LAHORE: Pakistan cricket selectors, headed by former Test batsman Muhammad Wasim, on Wednesday included four uncapped players in a national 20-member squad named for the one-day international series against New Zealand starting later this month.The selectors have recalled middle-order batters Iftikhar Ahmed and Khushdil Shah. Iftikhar’s seventh and last ODI was against Zimbabwe in Rawalpindi, while Khushdil’s only ODI appearance was also in the tied match against Zimbabwe in Rawalpindi.The tourists will be under strength with their top players involved in the rescheduled Indian Premier League, prompting the selectors to try out new faces.New Zealand will be playing three one-dayers and five Twenty20 internationals, on their first tour of Pakistan in 18 years. Three ODIs will be held at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on September 17, 19 and 21. The Gaddafi Stadium Lahore will stage the five T20Is scheduled to take place from September 25 to October 3.Babar Azam will lead the side in both the series. For T20Is in Lahore, the selectors will announce the squad later. Former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and SohaibMaqsood, who were part of the squad on England tour in July, have not been selected. Similarly, HarisSohail and Salman Ali Agha have also failed to retain their places in the national outfit. The four uncapped players in the team are: wicketkeeper Mohammad Haris, fast bowlers Mohammad Wasim and ShahnawazDahani and wrist-spinner Zahid Mahmood. Dahani was part of the Test squad but did not play in Zimbabwe and the West Indies, while 20-year-old Wasim has so far played four Twenty20 internationals.Zahid has featured in one Twenty20 international. Chief selector Wasim said: “The series against New Zealand is extremely important for Pakistan as the matches are part of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 qualification. While we have tried to put together a formidable and a balanced unit, we have continued to ensure that we give opportunities to high performing players while looking into the future so that we can develop a strong bench-strength.” He said Dahani was unfortunate to miss the selection for the England matches as the squad was announced before the start of the remaining 20 Pakistan Super League 6 matches. “Hence, he was a straightforward selection when we sat to discuss and finalise the side for the New Zealand series. We have also given continued run to pacer Wasim, who impressed everyone in the T20Is against the West Indies.” He added Zahid had been included to support Usman Qadir. “While picking him, we took into consideration that he had excelled last time he played in a white-ball match in Lahore against South Africa. Although this time the format will be different, but in domestic 50-over competitions he has shown through his performances that he has the temperament to also perform in ODIs.” The chief selector said Mohammad Rizwan remained the first-choice wicketkeeper of the national squad. “As such, it has been decided to include 20-year-old Haris in place of Sarfaraz. This is not only to reward Haris for his outstanding domestic performances in the previous season, but also to give him a taste and flair of international cricket along with its rigours and demands and to ensure that we continue to groom young wicketkeepers who are fit and ready to step up when the opportunity presents itself.”Regarding the middle order, Wasim replied that middle-order remained their concern.”After trying a few options, we have decided to give another run to Iftikhar and Khushdil. The two batters have played sufficient 50-over cricket at the domestic level and boast the required firepower to utilise the slog overs. We are optimistic they will come good in home conditions,” he maintained.Wasim said he knew that a few players would feel disappointed at missing out on the selection.”But we have a busy season of cricket ahead, which means there will be ample opportunities down the line for everyone to put up strong performances and push their case for national selection,” he concluded. Squad: Babar Azam, Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim, Saud Shakeel, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, ShahnawazDahani, Usman Qadir and Zahid Mahmood.