T20 World Cup: Fakhar, Sarfaraz, Haider in Pakistan’s squad

National selectors on Friday confirmed Pakistan’s 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. Pakistan is in Group 2 and will open their campaign against India on October 24 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

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

Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali have replaced Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain respectively, while Fakhar Zaman, who was originally named as a travel reserve, has swapped places with 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.

Pakistan’s 15-player squad (in alphabetical order):

>> 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)

Travelling reserves – Khushdil Shah (Southern 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), Cliffe Deacon (physiotherapist), Drikus Saaiman (strength and conditioning coach), Abdul Majeed (fielding coach), Talha Ejaz (team analyst), Col (retd) Muhammad Imran (Security Manager), Ibrahim Badees (media and digital manager), Dr Najeeb Soomro (team doctor) and Malang Ali (Masseur)

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 for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

“The three in-form players bring with them wealth of experience and talent, and provide further stability, balance and strength to the side.

“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, 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.”

Here is the schedule of Pakistan’s matches in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 (all matches to start at 1900 Pakistan time):

>> October 24 – Pakistan v India, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai

>> October 26 – Pakistan v New Zealand, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah

>> October 29 – Pakistan v Afghanistan, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai

>> November 2 – Pakistan v A2, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Sheikh Zayed International Cricket Stadium, Abdu Dhabi

>> November 7 –Pakistan v B1, ICC T20 WC (Group 2), Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah

This is the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 semi-final schedule:

>> November 10 – 1st semi-final, Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

>> November 11 – 2nd semi-final, Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai

>> November 14 – Final, Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai

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