On Friday, 8 October, Pakistan announced changes to their 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup 2021 before the 10th October deadline set by the ICC. From the squad that was announced on 4 September, Pakistan’s National Selectors confirmed three changes.
The selectors included Sarfaraz Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, and Haider Ali into the main squad while leaving out Azam Khan, Mohammad Hasnain and relegating Khushdil Shah to the reserves players list. These changes were done after taking into consideration player performances and recent form in National T20.
Pakistan will take the decision on Sohaib Maqsood’s inclusion in the squad after medical advice as Maqsood had to undergo MRI scans for the lower back after a National T20 match against Northern on October 6.
Pakistan’s Chief selector Muhammad Wasim emphasized the current form of players in the domestic T20 tournament as a reason to bring changes in the squad in the hopes of stability and balance.
“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,” Wasim said.
“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.
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, but 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.
Pakistan is placed in Group 2 of the Super 12s round and will open its campaign against India on 24 October at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Three changes made in Pakistan's @T20WorldCup squad! Haider Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Fakhar Zaman included in the final 15.
More details: https://t.co/eZ9T7RGjfw#HarHaalMainCricket | #T20WorldCup pic.twitter.com/A9Z4MGsmE8
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) October 8, 2021
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.