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Friday June 14, 2024

PCB finally names 15-member T20 squad

Agha Salman and Irfan Khan Niazi — two budding cricketers — have missed the cut

By Abdul Mohi Shah
May 25, 2024
(From left to right) Pakistans Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi and skipper Babar Azam pose for a group photo. — PCB/File
(From left to right) Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi and skipper Babar Azam pose for a group photo. — PCB/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan cricket selectors preferred Mohammad Abbas Afridi over Agha Salman in naming a strong 15-member World Cup T20 squad following yet another meeting on the last day of the given ICC deadline.

Agha Salman and Irfan Khan Niazi the two budding cricketers have missed the cut as the seven-member selection committee held a combined meeting under the directions of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Mohsin Naqvi on Friday evening to decide the final squad for the mega event.

Pakistan squad announcement came on the last day of the given ICC deadline. The side was confirmed on Friday afternoon following a two-hour selection committee meeting in Birmingham, which was attended by Abdul Razzaq, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Bilal Afzal, Gary Kirsten, Mohammad Yousuf and Wahab Riaz. Razzaq, Asad and Bilal joined the deliberations through videoconference.

Of the 15 players, Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Saim Ayub and Usman Khan have been picked for their maiden T20 World Cup, while Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim last appeared in the 2016 and 2021 tournaments, respectively. The other eight players participated in the 2022 event in Australia. “This is an extremely talented and balanced side that has a mixture of youth and experience. These players have been playing together for some time and look well-prepared and settled for next month’s event. “Haris Rauf is fully fit and bowling well in the nets. It would have been nice if he had gotten an outing at Headingley, but we remain confident that he will continue to maintain an upward trajectory in the upcoming matches, as he will have an important role to play along with other strike bowlers in the T20 World Cup,” a PCB official said.

Pakistan’s 15 for World Cup T20: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Saim Ayub, Fakhar Zaman, Azam Khan, Iftikhar Ahmad, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan, Abrar Ahmad, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Abbas Afridi and Usman Khan. No reserves have been announced.

Pakistan’s schedule:

6 June – vs USA, Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium, Dallas

9 June – vs India, Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York

11 June – vs Canada, Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York

16 June – vs Ireland, Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium, Lauderhill, Florida

Pakistan has been seeded A2 in the first round and if they qualify for the second round, then their Super Eight matches will be as follows:

19 June – vs D1, Antigua

21 June – vs C2, Barbados

23 June – vs B1, Barbados