The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday announced the side’s 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, scheduled to take place in October-November in Australia. While Shaheen Afridi – who was forced to miss the Asia Cup due to a knee injury – returned to the squad, Shoaib Malik continued to remain absent. Among pacers, Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf and Mohammad Wasim Jr. are a part of the squad.
However, the selection didn’t go down quite well with one of Pakistan’s leading former bowlers – Mohammad Amir. The left-arm fast bowler had retired from international cricket in December 2020; however, a month later, he tweeted that he would be available for Pakistan once the then-management left the side. Amir is yet to return to the Pakistan side since.
Following the announcement of the T20 World Cup squad, Amir let his disagreement known on his official Twitter profile. “chief selector ki cheap selection,” Amir wrote, taking a dig at Muhammad Wasim.
However, a majority of Pakistan fans were not too happy with Amir’s tweet:
Meanwhile, opener Fakhar Zaman also missed out on a place in the T20 World Cup squad after he damaged his knee while fielding during the Asia Cup final last Sunday against Sri Lanka. Fakhar, however, has been named as one of the three standbys.
The selectors kept faith in the middle order that lost the Asia Cup final to Sri Lanka by 23 runs: Khushdil Shah, Iftikhar Ahmed and Asif Ali.
“We have won nine out of our last 13 T20s,” Wasim said. “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.”
Two top performers from domestic cricket, allrounder Aamir Jamal and mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed, were in the squad for the home series against England after Fakhar and Afridi were ruled out due to injuries.
Pakistan is grouped with India, South Africa, Bangladesh and two qualifiers in the T20 World Cup. Pakistan take on India in the opening game on October 23 at Melbourne.