LAHORE: Pakistan T20 and ODI captain Sarfraz Ahmed believes suspended opener Sharjeel Khan’s absence will be felt during the upcoming Pakistan tour to West Indies.
Speaking to media at the end of the team’s training camp in Lahore, Sarfraz said the absence of Sharjeel, who has been provisionally suspended by the Pakistan Cricket Board for alleged spot-fixing during the Pakistan Super League 2017, will have an impact on the team.
“The West Indies tour holds immense importance for the team. Sharjeel’s absence will make a difference but hopefully the other openers will step up and not let us feel his absence,” Sarfraz remarked.
Sarfraz expressed hope that bowlers and senior players will deliver for Pakistan in the upcoming tour.
“The presence of senior players like Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik is very important for the team. We will leverage the capabilities of those players who are in form,” the 29-year-old skipper said.
Elaborating on the selectors’ decision to leave out Umar Akmal, Sarfraz said the batsman has not been expelled from the team.
“He has fitness issues, that’s why he was not picked,” the captain said.
Regarding Azhar Ali, who was also axed from the ODI squad announced earlier this week, Sarfraz assured that the former captain is still part of the team’s plan.
Pakistan squad for West Indies tour
T20: Ahmad Shahzad, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Fakhar Zaman, Sarfraz Ahmed (capt), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Muhammad Nawaz , Hasan Ali, Sohail Tanvir , Wahab Riaz, Rumman Raees, Usman Khan Shinwari
ODI: Ahmad Shahzad, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Fakhar Zaman, Asif Zakir, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz , Mohammed Amir, Fahim Ashraf, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Asghar, Sarfraz Ahmed (capt)