PSL preparations enforce changes in Pakistan Shaheens squad for MCC tour
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) team under the stewardship of Kumar Sangakkara are set to partake in the series against Lahore Qalandars, Multan Sultans, Northern and Pakistan Shaheens, starting from February 14.
Pakistan Under-19 captain and, regional side, Northern batsman, Rohail Nazir, will lead Northern for the match on February 17 at Aitchison College whereas Saud Shakeel will call the shots for Pakistan Shaheens team that will lock horns with MCC on February 16.
Five changes have been made in the Pakistan Shaheens' squad for the tournament after HBL PSL franchises called upon players for PSL preparations.
Lanky pacer Ehsan Adil, Emran Butt, Mohammad Irfan Khan, off-spinner Mohammad Asghar and Sajid Khan are set to replace Akif Javed, Haider Ali, Mohammad Mohsin, Saif Badar and Umar Khan in the 12-player-squad.
Ehsan Adil had a successful Quaid-e-Azam (QeA) trophy 2019-2020 season where he bagged 18 wickets at an average of 32.67 for Central Punjab — who went on to win the coveted QeA trophy.
Budding cricketer, Imran Butt, was the leading scorer in the QeA; he amassed 934 runs in nine matches and scored at a phenomenal average of 103.7.
Mohammad Irfan Khan, who was part of the Pakistan U19 team, has been inducted in the side. Coming on the back of consistent performances at U19 level and ACC U19 Asia Cup last year, he has been showing quick progress and has been rewarded for showing promise. The right-hand batsman accumulated 475 runs in 10 three-day non-first-class QeA Trophy matches at an average of 47.50.
21-year-old off-spinner Mohammad Asghar snapped up 27 wickets in eight matches in his QeA campaign while Sajid Khan finished the tournament with 25 wickets in six matches. The top-performing spinners will be looking to prove their mettle against a balanced MCC team.
Also, Northern have made one change in their squad as Musa Khan makes way for Munir Riaz. Musa will be joining Islamabad United for the pre-tournament preparations which has opened the door for Munir, who has taken 14 scalps in the National U19 three-day tournament 2019-2020.
The four matches will be hosted at Aitchison College in Lahore with MCC Chief Executive and Secretary Guy Lavender set to fulfil duties as the team manager. Moreover, the seasoned county cricket pacer, Ajmal Shahzad, has been named as the MCC side's coach.
Saud Shakeel (captain) (Sindh), Ehsan Adil (Central Punjab), Hassan Mohsin (Sindh), Imran Butt (Balochistan), Imran Rafiq (Southern Punjab), Mohammad Irfan Khan (Central Punjab Second XI), Mohammad Asghar (Balochistan), Omair Bin Yousaf (Sindh), Rohail Nazir (wicketkeeper) (Northern), Sajid Khan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Sameen Gul (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Zeeshan Malik (Northern)
Rohail Nazir (captain, wicketkeeper), Faizan Riaz (vice-captain), Ali Imran, Mubashir Khan (Northern U19), Munir Riaz (Northern U19), Nauman Ali, Sarmad Bhatti, Shahzad Azam, Shiraz Khan (Northern U19), Zaid Alam, Zeeshan Malik