LAHORE - Pakistan T20I captain Shadab Khan has backed young and talented Saim Ayub, saying he is excited to play alongside the youngster during the upcoming T20I series against Afghanistan. Speaking on the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) podcast, Shadab said that the players like Saim, Babar, and Abdullah Shafique always look special when they play. “I think Saim is an exceptional talent. After a very long time, we have got a player like him who we can say is as stylish and good as Babar and Abdullah,” said Shadab and added: “The way Saim plays, he is a player of Babar’s category. Players like them are too good to watch even when they score runs against your team. They are too stylish batters.” Saim opened innings alongside skipper Babar for Peshawar Zalmi in recently-concluded Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2023. His stylish batting and consistency made him a solid candidate for the Pakistan team’s call-up. The left-handed batter, who scored 341 runs in 12 matches in PSL 8, was named in Pakistan’s squad against Afghanistan in threematch T20I series.
Wahab Riaz starts duties as adviser to Punjab CM on sports and youth affairs
The T20 skipper also urged the fans to support youngsters during the Afghanistan series. Shadab said he is excited to lead a young and energetic squad. “A dream for any Pakistani to captain the national cricket team. Can’t thank Allah enough. Really excited to lead this young team, loads of talent. We will try to play aggressive and progressive cricket. Remember to back the youngsters, they are our future,” he tweeted. The PCB has given rest to its main players including captain Babar, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Muhammad Rizwan, and Fakhar Zaman. Shadab, the team’s vice-captain in whiteball format, will lead the squad in the absence of Babar Azam. The youngsters including Saim Ayub, Azam Khan, Ihsanullah and Zaman Khan, who performed well in the PSL 8, have made it into the national squad for Afghanistan series. PAKISTAN T20I SQUAD: Shadab Khan (c), Abdullah Shafique, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shan Masood, Tayyab Tahir, Zaman Khan.
First fast in Pakistan on Thursday as Ramadan moon sighted