Shan Masood in, Fakhar Zaman benched as Pakistan’s T20 World Cup squad announced
Left-handed batter Shan Masood made the cut while underperforming Fakhar Zaman was excluded from Pakistan’s T20 World Cup squad, announced Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Selector Mohammad Wasim on Thursday.
Addressing a press conference in Lahore, Wasim announced the 15-member squad which sees the return of Pakistan’s pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi and bowler Mohammad Wasim junior, both of whom skipped the Asia Cup 2022 due to injuries.
A notable exception in the reserves was Sarfaraz Ahmed who was passed over for Mohammad Haris as the reserve wicketkeeper, along with Hasan Ali who was also not included in the squad at all. Shoaib Malik was also a notable missing presence.
Khushdil Shah, Iftikhar Ahmed and Asif Ali — who did not make a splash in the Asia Cup — made the cut. Fastbowler Shahnawaz Dahani, however, was placed in the reserves.
Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice captain), Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim jr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood and Usman Qadir.
The travel reserves include Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Haris (wicketkeeper) and Shahnawaz Dahani.
The World Cup will be played in Australia from October 16 to November 13.
The chief selector also announced the squad for the T20 international matches against England and said all players announced for the World Cup were part of the series line-up, except for Zaman and Afridi.
Wasim said Fakhar had also been rested from a T20 series against England so he could recover from the knee injury he sustained during the Asia Cup final.
He added that all-rounder Aamir Jamal and spinner Abrar Ahmed were also included in the squad for the T20 series against England.
“Along with Shan Masood, I want to congratulate Aamir Jamal and Abrar Ahmed on earning their maiden call-ups. Both Aamir and Abrar have been selected as we believe they have the skills, talent and potential to represent Pakistan at the highest level and I am hopeful that they will perform strongly.
“We have a team that can perform strongly in the 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,” Wasim said in a press release issued by the PCB.
He said the players selected in the squad had performed well since November 2021, prompting the national team to win nine out of its 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.”