Lahore, 26 July 2023: Rohail Nazir-led Pakistan Shaheens departed for Australia in the wee hours of Wednesday to feature in Top End T20 Series and two 50-over matches in Darwin which is being organised by Northern Territory Cricket (NTC) from 30 July to 9 August.
Australian Capital Territory’s ACT Comets, Melbourne Stars, Melbourne Renegades, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and NT Strike will participate in the six-team tournament along with Shaheens in a T20 format with the top-two sides making it to the final.
Following the T20s, Shaheens will also play two 50-over matches against PNG and NT Strike on 8 and 9 August, respectively.
21-year-old Rohail Nazir has captained Pakistan Shaheens in the past during their tour to New Zealand in December 2020. He was also a part of the Shaheens squad in the recent tour to Zimbabwe, where the team featured in two four-dayers and six 50-over matches.
Rohail, who played for Pakistan U19 in the ICC U19 World Cup in 2018 and 2020 editions, will have the services of four players – Ahmed Khan (2022), Ali Asfand (2022), Mohammad Irfan Khan (2020 & 2022) and Syed Zeeshan Zameer (2022) – who had represented Pakistan U19 in the ICC U19 World Cup before.
Apart from these four players, Amir Hassan, Arafat Minhas, Azan Awais, Sajjad Ali, Shamyl Hussain and Wahaj Riaz recently played for Pakistan U19 in the tour to Bangladesh in April/May this year.
Rohail, who was among the non-traveling reserves for Shaheens that clinched the ACC Emerging Men’s Teams Asia Cup title in Sri Lanka, told PCB Digital: “Many congratulations to Pakistan Shaheens for winning the Emerging Asia Cup. We all had put in a lot of effort in the camp held in Lahore under the coaches and the results are visible to everyone.
“It is a huge opportunity for me to lead the side. I have represented and captained Shaheens in the past. I am really excited to lead and play in Australia where I had played in the past as well. I have played alongside many players present in the squad and few of them are from my city Islamabad so I know a few of them.
“It’s a great opportunity for each member of the team to perform in Australia. Such tournaments are really helpful for players to learn and improve their skills.
“For me, the tour is an opportunity to perform and get a chance to play for Pakistan in the upcoming Test series in Australia later this year.”
Pakistan Shaheens squad:
Rohail Nazir (captain), Aaliyan Mahmood, Ahmed Khan, Ali Asfand, Amir Hassan, Arafat Minhas, Azan Awais, Basit Ali, Faisal Akram, Sajjad Ali, Mohammad Irfan Khan, Shamyl Hussain, Shawaiz Irfan, Syed Zeeshan Zameer and Wahaj Riaz
Player Support Personnel – Muhammad Masroor (head coach-cum-manager), Hanif Malik (batting and fielding coach), Umar Rashid (bowling coach) and Imtiaz Khan (physiotherapist)
Schedule of Pakistan Shaheens’ matches:
30 Jul – vs NT Strike (T20)
31 Jul – vs ACT Comets (T20)
1 Aug – vs Melbourne Renegades (T20)
2 Aug – vs Melbourne Stars (T20)
4 Aug – vs PNG (T20)
6 Aug – Final
8 Aug – vs PNG (50-over)
9 Aug – vs NT Strike (50-over)