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PSL champion Sohaib Maqsood replaces out-of-form Haider Ali in Pakistan Squad

Hours before their HBL PSL-6 final showdown against Multan Sultans on Thursday in Abu Dhabi, former champions Peshawar Zalmi received a body blow when their key pacer Umaid Asif and young batting sensation Haider Ali were suspended for breaching the bio-secure protocols.

Both have been isolated. Haider was also withdrawn from Pakistan’s squad for the tours of England and the West Indies. The selection committee picked hard-hitting in-form batsman Sohaib Maqsood of Multan Sultans for the tours as Haider’s replacement.

“Peshawar Zalmi’s duo of Haider Ali and Umaid Asif have been suspended from Thursday’s HBL Pakistan Super League 6 final against Multan Sultans after they admitted to charges of violating the HBL PSL 6 Health and Safety Protocols by meeting people from outside their designated bio-secure bubble and also failing to maintain the prescribed social distancing,” the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Thursday.

“The incident happened on Wednesday and the decision was made early Thursday morning by the Tournament Covid-19 Management panel comprising Barrister Salman Naseer (PCB, Chief Operating Officer) and Mr Babar Hamid (Director – Commercial, and HBL PSL 6 head),” the Board said in a press release.

“The two cricketers were found not to have interacted with any other squad members at any time after the incident and have been placed in room isolation,” it said.

“Furthermore, Haider Ali has been withdrawn from the England and West Indies tours,” the Board added.

“Chair of the selectors Muhammad Wasim, in consultation with captain Babar Azam and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, has named Sohaib Maqsood as Haider Ali’s replacement for the two tours,” the Board said.

Sohaib has had a stellar HBL Pakistan Super League 6, in which he has to date scored 363 runs in 11 matches with an average of 40.33 and strike-rate of just under 153.

Sohaib has represented Pakistan in 26 ODIs and 20 T20Is, with his last T20I appearance being against New Zealand in Hamilton in January 2016.

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