Cricket

Babar, Rizwan, Shaheen Among Pakistan Stars Likely To Be Rested For Bangladesh Tests: Sources

Sources said that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is in touch with Test captain, Shan Masood, who is in England captaining county side Yorkshire, and new red-ball head coach, Australian Jason Gillespie to finalise plans for the Bangladesh series

AP/Lynne Sladky
Babar Azam and Shaheen Shah Afridi Photo: AP/Lynne Sladky
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Several senior members of Pakistan's failed T20 World Cup campaign, including captain Babar Azam, Muhammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi, may be rested for the home Test series against Bangladesh in August. (More Cricket News)

Sources said that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is in touch with Test captain, Shan Masood, who is in England captaining county side Yorkshire, and new red-ball head coach, Australian Jason Gillespie to finalise plans for the Bangladesh series.

Pakistan were eliminated after losing their Group A league matches to newcomers USA and arch-rivals India.

"One of the proposals being considered is giving rest to some senior players namely Babar, Shaheen, Rizwan etc and instead trying out those players who are uncapped or have just played a few internationals for Pakistan," a source said.

"But, no final decision has been taken because in the end Masood and Gillespie will make the final call on the team selection, as in next few weeks the number of national selectors could also be reduced and the PCB might revert back to the old system of selection process," he added.

The source said that the PCB will also consult Gillespie and white-ball head coach, Gary Kirsten on plans for the ICC Champions Trophy in February-March next year.

Before the mega-event, Pakistan will host Bangladesh and England for five Tests. They will then tour Australia for a white-ball series before going to South Africa for a Test and white-ball series.

Pakistan will return home in January to host South Africa and New Zealand in a 50-over Triangular series before the Champions Trophy. After the ICC event, Pakistan will host West Indies for two Tests and white-ball matches before the Pakistan Super League.

"The main thing is to finalise a workload system chart for the players with reference to their availability for Pakistan team and their contracts in franchise-based leagues in this period," the source said.

"The next few weeks in Pakistan cricket will be very important and interesting because it appears that the PCB is also waiting for Babar Azam to take a call on captaincy himself before they can discuss the future white-ball captain," he said.

PCB has already asked Kirsten to submit a detailed report on the team culture, individual behaviour of players, their attitude and skill levels and also what changes can be made in ODI and T20 cricket.

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