Pakistan’s Sohaib Maqsood has been ruled out of the upcoming T20 World Cup squad after failing an MRI scan on his lower back. Maqsood had sustained a back injury on October 6 during the National T20 Cup at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, which required him to rest and undergo an extensive rehabilitation process.

The 34-year-old middle-order batter had been in good form since making his return to the national team after a gap of five years, making a mark in recent tours of England and the West Indies. He then followed it up by helping Multan Sultans to the PSL title this year, scoring five half-centuries from 12 innings at the top of the order and getting more runs in boundaries than any other player in the league.

Since the start of 2020 and leading up to this season’s PSL, Maqsood had the highest T20 strike rate among Pakistan batters and the ninth-best on the global list (among those with a minimum of 500 runs and 20 innings). It was a marked improvement for the batter, who was previously striking at 125.79.

Meanwhile, veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik has come in Maqsood’s place. The mega event in UAE and Oman will probably be 39-year-old Malik’s last major tournament with the national team.

Earlier, The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday announced an altered squad for this month’s Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, with former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed replacing the young Azam Khan.

In a statement, the PCB said that the national selectors made three changes to the team announced last month “after taking into consideration player performances and form”.

In the other two changes, Haider Ali has replaced Mohammad Hasnain, while Fakhar Zaman, who was originally named as a travel reserve, has swapped places with Khushdil Shah.

Haider, dropped from the initial squad after violating a bio-secure bubble in the Pakistan Super League in the UAE in June, has amassed 315 runs in eight games with three fifties in the National T20 Cup.

Pakistan will begin their T20 World Cup campaign in a high-profile clash against India on October 24 in Dubai.

The story was filed by the News Desk.
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