The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday included Fakhar Zaman, Sarfaraz Ahmed, and Haider Ali to the 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup 2021, which begins on October 17 in UAE and Oman. Fakhar, who was one of the reserves, will now join the squad, being swapped with Khushdil Shah.
The PCB have announced three changes to Pakistan’s 15-member squad ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021. Fakhar Zaman, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali have been included, while Khushdil Shah, who was part of the main squad, has been moved to the reserves. Sarfaraz and Haider replace Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain respectively.
"After reviewing player performances in the highly competitive National T20 and in 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," chief selector Muhammad Wasim said. "The three in-form players bring with them a wealth of experience and talent and provide further stability, balance and strength to the side."
Earlier in September, several former Pakistan cricketers had expressed thier views over the announced squad, and PCB chief selector Muhammad Wasim had stated that there are chances for a change in the Pakistan squad. With the national teams allowed to make changes till October 10, Pakistan have made three changes to the squad.
"It must be tough for Azam, Khushdil and Hasnain to be missing out but they still have a lot to offer in their careers. They are in our future 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," added Wasim.
"I am pleased with the intensity and high quality of cricket that we have witnessed in the National T20. It has not only provided the players excellent match practice in the lead up to the UAE competition, it has also given us the opportunity 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."
Meanwhile, Pakistan are looking forward to the health status of Shoaib Maqsood, who is recovering from a lower back issue. Maqsood is part of the announced 15-member squad
Pakistan will begin their T20 World Cup campaign in a Group 2 Super-12 fixture against India on October 24 in Dubai.
Pakistan's 15-member squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan (vc), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood.
Traveling reserves - Khushdil Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir.