Sharjeel back, Dhani and Arshad picked, while Hafeez returns for Pakistan’s tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe

Sharjeel Khan is back, Shahnawaz Dhani and Arshad Iqbal have been picked and Mohammad Hafeez has returned for Pakistan's tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe

Sharjeel Khan has been picked in Pakistan’s T20 squad and is set to play his first international match since January 2017

Image courtesy of: Pakistan Super League

Pakistan big-hitting opener Sharjeel Khan has returned to the national team for the upcoming tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The 31-year-old was included in the T20 squad and is likely to make his international comeback after last playing for Pakistan in January 2017.

Sharjeel was in superb form in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) before it was postponed as he was the third-highest run-scorer with 200 runs in five matches for the Karachi Kings, which included a century and a fifty, at an average of 40 and a strike-rate of 170.94.

Meanwhile, the pace trio of Shahnawaz Dhani, Arshad Iqbal and Mohammad Wasim are among the new faces in the squad.

Dhani has enjoyed a meteoric rise to success and was picked in the Test team.

In the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the 22-year-old took 26 wickets in seven matches for Sindh at an average of 31.19.

Arshad, 20, is only in the T20 team as he enjoyed a successful PSL campaign with the Kings as he claimed six wickets in five games at an average of 21.16 and an economy rate of 7.93.

Wasim, meanwhile, got into both the T20 and ODI squads.

The 19-year-old took seven wickets in six matches for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the Pakistan Cup at an average of 36.28.

As for the PSL, he picked up four wickets in four games for Islamabad United at an average of 26.25 and an economy rate of 7.50.

Veteran big-hitter Mohammad Hafeez is back in the squad after missing the T20 series against South Africa.

The 40-year-old was in magnificent form in the PSL as he was the sixth-highest run-scorer with 181 runs in four games for the Lahore Qalandars at an average of 90.50 and a strike-rate of 175.72.

Go-to spinner Yasir Shah has been left out since he is recovering from a left knee injury and in his place, Pakistan have opted for Zahid Mahmood, who has yet to make his Test debut.

Zahid did feature in one T20 International during the series against South Africa and was highly impressive as he took figures of 3-40.

It should be noted that limited overs vice-captain Shadab Khan is also back after he missed the Test series against New Zealand and the home series against South Africa with a thigh injury.

The spin-bowling all-rounder made his comeback in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), where he was captaining Islamabad United.

In the four games he played, the 22-year-old scored 32 runs at an average of eight and a strike-rate of 110.34.

He also took two wickets at an average of 56.50 and an economy rate of 8.69.

Pakistan will play three ODIs and four T20 Internationals against South Africa before heading to Zimbabwe for two Tests and three T20 Internationals.

Pakistan will depart for South Africa on March 26 and the tour will commence on April 2 and conclude on April 16. The ODI series will be played first.

The men in green will then head to Zimbabwe on April 17, but the dates for the matches have yet to be confirmed.

However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) noted that the national team will travel back to Lahore from Bulawayo on May 12.

Pakistan’s Test Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Imran Butt, Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Saud Shakeel, Agha Salman, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Tabish Khan, Hasan Ali, Shahnawaz Dhani, Nauman Ali, Zahid Mahmood, Sajid Khan.

Pakistan’s ODI Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Saud Shakeel, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali.

Pakistan’s T20 Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali, Arshad Iqbal.

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