Former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq is unhappy with rookie stumper Azam Khan's selection in Pakistan's T20 World Cup squad, as per reports by the country's media. He also relinquished his head coach post with the national team on Monday.
The Muhammad Wasim-led national selection committee announced a 15-member squad for the quadrennial event on Sunday. They picked Azam Khan as a reserve wicket-keeper in place of former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed.
According to reports in Pakistani media, Misbah was not in favor of Azam's selection and he conveyed the same to PCB CEO Wasim Khan.
On Sunday, Misbah, along with bowling coach Waqar Younis, stepped down from their respective roles.
The former Pakistan skipper had assumed the job back in September 2019 after Mickey Arthur was sacked from his post.
Muhammad Wasim explains the reasoning behind Azam Khan's selection in the T20 World Cup squad
Meanwhile, Muhammad Wasim, the chairman of the selection committee, has defended his decision to include Azam Khan in the T20 World Cup squad.
Wasim said that while Mohammad Rizwan remains Pakistan's first-choice wicketkeeper, Azam's selection was purely motivated by his ability to bash the spinners during the middle overs. During a press conference, he said:
"Mohammad Rizwan is our number one wicketkeeper and he will remain so."
Azam Khan made his T20I debut for Pakistan earlier this summer against England at Trent Bridge. He featured in a couple of games and managed just six runs.
The 23-year-old is currently plying his trade for the Barbados Royals in the Caribbean Premier League.
Apart from Sarfaraz Ahmed, veteran middle-order batsman Shoaib Malik has also been overlooked from the T20 World Cup squad. However, Asif Ali has been picked despite a string of poor performances in international cricket.
While Wasim admitted that Ali's performances in international cricket have not been up to the mark, he is confident that the middle-order batsman will be able to handle the pressure in the marquee event. He said:
''We are confident Asif Ali will handle pressure better, perform well in the mega-event.''
Pakistan are slotted in Group 2 of the T20 World Cup alongside arch-rivals India, New Zealand, Afghanistan and a couple of qualifying nations.The Babar Azam-led unit will kickstart their campaign against India on October 24 at the Dubai International Stadium.
Pakistan's 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup:
Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Mohammad Hafeez, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah, Azam Khan (WK), Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood, Imad Wasim.
Reserve players: Fakhar Zaman, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir