Pakistan have dropped veteran Mohammad Hafeez from a 20-man squad for an upcoming three-match T20I series against South Africa at home. Hafeez, currently in Abu Dhabi for a T10 tournament, had asked to join the bio-secure bubble later than the rest of the squad but Pakistan Cricket Board refused resulting in his exclusion.

The Pakistan squad is to assemble and enter the bubble on February 3 but Hafeez had asked for permission to join by February 5. The resulting deadlock ended 40-year-old’s chances of featuring in the series that starts from February 11.

“Unfortunately, the scenario is as such that every player has to join the bio-bubble on Feb 3, and if a player can’t do so, it means he is unavailable,” PCB chief selector Mohammad Wasim said on Sunday. “If he was available, there’s no question on his performance, but unfortunately he is not available.”

Opening batsman Fakhar Zaman and left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz have also been dropped for the series while the likes of Hasan Ali, Asif Ali and Aamer Yamin have been recalled. Four uncapped players – Zafar Gohar, Danish Aziz, Zahid Mehmood and Amad Butt- have also been included into the squad with the T20 World Cup set to be played later this year in India.

Also missing in the list are Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim.

All the three matches will be played at the Gaddafi Stadium with the squad alongside officials entering bio-secure bubble on February 3. Those who are also part of the second Test against South Africa will link up with the T20 team once the contest finishes.

Pakistan squad: Babar Azam, Haider Ali, Khushdil Shah, Hussain Talat, Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Zafar Gohar, Faheem Ashraf, Aamer Yamin, Amad Butt, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Hasan Ali, Usman Qadir, Zahid Mehmood