Pakistan Cricket Board has announced the 15-member squad for the upcoming 20-20 World Cup in Australia starting 16th October. Their star pacer Shaheen Afridi has returned to the team after missing out from Asia Cup 2022.
Afridi was advised to rest for 4-6 weeks by the medical team following an injury to the right knee ligament. He had copped an injury while fielding during the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle in July. The most notable exclusion from the squad was the explosive batter Fakhar Zaman.
Veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik also couldn’t find a place in the team despite much buzz around his comeback. On the other hand, batter Shan Masood received a maiden call-up in the T2OI internationals on the back of a good run of form in the T20 Blast in England. He has played for Pakistan in Tests and ODIs, last representing them in the longest format in 2021.
Haider Ali has been given the opportunity ahead of Fakhar Zaman, who remains in the reserves after a poor 2022 with the bat. The left-hander has played seven T20Is this year, scoring just 96 runs and averaging 13.71.
Haider has played 21 T20Is for Pakistan, the last of them in December 2021. He has made three fifties and averages 23.88 in the format.
Commenting on the squad selection Chief selector Mohammad Wasim said, “We have a team that can perform strongly in 20-20 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.
“We needed to ensure continuity and support to these players, and that’s precisely what we have done. We are receiving encouraging reports about Shaheen Shah Afridi, who is likely to resume bowling early next month,” Wasim added.
Pakistan squad for the 20-20 World Cup:
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