Pakistan cricket team arrive in Dhaka to play T20I and Test series
Hafeez opts out of Bangladesh tour, replaced by Iftikhar Ahmed: First T20 International will be played on Friday
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Pakistan announced a strong squad for the tour as only Muhammad Hafeez from their T20 WC squad opted out of the T20I series against Bangladesh. Iftikhar Ahmed has been named in place of Hafeez. Iftikhar Ahmed has played 13 T20Is for his national team and scored 216 runs.
Captain Babar Azam and veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik did also not accompany the team, but will join the squad in Dhaka after a few days, most likely on Tuesday.
The team after their arrival in the Bangladeshi capital underwent a one-day quarantine. They went straight from the airport to hotel bio secure environment.
Pakistan cricket team will play three T20Is and two Tests during their tour of Bangladesh.
The tour will start with T20Is as hosts Bangladesh will play the first match against visiting Pakistan next Friday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur.
Pakistan cricket team were supposed to come this Tuesday, but since they lost to Australia in the semi-final a couple of days ago, they will arrive a few days earlier, according to a team source.
Upon testing negative on Covid-19, the Pakistani cricketers can start their practice session from the next day.
Fast bowler Shahnawaz Dahani and leg-spinner Usman Qadir, who are a part of the ongoing T20 World Cup reserves, were also selected for the Bangladesh tour.
Together with Iftikhar, Pakistan will have Haider Ali and Khushdil Shah in the middle order. It's likely the benched players from the World Cup will all be provided an opportunity against Bangladesh, where they have the freedom to pick from 18 members.
Saqlain Mushtaq is currently the head coach on an interim basis, with new full-time coaching staff yet to be finalised. Mathew Hayden's short-term gig as batting coach is set to end after the ongoing T20 World Cup, while Vernon Philander will extend his stay for the three T20Is and the first Test in Bangladesh.
All matches of the T20I series will be played on November 19, 20 and 22 respectively.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Cricket Board is going to announce the squad for the three-match T20I series soon as it was learnt that quite a few changes are being pondered in the squad compared to the one that played in the T20 World Cup.
Bangladesh lost against Scotland in the qualifiers before winning against Oman and Papua New Guinea to qualify for the Super 12 stage.
But in the Super 12 they lost all five of their games, and put in frustrating performances with the bat in the last two games where they were all out for just 84 and 73 against South Africa and Australia respectively.
Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali , Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Shoaib Malik, Usman Qadir