Amidst the criticism surrounding their T20 World Cup squad, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) added former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, opener Fakhar Zaman and middle-order batter Haider Ali to their squad for the showpiece event. Meanwhile, all-rounder Khushdil Shah, wicketkeeper-batter Azam Khan and pacer Mohammad Hasnain have been left out. Shah, however, will travel to UAE as a travelling reserve. Chief selector Muhammad Wasim revealed the changes were made after considering the players' performance in the National T20 Cup.
“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 a wealth of experience and talent and provide further stability, balance and strength to the side.
“I am pleased with the intensity and high quality of cricket that we have witnessed in the National T20. It has not only provided the players excellent match practice in the lead up to the UAE competition, it has also given us the opportunity to closely monitor the player progress and then make decisions that are in the best interest of the side for what will be a cut-throat tournament,” added Wasim.
Wasim said the players who have been left out of the squad will get enough opportunities in future to prove themselves and put forth their contention for a spot in the T20 World Cup squad for the next World Cup in Australia in 2022. “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.
Squad: 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, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood.
Traveling reserves: Khushdil Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir.