Pakistan’s national selectors on Friday confirmed Pakistan’s squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, which will take place in the UAE and Oman from October 17 to November 14. From the squad announced on 4 September and keeping in mind the performance of the player and the form, the selectors have made three changes.
Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali replaced Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain, while Fakhar Zaman, which was originally designated as a travel reserve, has swapped places with Khushdil Shah. Saqlain Mushtaq has been made the interim head coach.
Three changes in Pakistan squad for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup
— PCB Media (@TheRealPCBMedia) 8 October 2021
“After reviewing the player’s performance 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.” Chief selector Muhammad Wasim said in a release from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
“The three in-form players bring with them a wealth of experience and talent, and provide further stability, balance and strength to the side.
“It will be tough to miss for Azam, Khushdil and Hasnain, but they still have a lot to do in their careers. They are in our future plans as there is a lot of cricket to be played after the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 and in Australia. In the lead up to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022,” she added.
Notably, netizens were quick to react to Sarfaraz’s inclusion in the team as they took to Twitter to welcome the former Pakistan captain in the team.
Here’s how fans reacted:
Celebrating joining with Sarfaraz Ahmed Sindh teammates is the best thing you will see today!
— Arslan Rafiq (@ArslanR70413271) 8 October 2021
the captain is back #Sarfaraz Ahmed
— Hasan Ali (@HasanAl42593665) 8 October 2021
— Bushra Irshad (@birshad99) 8 October 2021
the heat is back
I hope the team management will give him a chance in the playing XI from the first match.
He will prove to be a stronghold in the middle order, especially in the UAE conditions.#vidyousarfaraz#Sarfaraz Ahmed#T20World Cup #crickettwitter pic.twitter.com/VCDQy7KJCT
— Wamiq Ansari (@the_ansari_boy) 8 October 2021
Meanwhile, a decision on the inclusion of Soheb Maqsood in the team will be taken after medical advice. The top-order batsman underwent an MRI scan of his lower back after the national T20 match against North and missed the Punjab derby against Central Punjab on Thursday.
Pakistan are in Group 2 and will begin their campaign against India on 24 October at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. The group will also have Afghanistan, New Zealand and two qualifiers from Round 1.
Pakistan Squad: Babar Azam (Captain, Central Punjab), Shadab Khan (Vice-Captain, North), Asif Ali (North), Fakhar Zaman (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Haider Ali (North), Haris Rauf (North), Hasan Ali (Central Punjab) Imad Wasim (North), Mohammad Hafeez (Central Punjab), Mohammad Nawaz (North), Mohammad Rizwan (Wk, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Wasim Jr (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Sarfaraz Ahmed (Wk, Sindh), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber) Pakhtunkhwa), Sohaib Maqsood (South Punjab)
Travel Stores: Khushdil Shah (South Punjab), Shahnawaz Dahani (Sindh) and Usman Qadir (Central Punjab)
Player Support Personnel: Mansoor Rana (Manager), Saqlain Mushtaq (Interim Head Coach), Shahid Aslam (Assistant Head Coach), Matthew Hayden (Batting Consultant), Vernon Philander (Bowling Consultant), Cliff Deacon (Physiotherapist), Drikas Simon (Strength and Conditioning Coach) , Abdul Majeed (Fielding Coach), Talha Ejaz (Team Analyst), Col (Retd) Muhammad Imran (Security Manager), Ibrahim Badis (Media and Digital Manager), Dr Najeeb Soumro (Team Doctor) and Malang Ali (Masur).