Karachi: Pakistan recalled fast bowler Mohammad Amir in the 15-man squad for next month's three-match Twenty20 series against South Africa, while recent top performers missed out on selection.
The 26-year-old left-armer was left out of the limited-over and Test squads after a poor showing in last year's Asia Cup, but was brought back into both for the ongoing tour of South Africa.
Pakistan thrashed both Australia and New Zealand 3-0 in Twenty20 matches in the United Arab Emirates last year — though Amir did not take part in either series.
Pakistan, who are currently playing a five-match one-day series in South Africa, will play Twenty20 matches in Cape Town on 1 February, Johannesburg on 3 February and at Centurion on 6 February.
Khurram Manzoor, Rizwan Hussain and Salman Butt — who amassed the most runs in Pakistan's National Twenty20 Cup held last month -- all missed out on places.
The Cup's top wicket-takers, Amad Butt, Umaid Asif and Mohammad Irfan were also overlooked.
Pakistan are ranked number one in Twenty20 internationals and have won nine consecutive matches as well as a world record 17 out of 19 T20Is they played last year.
Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan and Shan Masood will return to the team after featuring in the one-day series.
Pakistan's chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said the selection was focused on this year's ICC Cricket World Cup and the Twenty20 World Cup to be held next year.
"We need to give as much exposure and experience to our up and coming players as possible, but without compromising on the assignments in hand," he said.
Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Sahibzada Farhan, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Usman Shinwari.
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Appearing before the Senate Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial affairs on Thursday in Islamabad, Ramiz said it was time for the PCB to reduce its dependence on funding from the ICC and start tapping the local market.
Sarfaraz replaces Azam Khan, who was dropped after a review of performances in the on-going National T20 Cup. Khan was originally named in the squad of 15 announced by the selectors on 4 September.
Raja also said that a lot of work needs to be done to revitalise Pakistan-India cricket.