Pakistan leave Asad Shafiq and Mohammad Amir out of squad for tour of New Zealand

Pakistan have axed batsman Asad Shafiq and left out seamer Mohammad Amir from a 35-man squad for the red and white-ball tour of New Zealand in December and January.

Middle-order batsman Shafiq has scored 12 hundreds and over 4,500 runs in 77 Tests but made only 67 runs in five innings in Pakistan’s 1-0 Test series to defeat in England over the summer.

The 34-year-old will now miss the two Tests against New Zealand, which take place in Mount Maunganui from December 26 and Christchurch from January 3.

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“Asad Shafiq has been left out due to lack of form,” Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq said in a statement.

“I am sure he will utilise this time to work harder on his game in the domestic first-class matches so that he can reclaim his form and be back in contention for the upcoming Tests against South Africa and Zimbabwe.”

Fast bowler Amir and all-rounder Shoaib Malik would have hoped to play in the preceding three-match T20I series against the Black Caps but have been omitted with Pakistan wanting to give youngsters a chance.

Paceman Wahab Riaz, 35, and batsman Mohammad Hafeez, 40, are the exceptions to that philosophy with Misbah saying they were picked “purely on the basis of their outstanding and consistent performances as well as the value they bring to the T20I squad.”

On Amir and Malik’s omissions, Misbah added: [They] are not part of the white-ball matches as for this tour we have opted to invest, develop and focus on the promising and emerging players who are likely to be available to Pakistan for all formats.”

The T20Is will take place in Auckland (December 18), Hamilton (December 20) and Napier (December 22).

Babar Azam will captain Pakistan in both the T20Is and Test matches after it was announced that he had succeeded Azhar Ali as red-ball skipper on Tuesday.

Pakistan squad for T20Is and Tests against New Zealand: Babar Azam (captain), Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Zeeshan Malik, Azhar Ali, Danish Aziz, Fawad Alam, Haider Ali, Haris Sohail, Hussain Talat, Imran Butt, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Rohail Nazir, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Usman Qadir, Yasir Shah, Zafar Gohar, Amad Butt, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain, Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Sohail Khan, Wahab Riaz

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