Pakistan Cricket Board has named its 15-player squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah have been included in the squad while Sharjeel Khan, Faheem Ashraf, and former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed have been dropped.
Chief Selector Muhammad Wasim said that Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah may not have eye-catching statistics but no one can doubt their tremendous talent and prowess. Wasim expressed his confidence in the duo saying the team is confident that they will come up with solid performances to assist the team’s chronic middle-order problems.
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.”
Asif last played for Pakistan in T20I against Zimbabwe earlier in April and holds an average of 16.38 with a strike rate of 123.74. As for Khushdil Shah, he represented the Green Shorts against South Africa in Lahore earlier this year. Khushdil boasts an average of more than 21 with a strike rate of 109.24.
20-year-old right-arm medium-fast bowler Arshad Iqbal also missed out along with Fakhar Zaman, and Usman Qadir; however, Fakhar and Usman along with Shahnawaz Dahani have been named as the three travelling reserves.
The 15-player squad includes Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Azam Khan (wicket-keeper), Mohammad Rizwan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Hasnain, and Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Team Pakistan will begin its ICC Men’s T20 World Cup campaign with a titanic clash of former champions against India in Dubai on 24 October. Pakistan is set to play seven home T20Is in Lahore and Rawalpindi against England and New Zealand from 25 September to 14 October.