Misbah aims to pick pool of 22 for Zimbabwe ties

Former Pakistani cricket captain and newly appointed head coach of national cricket team Misbah-ul Haq speaks during a press conference in Lahore on September 4, 2019. - Pakistan on September 4 appointed former captain Misbah-ul-Haq as head coach and chief selector in a bid to lift the national team's performance. (Photo by ARIF ALI / AFP)

LAHORE: Chief selector-cum-head coach Misbah-ul-Haq is planning to name a pool of 22 players during the second phase of the ongoing National T20 Cup in Rawalpindi for the One-day International and Twenty20 International series against Zimbabwe in Oct-Nov this year.

In a video message released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Misbah said though he had held an initial meeting with the panel of selectors — comprising of six coaches of the National T20 Cup participating teams — the second round of discussion would be held in Rawalpindi as by then the performances of maximum players would have given a clear indication.

“We have a plan to select 22 players for both formats [ODI and T20] for the Zimbabwe series. Further we are going release some of the players after the one-day series to enable them participate in the domestic season,” Misbah said.

The head coach hoped the National T20 Cup and the Zimbabwe matches would provide a perfect platform for the selectors to pick the best talent for the tour of New Zealand and two mega events next year, which includes the T20 World Cup and T20 Asia Cup.

Misbah said for the series against Zimbabwe, it will also be important that Pakistan win to raise the confidence level of the players, besides to test the best youngsters.

“It is our first priority to build a match-winning combination as victory against Zimbabwe will also raise the morale of the boys so we have to consider carefully how many youngsters can be tried,” he said.

Misbah added since Pakistan would be playing a One-day International after a long time, intra-squad matches would also be held to prepare the squad for that format.

Pakistan last played three ODI matches series against Sri Lanka in Karachi in September last year, winning it 2-0 after opening fixture was washed out.