The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced their 15-man squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup on Monday. The BCCI are host the tournament in the UAE and Oman during October and November.
Several veteran players, including Shoab Malik, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, and Sarfaraz Ahmed, are missing from the squad.
Babar Azam will continue as skipper for the Pakistan side at the World Cup. 40-year-old all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez also secured a place in the final squad.
Pakistan's ICC T20 World Cup 2021 Squad: Babar Azam (c), Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Azam Khan (wk), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Pakistan cricket fans were highly disappointed with the announced squad and criticized the selectors' decision to ignore players like Malik and Wahab Riaz.
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They accused the authorities of being biased towards certain players and pointed out the poor record of those players. Here are some of the best fan reactions from Twitter:
While selecting the squad, we have tried to cover all our bases: Pakistan chief selector Muhammad Wasim
During the press conference, Pakistan chief selector Muhammad Wasim revealed the thought process of the selectors before they finalized the T20 World Cup squad.
He emphasized that they made the decisions after due deliberation about the current requirements of the game and the opponents Pakistan would face in the tournament. In this regard, Muhammad Wasim said:
"While selecting the squad, we have tried to cover all our bases by catering for the modern day brand of T20 cricket that will be required to perform impressively in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
"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."
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It will be interesting to see how Pakistan fares in the tournament as the UAE has been like a home venue for them during the last decade.