Sarfaraz, Haider, Fakhar included in Pakistan squad for T20 World Cup
LAHORE: Former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, Haider Ali and Fakhar Azam have returned to the national squad for the T20 World Cup due to their stellar performance in the National T20 Cup, said a statement issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
“After reviewing player performances in the highly competitive National T20 and consultation with the team management, we have decided to include Haider Ali, Fakhar Zaman and Sarfaraz Ahmed in the squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021,” PCB Chief Selector Muhammad Wasim was quoted in the statement.
Wasim believes that the three “in-form players” apart from bringing “wealth of experience and talent” will provide “stability, balance” and further strengthen the side.
Sarfaraz and Haider have replaced Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain respectively, while Fakhar Zaman, who was originally named as a travel reserve, has swapped places with Khushdil Shah.
“It must be tough for Azam, Khushdil and Hasnain for missing out but they still have a lot to offer in their careers. They are in our plans as a lot of cricket has to be played post the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 and in the lead up to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia,” assured Wasim.
The chief selector shared that he was pleased by the “intensity and high quality of cricket” that has been witnessed in the National T20 Cup.
“It has not only provided the players’ excellent match practice in the lead up to the UAE competition, but it has also allowed us to closely monitor the player progress and then make decisions that are in the best interest of the side for what will be a cut-throat tournament,” said Wasim.
PCB said that middle-order batsman Sohaib Maqsood’s inclusion in the squad will depend on the medical advice.
Maqsood underwent MRI scans for his lower back after the October 6 National T20 match against Northern. He had also missed Thursday’s Punjab derby against Central Punjab.
The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, will be held in the United Arab Emirates from October 17 to November 14.
Pakistan are in Group 2 and will open its campaign against India on October 24 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood.
Traveling reserves: Khushdil Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir
Player Support Personnel: Mansoor Rana (manager), Saqlain Mushtaq (interim head coach), Shahid Aslam (assistant head coach), Matthew Hayden (batting consultant), Vernon Philander (bowling consultant), Cliffe Deacon (physiotherapist), Drikus Saaiman (strength and conditioning coach), Abdul Majeed (fielding coach), Talha Ejaz (team analyst), Col (retd) Muhammad Imran (Security Manager), Ibrahim Badees (media and digital manager), Dr Najeeb Soomro (team doctor) and Malang Ali (Masseur)
Schedule of Pakistan’s matches:
Oct 24 – Pakistan v India, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
26 Oct – Pakistan v New Zealand, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
Oct 29 – Pakistan v Afghanistan, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
Nov 2 – Pakistan v A2, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Sheikh Zayed International Cricket Stadium, Abdu Dhabi
Nov 7 –Pakistan v B1, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
*All matches to start at 19:00 Pakistan time
ICC T20 World Cup 2021 semi-final schedule:
Nov 10 – First semi-final, Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Nov 11 – second semi-final, Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
Nov 14 – Final, Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
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