shah, who last played in the West Indies last year, has been struggling with fitness issues in recent months but according to reports, he has been bowling well in the training camp of the Test players. But the selectors have opted to keep uncapped leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood, off-spinner Sajid Khan, and southpaw Nauman Ali in the playing squad to face Australia.

Pakistan Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, and Zahid Mahmood.

Travelling Reserves: Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed.

Reserves: Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Abbas, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Haris.

Yasir Shah (file photo)

Mohammad Abbas And Yasir Shah Kept In Reserves For Australia Series

Pakistan pacer Mohammad Abbas and leg-spinner Yasir Shah have been placed in the reserves list for the Australia series due to fitness and disciplinary issues. The 3-match Test series is set to start on March 4 at Rawalpindi.

According to a source close to PCB, the national team’s physiotherapist, Cliffe Deacon, lodged a complaint with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja regarding the attitude of Mohammad Abbas.

Mohammad Abbas
Mohammad Abbas (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Both Mohammad Abbas and Yasir Shah haven’t played a Test match since August last year

Apparently Deacon, who has been with the Pakistan team for a while now, told Ramiz he was not happy with Abbas’s approach to his training and bowling in the nets,” the source said.

The board then spoke to Abbas and he assured them that he would soon improve his pace and would also give full time to the fitness schedule and requirements of the team,” the source added.

It is understood that Abbas is not working hard enough on his fitness. That’s why his pace is going down. The selection meeting has taken that into consideration and didn’t pick him in the main squad however he was kept in the reserves. Abbas has played 25 Tests so far and picked 90 wickets with an average of 23.02. But he hasn’t played a test match since August last year.

Mohammad Abbas And Yasir Shah Kept In Reserves For Australia Series 1

The leg spinner Yasir Shah is also facing the same issue. Yasir also hasn’t played a test match since the West Indies tour last year.

Yasir has also been struggling with his fitness and it has affected his bowling. As a result, both he and Abbas have been told to work extra hard on improving their fitness during training in Lahore for the Australia series,” the source said.

Notable that Yasir Shah was also booked in a case for allegedly aiding a 14-year old girl’s rape and harassing her. Since then the Pakistan Cricket board sidelined him.

However her relatives dropped Yasir Shah’s name from the complaint, the case is still pending in court.

The test series between Pakistan and Australia will begin on March 4 at Rawalpindi.

Also read Sunil Gavaskar Reckons Rishabh Pant Opening For India Would Be The Last Option After Southpaw Failed To Impress In The 2nd ODI Against West Indies

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid - K. MURALI KUMAR
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Rahul Dravid Will Bring In A Lot To The Table As Team India Coach, Says Shane Warne

Rahul Dravid, the current head coach of India will bring in a “lot of steel” in the current Indian team and his role will be more of a ‘Man Manager’ rather than of a conventional coach which is an obsolete concept nowadays, reckons Australian spin wizard Shane Warne.

Shane Warne had some great on-field battles with Rahul Dravid during their playing days. The legendary leg-spinner has the utmost respect for the new Indian head coach but as has been his stance for nearly three decades now, he doesn’t believe in “terminology” at an elite level.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

Rahul Dravid Will Bring In A Lot To The Table: Shane Warne

Former Australia spinner Shane Warne said Rahul Dravid will bring in a lot of tactical inputs to the India cricket team and his appointment as head coach is a big positive.

“Rahul Dravid will bring in a lot to the table. Terrific cricketer, great person. I think he will bring in a lot of steel, a lot of toughness to the group,” Warne said.

“I think he will bring in a lot of tactical stuff that will be good. Rahul is fantastic for Indian cricket,” he added.

However, Shane Warne then explained what he feels about the concept at the international level.

“The coach, it is the terminology which I don’t like in international cricket. In domestic cricket, the coaches are really important, but in international cricket, he should be called a manager not a coach,” Warne explained.

Elaborating further, he said, “Getting front-elbow up and coaching them like kids isn’t what is required at international level. At the highest level, the emphasis is on the mental and tactical side of the game and that’s not the job of a conventional coach”.

Shane Warne - Getty Images
Shane Warne – Getty Images

“It’s about the mental side and the tactical side and that’s where man management comes in. By the time you go international cricket, you know how to play. Sometimes you just forget how to play and make things too complicated and that’s why you don’t get coached at international level. You are managed. Does that make sense?” the flamboyant cricketer asked.

Rahul Dravid took over as India’s head coach after Ravi Shastri’s tenure came to an end following the 2021 T20I World Cup last year. Under Rahul Dravid, India won a T20I series against New Zealand at home but his first overseas tour as the in-charge of the Indian team ended in disappointment as India lost both the Test and the ODI series earlier this month in South Africa.

Shane Warne Reckoned He Was A Mentally Strong And Down To Earth Cricketer

In the ’90s and till mid-2000, Australia had leg spinner Shane Warne while India had Anil Kumble and Pakistan had Mushtaq Ahmed as the world’s premier wrist spinners. This art form has not been put to great use in the last one and half decades with the only name to shine through the ranks being Pakistan’s, Yasir Shah. Shane Warne feels the present-day captains get field settings wrong when a wrist spinner bowls nowadays.

“Yes, that’s true,” Warne quipped. “You need someone that understands spin bowling, thoughtfulness and you needed to show empathy, and it’s not easy bowling leg-spinners.

It’s a tough skill and tough art to sort of do and so you need encouragement from the captains and coaches and everyone involved in the sport. Field settings are so important as I can’t even express to you how important they are and so many captains get it wrong,” he reasoned.

Shane Warne believes that batters of this generation are playing lesser and lesser quality spin bowling.

“If you look at the world game at the moment, some of the batters will get through the fast bowlers and a lot of spinners, they will get through after that. When you compare that to the ’90s batters, they had a lot of spinners to get through. I am just saying it’s a different game now. We see so many doing well in T20 cricket, hope we see some of them doing well in Test cricket too.”

Shane Warne
Shane Warne

Shane Warne had his share of problems on and off the field but he wouldn’t call himself an anti-establishment man.

“Not at all. I was never anti-establishment at all. If I disagreed with something, I would challenge that person. In the case of coach John Buchanan, I challenged him and I was not afraid to challenge anyone.”

“If I challenged John Buchanan about tactical aspects of the game, then it was also about the captain. I would challenge anyone in our team and I would also expect to get challenged too. If someone wanted a different game plan, I was always open for suggestions. No matter what, I would always try something new,” Shane Warne said.

It is only human to make mistakes but it is the tough times in which an individual’s character comes through and that’s one aspect where Shane Warne feels that his mental toughness worked wonders.

“It’s easy to get through life if everything goes great but it’s about how you handle tough times. I am very proud of how I responded to the tough times, whether it was cricket when we lost to the West Indies by one run in a Test match or in personal life.

Shane Warne said that he was mentally strong. The legendary leg-spinner took over 1000 wickets across Test and ODI cricket, which are records that are unlikely to ever be broken.

“I was very very strong mentally and toughness that I had, and I was able to compartmentalize and no matter what was going on in my life was able to focus on my cricket,” he said.

Shane Warne reckons that he was a mentally tough cricketer and considers himself a ‘down to earth, honest, and super competitive person” that reflected on the cricket field.

“There are lots of positives about my life, lot of positives about my personality and negatives as well. If I have to sum up myself, then I would call myself, “Down to earth”, honest, and super competitive, and on the cricket field I showed that,” he concluded.

India will next face West Indies in 3 ODIs and as many T20Is at home in February. Rohit Sharma, who missed the South Africa tour, will be back to lead the side in the limited-overs formats.

Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
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Such Headlines Are Not Good For Pakistan Cricket- Ramiz Raja Breaks Silence On Yasir Shah’s Case

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja broke his silence on Yasir Shah’s after an FIR has been filed against the leg spinner on Monday at Shalimar Police Station, Islamabad. Raja said that such headlines are not good for the advertisement of Pakistan cricket.

In her FIR, a 14-year old victimized girl stated that Yasir Shah’s friend Farhan had allegedly raped her at gunpoint. And when she asked the help from Yasir Shah, Shah threatened her to face the consequences if she filed a case. She also revealed that they filmed the incident and blackmailed her using the same.

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

Reacting to the news, PCB chairman Ramiz Raja showed disappointment over the incident. In a press conference, Raja was reacting to the news on Wednesday.

“It is a no-brainer, Yasir is a circuit player and while we train and educate these players they are in ambassadorial positions and should know with whom and where to socialize,” Ramiz Raja said.

“I don’t know what is the truth in this case but it is a fact that such headlines are not good for Pakistan cricket and especially at a time when there is a feel-good factor going through Pakistan Cricket now,” he added further.

Such Headlines Are Not Good For Pakistan Cricket- Ramiz Raja Breaks Silence On Yasir Shah's Case 2
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Raja also emphasized the fact that the prominent players have their responsibilities as ambassadors of the game.

“It is a no-brainer that they must know with whom or when to socialize. I want these players to be earning well but they also have responsibilities towards Pakistan cricket and the sport,” he concluded.

However, Yasir Shah hasn’t made any official statement yet.

Pakistan leg spinner has represented Pakistan in 46 Tests, 25 ODIs and 2 T20Is. He is a regular member of the Pakistan team in the longest format, taking, 235 wickets in 46 matches. He also holds the record of fastest to reach 200 Test wickets as he reached the milestone in only 33 Test matches.

currently, he is representing Balochistan in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (Pakistan’s domestic first-class competition) as Pakistan doesn’t have any international fixtures in the upcoming month. Earlier their ODI series against West Indies was cancelled due to arise of Covid-19 cases in the West Indies camp.

Also read Shahid Afridi Urges BCCI President Sourav Ganguly And Virat Kohli To Talk Face-to-Face Regarding The ODI Captaincy Debate

Pakistan Spinner Yasir Shah Accused For Aiding In Minor Girl’s Rape

Pakistan‘s leg-spinner Yasir Shah has been booked in a case for allegedly aiding a 14-year old girl’s rape and harassing her. An FIR has been filed against Yasir Shah on Monday at Shalimar Police Station, Islamabad.

In her FIR she stated that Yasir’s friend Farhan had allegedly raped her at gunpoint. She also accused that he filmed the incident and blackmailed her using the same.

Pakistan Spinner Yasir Shah Accused For Aiding In Minor Girl's Rape 3
Yasir Shah (file photo)

Further, she revealed that when she approached Yasir Shah to help her, he made fun of her. He also threatened her to face the consequences if she filed a case.

“When I approached Yasir on WhatsApp and told him about the incident, he made fun of me and said that he likes underage girls,” she stated in the FIR.

She also revealed that Yasir Shah offered that he would buy her a flat and bear her expenses till she turned 18.

“Yasir Shah said that he was a very influential person and that he knew a high-ranking official. Yasir Shah and Farhan make videos and rape underage girls,” she added further.

The case against Yasir Shah and his friend Farhan has been registered under sections 292-B and 292-C (Child pornography) and 376 (rape case). The leg-spinner hasn’t made any official statement yet.

Yasir Shah has represented Pakistan in 46 Tests, 25 ODIs and 2 T20Is. He is a regular member of the Pakistan team in the longest format, taking, 235 wickets in 46 matches.

Also Read: Virat Kohli’s Batting Form Will Be More Crucial For India’s Chances In South Africa, Opines Salman Butt

Haris Rauf celebrates a wicket with his team-mates AFP via Getty Images
Haris Rauf celebrates a wicket with his team-mates AFP via Getty Images
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Salman Butt Urged Babar Azam To Reveal Reason Behind The Decision To Rest Mohammad Nawaz And Haris Rauf For 2 Tests Vs Windies

Salman Butt, former Pakistan tainted skipper has hit out at current captain Babar Azam and the team management over the move to ‘rest’ Mohammad Nawaz and Haris Rauf. Salman Butt urged Babar Azam to show some clarity in his thoughts and reveal the real reason behind the decision to send the duo home from West Indies.

Ahead of the two-match Test series against West Indies, Pakistan decided to give rest to Mohammad Nawaz and Haris Rauf so that they can spend time with their families ahead of the series against Afghanistan. Babar Azam confirmed the same at a press conference on Wednesday.

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)

Salman Butt: Haris Rauf Hasn’t Made His Test Debut And 3 T20Is Out Of 4 In The Ongoing Tour Against West Indies Were Washed Out While Mohammad Nawas Was In The Bench Often

Lashing out at Babar Azam over the move to rest the duo, Salman Butt said on his YouTube channel that Haris Rauf, who has played 23 T20Is and eight ODIS, is yet to make his debut in the red-ball format.

“Babar Azam said Mohammad Nawaz and Haris Rauf play all three formats and that they are being rested because they have played many games. Haris Rauf has not even made his Test debut. How many matches did he play in West Indies? Three T20Is were washed out due to rain. Are you ashamed to say that this person is not in form so he is being sent back?” Salman Butt added.

“Let the boys also know that they need to work on their game. Has Haris Rauf played 150 matches? Or has he played non-stop cricket for last six months? Rauf has hardly played any games and you are saying he needs rest. You must be very clear at this level when you talk. The clarity is missing,” Salman Butt added.

Mohammad Nawaz
Mohammad Nawaz. Credits: Twitter

Applying the same logic to Mohammad Nawaz’s case, Salman Butt questioned the logic behind resting the pacer.

“How many matches did Nawaz play on the England tour? Even in West Indies, he was mostly sitting outside. If you are sending back players from a tour, it is important to reveal the real reason so everyone in the set-up knows what’s happening. The way it was announced it seemed like two seniors who will be sorely missed were being given a break. Everything was so illogical.”

Mohammad Nawaz last turned out for Pakistan in April this year, during the team’s tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe. Haris Rauf was selected for two T20Is against the West Indies, both of which were washed out. Mohammad Nawaz, who played his last international match in April against Zimbabwe, was benched all six limited-overs games against England and also missed the only T20I Pakistan played against West Indies.

Babar Azam Reveals The Decision To Release Haris Rauf And Mohammad Nawaz Was To Spend Quality Time With Families

Pakistan has announced a 19-man squad for the West Indies Tests. Leg-spinner Yasir Shah makes a comeback after missing the Tests against Zimbabwe earlier this year due to a knee injury.

The interesting move though was the decision to release Haris Rauf and Mohammad Nawaz from the squad to allow them to spend quality time with their families. Babar Azam said he wants the duo to be fresh ahead of the ODI series against Afghanistan in Sri Lanka, which is likely to take place in September.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking about the decision to release Haris Rauf and Mohammad Nawaz, Babar Azam explained they were released so that they can spend quality time with families.

“Looking at the likely team composition for the two Tests and giving preference to the well-being of the players, it has been agreed to release Haris Rauf and Mohammad Nawaz so that they can return to Pakistan and spend quality time with their families.

“This will also give them a few extra days to relax, regroup and recharge for the commitments ahead, which commence with the series against Afghanistan.”

1st Test Match Probable XI:-

West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite ©, Nkrumah Bonner, Shai Hope, Kyle Mayers, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Jason Holder, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Alzarri Joseph

Bench: Jahmar Hamilton, Shamarh Brook, Nkrumah Bonner

Pakistan: Imran Butt, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam ©, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Yasir Shah, Hasan Ali, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi

Bench: Nauman Ali, Mohammad Abbas, Sarfaraz Ahmed

Naseem Shah- GETTY IMAGES
Naseem Shah- GETTY IMAGES
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Pakistan Recalled Mohammad Abbas And Naseem Shah For Tests And Names Azam Khan In T20Is

Pakistan has recalled pacers – Mohammad Abbas and Naseem Shah – for the Test series against the West Indies. Meanwhile, Azam Khan, who is an uncapped hard-hitting batsman from Quetta Gladiators participating in PSL, has been picked in the T20I set-up that will play against England and the West Indies. The T20I squad also includes veteran all-rounder Imad Wasim.

Mohammad Abbas and Naseem Shah were dropped from the Test squad after the Test series in New Zealand, with the duo averaging 45 and 73 respectively.

Azam Khan, the uncapped hard-hitting batsman from Quetta Gladiators, has been picked in the T20I squad.
Azam Khan, the uncapped hard-hitting batsman from Quetta Gladiators, has been picked in the T20I squad. © Getty

Pakistan Has Recalled Mohammad Abbas And Naseem Shah And Picked Hard-Hitting Batsman Azam Khan

However, Pakistan pacer Mohammad Abbas had a successful time in the West Indies in 2017 picking up 15 wickets. He has also bagged 27 wickets in the County Championship in England this season.

“We have remained consistent in our selection and kept the same core of cricketers who have been in the set-up for a while. This is an extremely important and critical tour for Pakistan as we will be playing the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs against England as well as the T20Is against England and the West Indies as part of our preparations for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. The Jamaica Test will count towards the ICC World Test Championship,” Muhammad Wasim, chief selector, said.

“As such, keeping in view the above and in consultation with captain Babar Azam and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, we have tried our best to maintain the winning combinations but at the same time recalled four experienced players and rewarded uncapped Azam Khan for his domestic performance, while also giving him the required confidence for the future challenges,” he added.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who missed the Test series versus Zimbabwe because of a knee injury, also returns to the Test set-up. Yasir Shah’s inclusion though is subject to him recovering completely from the knee injury.

“Mohammad Abbas has regained his form, Naseem Shah and Haris Sohail have reclaimed the required fitness standards, while Imad Wasim has been recalled considering the T20 World Cup is likely to be held in the UAE and he enjoys an excellent record there. The return of these four players meant we had to leave some players, which is never an easy decision. But we have collectively opted for what was in the best interest of the side, taking into consideration the opponents and the requirement of the formats on the upcoming tours,” Wasim noted.

“Yasir Shah’s inclusion is subject to clearing his fitness test. He was sidelined due to a knee injury after the second Test against South Africa earlier this year and was expected to reclaim complete fitness for the West Indies tour. It, however, has not been the case, but we remain hopeful that he will complete his rehabilitation before the departure,” he added.

Naseem Shah and Mohammad Abbas have returned to Pakistan's Test squad Getty Images
Naseem Shah and Mohammad Abbas have returned to Pakistan’s Test squad Getty Images

Nauman Ali, a left-arm spinner, who has made a successful start to his Test career, retains his place in the Test set-up. Leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood and off-spinner Sajid Khan have also been retained for the two Tests to be played in Jamaica.

On the other hand, Azam Khan, who scored at a strike rate of over 144 for Gladiators, makes it to the T20I squad. Azam Khan has notched up 743 runs at an impressive strike rate of 157.41 in his T20 career so far. Imad Wasim, who hasn’t played a T20I since December last year, has also been selected.

Pakistan Has Included Saud Shakeel In ODI And Test Squad

Pakistan is also set to play three ODIs against England in July. For that series, Pakistan’s selectors have included uncapped batsman Saud Shakeel. Saud Shakeel, who is a prolific run-getter in Pakistan’s domestic cricket, missed out on the twin tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe due to a Grade-1 quadriceps tear. Incidentally, he also makes it into the Test squad.

Haris Sohail. — Photo courtesy of Haris Sohail's Twitter handle
Haris Sohail. — Photo courtesy of Haris Sohail’s Twitter handle

The experienced batsman, Haris Sohail, also finds a place in the ODI squad. Meanwhile, Tabish Khan and Salman Ali Agha have been dropped from the 21-man squad, though Salman Ali Agha is part of the ODI squad for England.

“The side since the home series against South Africa has maintained an upward movement, but still there are a few loose ends that we would like to close by the end of the England and West Indies tours so that there is absolute clarity on our compositions for the post-West Indies tour engagements. I strongly believe the changes will plug those gaps and will put us in a strong position in our endeavors to feature in the top three across all formats by the end of 2023.”

Pakistan will play three ODIs and three T20Is in England from 8-20 July, before taking on West Indies in five T20Is that will be followed by two Tests.

Squads:

ODIs: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Usman Qadir

T20Is: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Arshad Iqbal, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sharjeel Khan, and Usman Qadir.

Tests: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Yasir Shah (subject to fitness) and Zahid Mahmood.

Yasir Shah
Yasir Shah (Image Credit: ICC Twitter)
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Frustrated Yasir Shah Hurls Abuse At Henry Nicholls

After the early fall of openers, the New Zealand middle-order played a well-disciplined knock to frustrate Pakistan bowlers on day one of the first Test again. And, Pakistan prominent spinner Yasir Shah also could not control his temper when Henry Nicholls went lucky.

In the 77th over of the innings, the leg-spinner bowled a decent delivery which Nicholls tried to cut and missed. The wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan collected the ball but there was no edge and the batsman survived. Yasir Shah was desperate for a wicket and in frustration, he hilariously ended up yelling, “Out ho jaa bhootni ke.” (which roughly translates to- “Get out man.”)

Frustrated Yasir Shah Hurls Abuse At Henry Nicholls 4
Image Credit: Getty Images

Obviously, New Zealanders didn’t understand his language otherwise there would have been some reaction from their side.

Here is the video of Yasir Shah spelling some wrong words:

 

Earlier, Pakistan started the day well with the 20-year-old Shaheen Afridi sending Tom Blundell and Tom Latham early without allowing them to put much on the board. But Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor orchestrated a mature 120-run partnership before the latter lost his wicket for 70 runs. From there, Pakistan lost the plot.

Pakistan drops the catch of Kane Williamson:

yasir shah,
Yasir Shah. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Henry Nicholls joined hands with the captain in the middle to increase the difficulty of Pakistan bowlers. Pakistan had themselves to blame having dropped both the batsmen once each. No wonder Yasir Shah was frustrated as he was not able to provide the breakthrough despite bowling well consistently.

The day one ended with New Zealand putting 222 runs on the board for a three-wicket loss. Williamson and Taylor, who have as of now shared 89 run stands, will continue batting on day four. The New Zealand skipper is batting at 94 and is set to score another century of the season.

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