On Thursday (September 15), the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced a 15-man squad for Babar Azam-led Men in Green’s upcoming T20 World Cup campaign, in Australia from October-November, and the home T20Is versus England, starting on September 20 at Karachi.
Shan Masood, uncapped in this format at the international level, was included in a bid to solve Pakistan’s middle-order woes in the run-up to the showpiece event and the left-hander will hope to make a mark instantly in the forthcoming England series. The rest of the squad primarily features the players who featured in the Asia Cup 2022 edition, where Babar & Co. ended as runners-up. Following the squad announcement by PCB chief selector Wasim Mohammad, former pacer Md Amir took a dig at Wasim.
Taking to Twitter, Amir wrote: “Chief selector ki cheap selection.” (Chief selector’s cheap selection)
The squad didn’t include the likes of experienced campaigners such as Shoaib Malik and Sarfaraz Ahmed. On the other hand, Shaheen Afridi and Fakhar Zaman — both in recovery mode from respective injury concerns — have been named in the main squad and reserves, respectively.
Speaking to the reporters after the squad announcement, PCB chief selector Wasim said, “We have a team that can perform strongly in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022. That’s why we have shown faith and confidence in almost the same set of players who have been part of the T20I squad post the 2021 World Cup in the UAE.”
“These players have performed well since November 2021, and that’s why we have won nine out of our last 13 T20Is. We have invested in these cricketers and it is fair to them that they get the opportunity to show their mettle in the World Cup, an event for which they have been preparing and training hard,” he added.
Pakistan will play seven T20Is at home versus England and then fly to New Zealand where they play a tri-series, involving the hosts and Bangladesh before departing for Australia for the T20 WC. In the last edition of the World Cup, Babar & Co. ended as semi-finalists after losing to eventual winners Australia.
Pakistan squad for T20 World Cup 2022: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan (vc), Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Usman Qadir
Reserves: Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Haris, Shahnawaz Dahani
Pakistan squad for England T20Is at home: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Aamir Jamal, Abrar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Naseem Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani, Shan Masood and Usman Qadir.