Pakistan have made three changes to their T20 World Cup 2021 squad. Former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali have replaced Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain respectively. Also, batter Fakhar Zaman, who was earlier part of the travel reserves, comes into the main squad, swapping places with Khushdil Shah.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday confirmed the changes through an official press release. The PCB statement also informed that a decision on Sohaib Maqsood’s inclusion in the squad will be made following medical advice. Maqsood recently underwent MRI scans for lower back after a National T20 match.
Pakistan are placed in Group 2 of the Super 12 round at the T20 World Cup 2021. They will begin their campaign at the ICC event by taking on arch-rivals India on October 24 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Pakistan’s updated 15-member squad for T20 World Cup 2021: 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, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood
Traveling reserves – Khushdil Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir
Pakistan chief selector explains reason behind changes in T20 World Cup 2021 squad
Chief selector Muhammad Wasim explained the reasons behind the changes in Pakistan’s T20 World Cup squad. He commented that the decision was made after reviewing the performance of the players in the National T20 as well as discussions with the team management. He said in an official statement:
“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. The three in-form players bring with them wealth of experience and talent, and provide further stability, balance and strength to the side.”
On the players who were left out after being picked initially, Wasim commented:
“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 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.”
Pakistan won the second edition of the T20 World Cup which was held in England in 2009.