Pakistan have announced their final squad for the upcoming 2021 T20 World Cup, set to be played in UAE. Babar Azam will lead the 15-member squad, which also include star players like Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi. The Men in Green have had mixed results in the shortest format in recent times, having lost the bilateral series in England 1-2 before beating West Indies 1-0 at their home.
Notably, Pakistan have been placed in Group 2 for Super 12 Round, alongside the following teams:
- New Zealand
- Runner-up Group A (Qualifiers)
- Winner Group B (Qualifiers)
Among a few notable omissions, veteran players like Shoaib Malik and Sarfaraz Ahmed, who captained the Pakistan team in the 2007 and 2016 T20 World Cups respectively did not get a chance in the squad for the marquee event. Pakistan are set to begin their T20 World Cup campaign against India on October 24. Other than India, Pakistan will play New Zealand, Afghanistan and the other qualifying team in the group stages of the World Cup. Only two teams from this group will move to the semifinals and while India and New Zealand appear to be the stronger teams, Pakistan haven't been that poor in T20Is either.
While veterans like Malik have been axed, youngsters have been backed to do well for the team and have thus received a place in the World Cup squad. Former Pakistan wicketkeeper Moin Khan's son - Azam Khan - also finds a place in the team as a stumper. Moreover, the squad is set to remain the same across the T20I series against New Zealand and England at home which will also help them in preparing for the World Cup which the Men in Green haven't won since the 2009 edition.
Pakistan's squad for T20 World Cup
Babar Azam (C), Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Azam Khan, Mohammad Rizwan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Shah Afridi
Fakhar Zaman, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has set September 10 as the deadline for all countries to announce their teams for the T20 World Cup commencing on October 17. The event was originally slated to be held in India but was moved to the UAE owing to the Coronavirus crisis in India. Meanwhile, the qualifying matches of the event are set to be played at Oman.