National squad for T20 World Cup as well as the home series against New Zealand and England announed by PCB on Monday. Twitter photo
Gulf Today Report
Former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik and left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz were left out as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief selector Mohammad Wasim announced on Monday the national squad for next month's T20 World Cup in the UAE as well as the home series against New Zealand and England.
PCB selectors included power-hitters Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah and also dropped all-rounder Faheem Ashraf, opening batsman Sharjeel Khan and fast bowler Arshad Iqbal, who were part of Pakistan’s squads in the last series against England and the West Indies.
Legspinner Usman Qadir, opening batter Fakhar Zaman and fast bowler Shahnawaz Dahani will travel with the team to the UAE as reserve players.
The seven home T20 in Lahore and Rawalpindi will be played from Sept.25 to Oct.14, while Pakistan will proceed to take on India in a battle of former champions in their T20 World Cup opener in Dubai on Oct.24.
Commenting on the selection of new team, Wasim said that PCB had tried to cover all bases by catering for the modern day brand of T20 cricket.
"This includes trusting the abilities, skills and experience of the players to perform in a high pressure global tournament in conditions that are familiar to us, as well as looking at the teams we will play in Group-2 matches," he said.
“Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah may not have impressive numbers against their names but hardly anyone can doubt their tremendous talent and prowess. They are the best in the available pool of middle-order batsmen and we remain confident that they will provide us solutions to our middle-order difficulties through solid performances," he said.
“These two experienced middle-order batters will compliment Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan and Shoaib Maqsood, while in Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan, we have three top quality spinners who are equally good with the bat and outstanding in the field," he said.
He said that Azam Khan was an "aggressive and attacking batter" who also keeps wickets, a combination that has earned him the selectors’ nod ahead of Sarfaraz Ahmed.
"Mohammad Wasim Junior has been preferred over Faheem Ashraf due to his pace and ability to hit big shots. Wasim will bolster the fast bowling unit, which comprises Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Hasnain and Shaheen Shah Afridi," he said.
Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Azam Khan, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, Shaheen Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood.
Travelling reserves: Fakhar Zaman, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir.
Rumours are already swirling around for the UAE to be the likely host to complete the 14th edition of the IPL, which was abandoned in the mid-way after coronavirus cases were reported in the bubble.
Sri Lanka Cricket chief executive Ashley de Silva said that the event may have to be put back until after the 2023 50-over World Cup because most teams had already planned schedules for the next two years.
Liam Livingstone slammed the fastest T20I ton by an England player but couldn't take his side to victory as Pakistan notched a 31-run win in the opening tie of the three-match series at Trent Bridge.
Citing the concern over travelling to the region over security issues, the England cricket chiefs withdrew just three days after New Zealand abandoned their tour to the country for the same reason.
The 50 highest ranked players on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex will take on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates - designed by two-time Open Champion, Greg Norman - competing for a share of the $9 million prize pot.
Saud Al Shamsi, Tournament Director of the Dubai CrossFit Championship, said: “We are really excited to announce yet another edition of what has become one of the most anticipated competition in the world of CrossFit.