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Sarfaraz returns as PCB announces three changes in T20 World Cup squad

Sarfaraz and Haider Ali have replaced Azam Khan and Hasnain. (Source: PCB)

LAHORE: Former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has returned to the national side as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced three changes in the national squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates from October 17 to November 14.

From the squad that was announced on September 4 and after taking into consideration player performances and form, the selectors have made three changes.

Wicket keeper-batter Sarfaraz Ahmed and top-order batter Haider Ali have replaced middle-order batter Azam Khan and pacer Mohammad Hasnain respectively, while opener Fakhar Zaman, who was originally named as a travel reserve, has swapped places with middle-order batter Khushdil Shah.

The decision on Sohaib Maqsood’s inclusion in the squad will be made following medical advice. The top-order batter underwent MRI scans for the lower back after the October 6 National T20 match against Northern and missed Thursday’s Punjab derby against Central Punjab.

Chief selector Muhammad Wasim said, “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.”

“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,” he added.

Pakistan’s 15-player squad:

  • Babar Azam (captain, Central Punjab)
  • Shadab Khan (vice-captain, Northern)
  • Asif Ali (Northern)
  • Fakhar Zaman (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
  • Haider Ali (Northern)
  • Haris Rauf (Northern)
  • Hasan Ali (Central Punjab)
  • Imad Wasim (Northern)
  • Mohammad Hafeez (Central Punjab)
  • Mohammad Nawaz (Northern)
  • Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
  • Mohammad Wasim Jnr (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
  • Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper, Sindh)
  • Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
  • Sohaib Maqsood (Southern Punjab)
  • Traveling reserves – Khushdil Shah (Southern Punjab), Shahnawaz Dahani (Sindh) and Usman Qadir (Central Punjab)

Schedule of Pakistan’s matches in T20 World Cup 2021:

  • 24 Oct – Pakistan v India, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
  • 26 Oct – Pakistan v New Zealand, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
  • 29 Oct – Pakistan v Afghanistan, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
  • 2 Nov – Pakistan v A2, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Sheikh Zayed International Cricket Stadium, Abdu Dhabi
  • 7 Nov – Pakistan v B1, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah