Shahid Afridi Hints At Changes In Pakistan’s T20 World Cup 2021 Squad

Shahid Afridi Hints At Changes In Pakistan’s T20 World Cup 2021 Squad

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

Shahid Afridi claimed that some changes could be made to the Pakistan squad before the mega event began. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) came under fire after it announced the squad for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

The selections not only raised questions amongst the fans but were also criticized by former coaches and players. In an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, former all-rounder Shahid Afridi has stated that he was left in a state of confusion over the selection of some players.

Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP
Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs, and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP

Shahid Afridi Unsatisfied With Pakistan’s Selections For 2021 T20I World Cup

Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi is not satisfied with Pakistan’s selection choices for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021, scheduled to be played between October 17 to November 14 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. He stated that he does not understand why few match-winning players were left out, although he stated that given this is his nation’s team, he would back them to win nonetheless.

“I am definitely surprised by the selection. I don’t understand the selection of two to three players in the squad. I also don’t understand how we could have left a couple of names out of the squad either,” said Shahid Afridi.

Wahab Riaz. Image-Sky Sports
Wahab Riaz. Image-Sky Sports

“I have received some information and PCB is very likely to announce another squad for the upcoming World Cup with some changes,” he added.

It is worth pointing out that all cricketing boards participating in T20 World Cup are allowed to make a few changes to their initial squad till October 10, as previously pointed out by PCB Chief Selector Mohammad Wasim.

“Under special circumstances and in exceptional cases, we can make the necessary changes if required,” said Wasim.

All the teams have time until October 10 to finalize their squad, which could mean certain inclusions and exclusions from the Pakistan team, who have key players including Fakhar Zaman, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, and Shoaib Malik missing out from the 15-member squad.

Shahid Afridi Doesn’t Think Matthew Hayden And Vernon Philander Are Going To Have An Impact

Shahid Afridi also claimed that irrespective of the team selection, he is going to fully stand behind them once they depart for the mega-event which begins on October 17, 2021.

When asked about the changes made in the coaching department, Afridi remarked: “I don’t think Matthew Hayden and Vernon Philander are going to make much of an impact due to shortage of time. If they [Misbahul Haq and Waqar Younis] resigned on their own then they have seriously hurt the Pakistan cricket team and should definitely have waited till the World Cup was over.”

Newly-elected PCB chairman Ramiz Raja recently announced Vernon Philander and Matthew Hayden’s appointments as coaching consultants for the T20 World Cup.

Pakistan former coaching unit - comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis
Pakistan former coaching unit – comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)

Pakistan will start their 2021 ICC Men’s World Cup campaign with a match against their fierce rivals India on October 24, 2021.  Notably, Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis resigned the same day Pakistan Cricket Board announced the 15-member T20 World Cup squad. Later, pacer Mohammad Amir came out of retirement following the coaches’ resignment as he had differences with the duo.

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