Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain have dropped out of the party, while Khushdil Shah is now on the reserve list
Former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman and Haider Ali have all been included in the Pakistani squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup for men following a rejection on Friday. As a result, Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain have been left out altogether, while Khushdil Shah has dropped to the reserve list instead of Fakhar. The changes were announced by PCB two days off from the deadline for submitting the final teams to the tournament.
While completing the 15 new ones, there were doubts about the availability of Sohaib Maqsood, the 34-year-old midfielder who suffered an injury during the ongoing national T20 Cup. The PCB said a decision on his participation would be made after medical care was available.
Maqsood, the southern Punjab player, underwent MRI scans for the lower back after the October 6 National T20 Cup match against Northern and missed Thursday’s Punjab derby against Central Punjab.
Some changes were expected in the squad, which had been announced on September 6, based on performance at the National T20 Cup. Haider’s call marked a quick turnaround for a player who was sent home from England just two months ago after violating Covid-19 restrictions. His form in the National T20 Cup, including three undefeated half-centuries, has given him a place in the last 15, while Azam’s indifferent form has led to Sarfaraz taking his place.
Fakhar’s involvement was perhaps less surprising, as the player was already part of the reserved reserves in the initial squad. He took the place of middle-order batter Khushdil, who, although he did not yet have a sustained race at T20I level, has had a hard time going to the National T20 Cup this year.
X “The three players in shape [included] bring a wealth of experience and talent with them and provide additional stability, balance and strength aside, “said Chief Elector Mohammad Wasim. It must be hard for Azam, Khushdil and Hasnain to miss out, but they still have a lot to offer in their careers. They are in our future plans as a lot of cricket is to be played after the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2021 and in up to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2022 in Australia.
“I am pleased with the intensity and high quality of cricket that we have witnessed in the National T20. Not only has it given the players excellent match training ahead of the UAE competition, it has also allowed us to closely monitor the player’s progress and then make decisions that are in the best interest of the site in what will be a cut-throat tournament. “
The changes in the squad brought an end to growing speculation about likely changes based on recent performance. Several names have been banded about over the last fourteen days, though not necessarily in official circles.
Sahibzada Farhan, Aamer Yamin and even Shoaib Malik were considered chances of a call. Even if it’s not on the table right now, injuries to the last team members may very well mean further changes later.
Pakistan’s first match at the T20 World Cup takes place on October 24 against India, followed by the match against New Zealand, Afghanistan and two qualifiers.
Danyal Rasool is the Editor-in-Chief of ESPNcricinfo. @ Danny61000