Babar Azam Age, Biography, career, stats, networth, Ranking & News

Babar Azam

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
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Pakistan Squad, Schedule, Date, Time, And Venue For ICC T20 World Cup 2021

Pakistan will kickstart their ICC T20I World Cup 2021 campaign against arch-rivals India in Dubai on 24 October.  They will then face New Zealand in Sharjah on 26 October before returning to Dubai to take on Afghanistan. Their last two matches in the Super 12 stages will see them face runners-up of Group A and table-toppers of Group B from Round 1 in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah respectively.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021 will start from 17th October immediately after the conclusion of IPL’s UAE leg. The marquee tournament is scheduled to begin on 17 October and the summit clash will take place on 14 November. Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board has named the balanced 15-member squad which will be competing in the marquee T20 World Cup tournament.

Pakistan cricketers
Pakistan cricketers (Image Credit: Twitter)

Pakistan’s Negatives In Squad Of ICC T20 World Cup 2021

Pakistan chose youth over experience for the backup wicketkeeper spot with the inclusion of Azam Khan over Sarfaraz Ahmed. Azam Khan has featured in only three T20Is in his career and has aggregated only six runs in two innings but his exploits in domestic T20 competitions have helped him seal a berth in the ICC T20I World Cup 2021 squad.

Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters
Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters

Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah were among the surprise inclusions in the squad for the ICC T20I World Cup 2021 World Cup, having last played a T20I for Pakistan earlier this year against Zimbabwe and South Africa respectively.

Pakistan named a 15-member squad and 3 stand-by players for their campaign in the UAE on Monday. Senior members keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed and Wahab Riaz did not find a place while the likes of fresh faces Azam Khan, Asif Ali, and Khushdil Shah made it to the squad.

There are a few surprises in the squad as veteran players like Shoaib Malik and Sarfaraz Ahmed, who captained Pakistan in 2007 and 2016 T20 WCs respectively, did not get a chance in the squad. Aggressive opener Fakhar Zaman and leg-spinner Usman Qadir were not picked in the 15-man squad but the two players along with Shahnawaz Dahani were picked as reserves.

Pakistan’s Positives In Squad Of ICC T20 World Cup 2021

The two biggest positives for Pakistan are the red hot form of wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan and captain Babar Azam. Notably, Babar Azam is placed in the number 2 spot in ICC T20I batsman rankings also Mohammad Rizwan is at 7th place. Mohammad Rizwan is in form of his life in T20I format, He is having an average of 94.00 in the 17 games he has played in 2021 and has already smashed 752 runs.

On the bowling side of things, youngster Shaheen Afridi will be the biggest factor. Notably, Pakistan has won 4 out of the last 5 T20I series they have played.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

So far Pakistan has won one T20 World Cup trophy back in 2009 by defeating Sri Lanka by 8 wickets at the Home of cricket Lord’s Cricket Ground, London. They will have an eye on winning the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Pakistan Squad For ICC T20 World Cup 2021

Babar Azam (C), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Azam Khan, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim,Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood, Traveling reserves – Fakhar Zaman , Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir

Pakistan’s Complete Schedule Against The Following Teams:-

October 24: India 7:30 pm Dubai

October 26: New Zealand 7:30 pm Sharjah

October 29: Afghanistan  – 7:30 pm Dubai

November 2: Runner Up of Group A (A2) – 7:30 pm Abu Dhabi

November 7: Winner of Group B (B1) – 7:30 pm Sharjah

Vernon Philander Getty Images (File Photo)
Vernon Philander Getty Images (File Photo)
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Vernon Philander Looking Forward To Start His Coaching Stint With Pakistan In T20I World Cup 2021

Vernon Philander, a former South African seamer is looking forward to starting his coaching stint with Pakistan. Newly-elected PCB chairman Ramiz Raja recently announced Vernon Philander and Matthew Hayden’s appointments as coaching consultants for the T20 World Cup.

Vernon Philander and Matthew Hayden will join the coaching staff only for the upcoming showpiece event. There was some uncertainty surrounding the Pakistan cricket team after Misbah-Ul-Haq and Waqar Younis resigned from their coaching roles.

Matthew Hayden and Vernon Philander
Matthew Hayden and Vernon Philander have been appointed as Pakistan’s coaches for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Vernon Philander Couldn’t Turn Down Opportunity To Join Pakistan Team Even Though He Has No Formal Coaching Experience

“Ramiz obviously called me up and asked if I was interested in joining the Pakistan team. It is a huge opportunity, which I couldn’t turn down. It’s also really exciting to work with a group of skillful youngsters. Mohammad Hasnain is a really talented young bowler, and of course, there’s the big guy Shaheen Shah Afridi. I saw quite a bit of them during the recent series against South Africa and I am really excited to be working with them.”

Vernon Philander, South Africa
Vernon Philander [Image-Getty]

Vernon Philander was one of the most successful new-ball bowlers for South Africa in Test cricket. He retired from internationals in 2020 after taking 224 Test wickets in 64 matches at 22.32 apiece. However, the veteran has played only seven T20Is and 123 T20 games, the last of which was in December of 2019.

Vernon Philander, who called time on his International career in early 2020 following the home Test series against England, is the fastest to take 50 and 100 Tests wickets in South African history. Having played a total of 64 Tests, the ‘Big Vern’ finished with 224 wickets at an average of 22.32. He picked 41 scalps in 30 ODIs at an average of 24.04 and 4 scalps in 7 T20Is averaging 28.5.

 Vernon Philander Thinks He Can Add Value In Bringing Consistency To Young Pakistan Attack

Vernon Philander said he hopes to inject some discipline and consistency into Pakistan’s inexperienced bowling attack. The former Proteas cricketer believes wanting to express themselves by playing freely is what makes Pakistan an exciting outfit.

“It’s international cricket. There is always pressure, no matter which team you are a part of. I would like to think that I can add value in terms of bringing some form of consistency to this young attack. They are an exciting group and they also want to head in a direction where they play an attacking brand of cricket which is exciting to be a part of.”

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

Pakistan is currently preparing for the white-ball series against England and New Zealand at home. Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq will serve as their interim coaches of the team. Led by Babar Azam, the 2009 champions will open their World T20 campaign against India in Dubai on October 24.

Pakistan national cricket team is placed in Group B of the T20 World Cup 2021 alongside teams like New Zealand, Afghanistan, and India. Notably, they will start their campaign facing arch-rivals India national cricket team that will be led by Virat Kohli, on 24 October 2021.

On the bowling side of things, youngster Shaheen Shah Afridi will be the biggest factor. Notably, Pakistan has won 4 out of the last 5 T20I series they have played. So far Pakistan has won one T20 World Cup trophy back in 2009 by defeating Sri Lanka by 8 wickets at Lord’s, London.

They will have an eye on winning the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 in United Arab Emirates (UAE). Meanwhile, before heading into the World Cup they will be facing New Zealand and England in the white ball series.

Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP
Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP
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It’s Not An Ideal Situation For Pakistan After Resignation From Misbah-ul-Haq And Waqar Younis Before T20I World Cup: Shadab Khan

Shadab Khan, Pakistan’s white-ball vice-captain admits the situation arising out of the sudden resignation of head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis was not ideal but the team was trying to shun any negative thoughts as important events are coming up.
The Pakistan Cricket Board on Monday announced that Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis have resigned and that former Pakistan Test players, Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq would be interim coaches for the time being.
Pakistan coaching unit - comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)
Pakistan coaching unit – comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)

Shadab Khan: It’s Not An Ideal Situation For Pakistan As Two Coaches Step Down Before T20I World Cup

The Pakistan Cricket Board on Monday announced that Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis have resigned and that former Pakistan Test players, Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq would be interim coaches for the time being.

The sudden changes coincide with the induction of former Test captain Ramiz Raja as the new PCB chairman on September 13. Ramiz Raja on his YouTube channel and as a commentator and analyst has maintained that he does not believe Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis are the best coaches for the Pakistan team.

“I can’t comment on their decision but yes we as a team are trying to ensure that no negativity creeps into our camp because of recent happenings because it is not an ideal situation for us,” Shadab Khan said.

“Our focus is on doing the things that are in our control in the right manner. We don’t want to think about the what-ifs of the situation. With the T20 World Cup approaching, our focus is to prepare ourselves for it,” said the 22-year-old Shadab Khan.

Shadab Khan (File Photo)
Shadab Khan (File Photo)

Pakistan host New Zealand in a limited-overs series of three ODIs and five T20Is beginning on September 17 and then heads to the T20 World Cup beginning in the UAE from October 17. Shadab Khan said there’s no guarantee of success in international cricket.

“Look, we can do our best to prepare for a situation but there is no guarantee about success or failure. It is the same with every team,” said the seasoned all-rounder, who is deputy to Babar Azam.

“We are trying to play modern-day cricket and be aggressive and selfless in our approach to the game but we will also face failures in this and I think we need to accept that.”
Shadab Khan praised Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, saying that he had always backed the national squad. Speaking about the transformation needed in the Pakistan squad, the vice-captain said it wouldn’t be an issue as “aggression is on our DNA.”

Shadab Khan: It Would Have Been Good If New Zealand Had Sent Their Full Strength Squad To Pakistan

Shadab Khan, a member of the Pakistan squad that won the Champions Trophy in 2017, said it would have been good if New Zealand had sent their full-strength squad to Pakistan for the upcoming three ODI and five T20I series as it would have meant more competitive cricket going into the T20 World Cup.

“But what we have to realize is that this is their national team and it has eight to nine players who have played for them in ODI cricket and even T20 matches and we are not going to underestimate them at all. That would be a mistake.”

New Zealand batsman Tom Latham acknowledges the crowd after reaching his century (Photo: AFP)
New Zealand batsman Tom Latham acknowledges the crowd after reaching his century (Photo: AFP)
Tom Latham will lead New Zealand in the absence of Kane Williamson on their white-ball tours of Pakistan and Bangladesh starting September. The opener will stand in as leader on both tours across white-ball formats. Several first-team players, including Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, and Lockie Ferguson will be unavailable owing to their involvement in the IPL, which clashes with part of the tour.
Bangladesh won 3 T20Is while New Zealand won a solitary T20I. The 5th T20I will be played on 10th September.
Squad for Bangladesh T20Is and Pakistan ODIs: Tom Latham (capt, wk), Finn Allen, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell (wk), Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry (ODI only), Scott Kuggeleijn, Cole McConchie, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Ben Sears (T20 only), Blair Tickner, Will Young.
Squad for Pakistan T20Is: Tom Latham (capt, wk), Finn Allen, Todd Astle, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell (wk), Mark Chapman, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Ajaz Patel, Ish Sodhi, Ben Sears, Blair Tickner, Will Young.
Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)
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Wasim Khan Issues Statement Denying Any Rifts Between Babar Azam And PCB

Wasim Khan, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) CEO issued an official statement in which he denied any rifts between team skipper Babar Azam and the Board over the selection of the squad for ICC T20 World Cup 2021. PCB announced a 15-man squad for the forthcoming ICC event a few days ago. Some reports alleged that Pakistan skipper Babar Azam is unhappy with the team selection.

The reports had also alleged that Babar Azam was not taken into confidence as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selection committee picked the team for T20 World Cup. According to reports, Babar Azam wanted to pick openers Sharjeel Khan and Fakhar Zaman, all-rounder Faheem Ashraf and leg-spinner Usman Qadir in the squad but in-line PCB chairman Ramiz Raja did not agree.

Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
Wasim Khan (Getty Images)

Wasim Khan:  Babar Azam Is Fully Behind The Decision Of Picking Squad For T20I World Cup

However, PCB CEO Wasim Khan has ruled out any dispute between Babar Azam and the board over the selection of the squad for T20 World Cup 2021. Wasim Khan mentioned that Babar Azam is fully behind the decision of picking the squad for the T20I World Cup 2021.

“It has come to our notice that factually incorrect reports are circulating about the Pakistan national squad environment. The squad for the upcoming international assignments has been announced and our captain Babar Azam is fully behind the direction that is being taken”, the statement issued by Wasim Khan said.

Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“On Tuesday afternoon, some of the players had a healthy and positive meeting with former Pakistan captain and member of the PCB Board of Governors, Mr Ramiz Raja, in which there was a consensus on the brand of cricket that needs to be played in the upcoming series and beyond.

“It is important that collectively we get firmly behind the squad so that they have the stability, backing and focus they need prior to going into the ICC T20 World Cup next month,” the statement of Wasim Khan further read.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021 is slated to begin on October 17. Before the tournament, Pakistan will host New Zealand and England for limited-over series. Recently, Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis stepped down from their positions. Abdul Razzaq and Saqlain Mushtaq have been appointed as the interim coaches for the Pakistan team, who will guide the squad for the upcoming New Zealand series.

Pakistan Named A 15 Member Squad And 3 Standby Players For T20I World Cup Omitting Shoaib Malik, Faheem Ashraf, And Sarfaraz Ahmed

Pakistan named a 15-member squad and 3 stand-by players for their campaign in the UAE on Monday. Sarfaraz Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, and Faheem Ashraf were notable omissions from the Babar Azam-led side.

Pakistan on Monday named a 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup and the home T20I series against New Zealand and England. Senior members Sarfaraz Ahmed and Wahab Riaz did not find a place while the likes of fresh faces Azam Khan, Asif Ali, and Khushdil Shah made it to the squad.

Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters
Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters

Aggressive opener Fakhar Zaman and leg-spinner Usman Qadir were not picked in the 15-man squad but the two players along with Shahnawaz Dahani were picked as reserves for the T20 World Cup, starting October 17 in the UAE. Babar Azam will lead the 15-man squad which will also not have senior all-rounder Shoaib Malik.

Pakistan squad for ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Azam Khan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Afridi.

Reserves: Fakhar Zaman, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
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Pakistan Named A 15 Men Squad And 3 Stand-Bys For 2021 T20I World Cup

Pakistan named a 15-member squad and 3 stand-by players for their campaign in the UAE on Monday. Sarfaraz Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, and Faheem Ashraf were notable omissions from the Babar Azam-led side.

Pakistan on Monday named a 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup and the home T20I series against New Zealand and England. Senior members Sarfaraz Ahmed and Wahab Riaz did not find a place while the likes of fresh faces Azam Khan, Asif Ali, and Khushdil Shah made it to the squad.

 Pakistan's Babar Azam will lead Pakistan's 15-man squad at T20 World Cup (Reuters Photo)
Pakistan’s Babar Azam will lead Pakistan’s 15-man squad at T20 World Cup (Reuters Photo)

Pakistan Named A 15 Men Squad Along With 3 Standbys For T20I World Cup

Aggressive opener Fakhar Zaman and leg-spinner Usman Qadir were not picked in the 15-man squad but the two players along with Shahnawaz Dahani were picked as reserves for the T20 World Cup, starting October 17 in the UAE. Babar Azam will lead the 15-man squad which will also not have senior all-rounder Shoaib Malik.
Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez
Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez Photo: AFP
However, Mohammad Hafeez has been picked following a string of consistent performances. Mohammad Rizwan will continue to be the first choice wicketkeeper while big-hitter Azam Khan has been picked ahead of Sarfaraz Ahmed, their Champions Trophy-winning former captain, as the back-up wicketkeeper. All-rounder Faheem Ashraf and batsman Sharjeel Khan were also not picked in the main squad.
The veteran cricketer Shoaib Malik is missing from the squad having not played for Pakistan in the format since September 2020.  There are a few surprises in the squad as veteran players like Shoaib Malik and Sarfaraz Ahmed, who captained Pakistan in 2007 and 2016 T20 WCs respectively, did not get a chance in the squad.

Azam Khan And Mohammad Wasim Junior Preferred Over Sarfaraz Ahmed And Faheem Ashraf Respectively

The seven home T20Is (against England and New Zealand) in Lahore and Rawalpindi will be played from 25 September to 14 October, while Pakistan will proceed to take on India in a battle of former champions in their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup opener in Dubai on 24 October.

“Azam Khan is an aggressive and attacking batter who also keeps wickets, a combination that has earned him the selectors’ nod ahead of Sarfaraz Ahmed,” Chief Selector Muhammad Wasim said after announcing the squad on Monday.

“Mohammad Wasim Junior has been preferred over Faheem Ashraf due to his pace and ability to hit big shots. Wasim will bolster the fast bowling unit, which comprises Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Hasnain and Shaheen Shah Afridi.”

Pakistan will proceed to take on India in ICC Men's T20 World Cup opener in Dubai on 24 October.
Pakistan will proceed to take on India in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup opener in Dubai on 24 October. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“Fakhar Zaman, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir were unlucky to miss out on the selections. Sohaib Maqsood’s ability to bat and perform anywhere in the top-order has given him an edge over Fakhar, while the presence of three experienced spinners, who are also capable batters, and five genuine wicket-taking fast bowlers made it difficult for Usman Qadir to get into the side.”

Azam Khan has been impressive in the PSL off late and also made his debut for Pakistan on England tour earlier this year. The same squad will face New Zealand and England in the upcoming bilateral series at home. Pakistan has been drawn alongside India in Group 2 in the Super 12 stages of the T20 World Cup along with New Zealand and Afghanistan.

Pakistan squad for T20 World Cup in the UAE: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Azam Khan, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Wasim, Shaheen Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood.

Reserves: Fakhar Zaman, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir.

Pakistan’s Schedule Of Matches In T20I World Cup

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

Pakistan coaching unit - comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)
Pakistan coaching unit - comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)
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Misbah-ul-Haq And Waqar Younis Step Down As Pakistan Coaches Before 2021 T20I WC

Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis have stepped down from their positions as head coach and bowling coach of the national men’s team respectively.
Misbah-ul-Haq cited spending “considerable time away from my family in a bio-secure environment” as the reason for his decision. Waqar Younis said that since he and Misbah-ul-Haq had walked into the roles together, it made sense to also “step down together”.
Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP
Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP

Misbah-ul-Haq And Waqar Younis Steps Down From Positions Of Head Coach And Bowling Coach Respectively

With New Zealand scheduled to arrive in Pakistan for a white-ball series later this month, the PCB has appointed Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq as interim coaches of the team.  Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis communicated their decisions to the PCB on Monday morning, around the time the squads for the upcoming series against New Zealand as well as England at home and then the T20 World Cup were made public.
The coaches had been appointed to their positions in September 2019, and still had a year left in their contracts. Misbah-ul-Haq was initially also appointed as a chief selector with his head coach position in 2019 but had resigned last year from the selection job citing a heavy workload.
“The quarantine in Jamaica post the West Indies series provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the past 24 months as well as the schedule for international cricket ahead,” Misbah said in a statement issued by the PCB.
“Considering that I would have had to continue to spend considerable time away from my family and that too in a bio-secure environment, I have decided to step down from the role.” 
Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)
“I understand that the timing may not be ideal but I don’t think I am in the right frame of mind for the upcoming challenges and it makes sense for someone fresh to step in and take the side forward. The past 24 months have been thoroughly enjoyable and I want to thank my team and the management for their support. I wish the Pakistan cricket team best of luck in the upcoming events and will continue to support them every time they will take the field to represent Pakistan.”
Pakistan announced a 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup on Monday. While Babar Azam was named captain, the likes of Fakhar Zaman, Wahab Riaz, Shoaib Malik, Faheem Ashraf, and Sarfaraz Ahmed were notable omissions.

Waqar Younis Quits Since He Felt It Was The Appropriate Moment As Misbah-ul-Haq Quit Earlier Citing Bio Bubble Fatigue

Waqar Younis called his decision “straightforward” once he knew what Misbah-ul-Haq was thinking.
“After Misbah shared with me his decision and future plans, it was a straightforward one for me to resign as we had walked into the roles together, had worked collectively as a pair and now also step down together,” he said. “Working with the Pakistan bowlers, including the youngsters, has been most satisfying as they have now started to show progress. Bio-secure environments in the past 16 months have had their impact, something we had never experienced during our playing days.”
Waqar Younis, left, said that after Misbah-ul-Haq, right, shared with him his decision and future plans, it was a straightforward decision for him to resign. File Photo
Waqar Younis- left, said that after Misbah-ul-Haq- right, shared with him his decision and future plans, it was a straightforward decision for him to resign. File Photo
“The next eight months will be busy and exciting for the Pakistan team and, like in the past, I will continue to back and cheer them. I want to thank each and every member of the Pakistan cricket team set-up as we stayed united in good and bad days, and hope there will be brighter days ahead.”

Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq conceded that the timing of his decision is not right but stressed he is not in the right frame of mind for the upcoming challenges. Bowling coach Waqar Younis also stepped down with just a month to go for the T20 World Cup. Pakistan had a poor limited-overs stint against England as Misbah-ul-Haq’s coaching tenure came under scrutiny. Without the senior players being available, the England side won both the ODI and T20 series against the men in green.

Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP
Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP
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Misbah-ul-Haq Set To Return To Pakistan After Recovering From Covid-19

Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s Head Coach is set to return home, from Jamaica, on Sunday after recovering from Covid-19. Misbah-ul-Haq had tested positive on August 25 and consequently did not depart for Lahore with his side, after completing the tour of the West Indies.

As per the protocols, he underwent a 10-day quarantine in Jamaica. According to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Misbah-ul-Haq has now tested negative for the virus and will reach Lahore on Sunday morning. It must be noted that Misbah-ul-Haq was the only Pakistan squad member who failed two pre-departure PCR tests.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). (Photo: Twitter)
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). (Photo: Twitter)

Misbah-ul-Haq Likely To Continue As Head Coach Of Pakistan After Rain Marred T20I Series Win Against Windies

Misbah-ul-Haq’s tenure as head coach of the national cricket team is likely to continue through the upcoming T20 World Cup after Pakistan emerged victorious in the rain-hit T20I series against West Indies. Pakistan claimed the four-match T20 series 1-0 after the fourth and final game ended in no result on Tuesday following rain. Misbah-ul-Haq played 75 tests, 162 ODIs, and 39 T20 internationals in his international career.

Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Misbah-ul-Haq has a three-year contract with the PCB and will complete two years of the contract in the upcoming T20 World Cup. Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq who was on the verge of being replaced ahead of the T20 World Cup is now likely to stay after the series win against West Indies. The Babar Azam-led side managed to pull off a rain-hit four-match T20I series 1-0 against the West Indies side.

Pakistan had a poor limited-overs stint against England as Misbah-ul-Haq’s coaching tenure came under scrutiny. Without the senior players being available, the England side won both the ODI and T20 series against the men in green and it doubted the whole team management to go ahead with the T20 World cup coming up.

Pakistan Announce 20 Member Squad For ODIs Against New Zealand Including 4 Uncapped Cricketers

Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Haris, pacers Mohammad Wasim and Shahnawaz Dahani, and legspinner Zahid Mahmood are the uncapped players in the 20-member squad announced by the Pakistan selectors for the upcoming ODI series against New Zealand.

Zahid Mahmood is one of the four uncapped player in the 20-man list.
Zahid Mahmood is one of the four uncapped players on the 20-man list. © Getty

Iftikhar Ahmed and Khushdil Shah – both of whom last featured in the ODI against Zimbabwe on November 3, 2020 – have been recalled for the three ODIs which will be played on September 17, 19, and 21 in Rawalpindi. Meanwhile, Haris Sohail, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed, and Sohaib Maqsood, who were all part of the squad for the ODI series against England in July, have been left out for the New Zealand ODIs, which are part of the ICC World Cup Super League.

Squad: Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Saud Shakeel, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir and Zahid Mahmood.

Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League
Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League
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Shahid Afridi May Retire After PSL 2022

Shahid Afridi looks set to finally call time on his playing career, strongly suggesting next year’s season at the Pakistan Super League will be his last.
Shahid Afridi, who is currently with Multan Sultans and spent two seasons at Peshawar Zalmi and one at Karachi Kings, expressed a desire to represent a fourth franchise, Quetta Gladiators, in his final season.
Shahid Afridi suggested he may finally call it a day AFP/Getty Images
Shahid Afridi suggested he may finally call it a day AFP/Getty Images

Shahid Afridi Last Played For Pakistan More Than 5 Years Ago But Has Continued To Play In The PSL Since Its Inception

Shahid Afridi last played international cricket for Pakistan more than five years ago in 2016 but has continued to take part in the PSL ever since its inception well into his forties.  In his international career, he scored 11,196 runs with 11 centuries and 51 half-centuries. He also picked up 541 wickets at the highest level with 10 five-wicket hauls.
“Maybe this ends up being my last PSL,” Shahid Afridi told reporters. “I would like to play for Quetta Gladiators this season, provided Multan allows me to leave. If Nadeem Omar and Quetta’s owners want to have me, I would love to represent them.”
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

He captained Peshawar Zalmi in the first season and was part of the team that won the title the following year. His current franchise, Multan Sultans, are the defending champions, having beaten Peshawar Zalmi in the final in June. Shahid Afridi played a part in the first half of this year’s edition before missing the UAE leg with a back injury.

Shahid Afridi, however, who played four times for Multan Sultans during the Karachi leg of the tournament, wasn’t available for the UAE leg after suffering the injury during training. Shahid Afridi retired from international cricket back in 2016 but continued to play league cricket mostly in Pakistan.

He has won the PSL with Peshawar Zalmi in his second season at the franchise, and also played a minor role for the Multan Sultans when they won the trophy last year.

Shahid Afridi Has Been One Of The Most Successful All-rounders In PSL

In case Shahid Afridi retires next season, he would walk away from the Pakistan Super League as one of its most successful all-rounders. To date, Shahid Afridi has 44 wickets in 50 Pakistan Super League games at an economy rate of 6.97. That places him eighth on the all-time list; no one who has taken more wickets and conceded fewer than seven runs per over.

While he has been relatively less successful with the bat, he has still had an impact. His 465 runs have come at a strike rate of 153.46 – only Kieron Pollard (166.24), Luke Ronchi (166.12), and Asif Ali (164.29) top that for those with at least 30 innings. Babar Azam tops the list of highest run-getters with 2070 runs in 58 PSL matches. Kamran Akmal with 1820 runs is 2nd on the list.

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

Amongst bowlers, Wahab Riaz tops the list with 94 wickets while the likes of Hasan Ali -72 scalps, Faheem Ashraf, and Mohammed Nawaz-55 scalps each, Mohammed Amir-54 scalps, Sohail Tanvir-53 scalps, and Shaheen Shah Afridi-50 scalps are amongst bowlers with 50 or more wickets in the PSL.

The 2022 Pakistan Super League will take place in January and February after it was moved to an earlier window to avoid a clash with the Indian Premier League and squeeze in a tour by Australia.

Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
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Ramiz Raja All Set To Be The New Chairman Of Pakistan Cricket Board

Ramiz Raja is all set to be the new chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The decision follows a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, who gave the go-ahead for the change of guard at the PCB. Ramiz Raja will replace Ehsan Mani once the succession process is complete.

Both Ramiz Raja and Ehsan Mani met the Prime Minister on Monday (August 23) afternoon. After the meeting Ramiz Raja, a former Pakistan captain said that he had given Imran Khan his plans and the PM will make a call and decided to wait to hear from the PM’s office. Eventually, the decision was made three days later.

Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja will meet with Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan today to discuss his probable appointment as chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after Ehsan Mani's tenure ends.
Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja met with Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan to discuss his probable appointment as chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after Ehsan Mani’s tenure ends.

Ramiz Raja All Set To Be the New Chairman Of The Pakistan Cricket Board

Ramiz Raja confirmed that he has accepted the job as an official of the PCB confirmed that Ehsan Mani was no longer chairman of the board as his tenure ended on August 25.

“The aim is to reset Pakistan cricket’s GPS and will be in pursuit of excellence,” Raja, who was also a Chief Executive Officer of PCB said on Thursday (August 26).

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

Meanwhile, Imran Khan is understood to have asked Ehsan Mani – whose three-year term ended on Wednesday – to ensure a smooth transition of power. Ramiz Raja, a member of the 1992 World Cup-winning Pakistan team under Imran Khan’s leadership, has played 57 Tests and 198 ODIs from which he scored a total of 8674 international runs with 53 fifties and 11 hundred.

Ehsan Mani, 76 Years Old, Is Seen As Too Old For The Job As Chairman

Ehsan Mani (76), an experienced hand in cricket administration, both at the PCB and the International Cricket Council (ICC), was seen as too old for the job, which necessitated high amounts of energy, particularly at the ICC forum, where the PCB is left with very few friends.
Also, Ehsan Mani’s constant posturing against the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), a powerful body at the ICC, did not leave him with too many friends in India. On the other hand, Ramiz Raja has no shortage of friends in India, which is an advantage for him.
Sourav Ganguly (Source: File Photo)
Sourav Ganguly (Source: File Photo)

However, Ramiz Raja’s appointment will entail a bit of a process. His name first will be forwarded to the Board of Governors of the PCB, being one of the two nominees. Following this, there could be an election if another BoG member wants to contest, but normally, a PM’s nominee is unlikely to meet any resistance.

When nominated by Imran Khan three years ago, Ehsan Mani was elected unopposed. In the same way, Ramiz Raja should find his way to the top position. The second member to be nominated by the Prime Minister is believed to be a noted businessman – Asad Ali Khan. There are seven on the BOG currently – four independent directors, CEO (Wasim Khan), and two nominees of the Prime Minister.

Ramiz Raja is a former chief executive of the PCB and had been in the hot seat when India’s revival tour of Pakistan took place in 2004. Shahryar Khan had been the chairman then. It will be the first time that two former captains are in charge of India and Pakistan’s cricket boards. Sourav Ganguly has been BCCI president since October 2019.

New Zealand and England are slated to tour Pakistan later this year. Ramiz Raja had said that the Babar Azam-led Pakistan side remains highly inconsistent and their ranking in all three formats reflects that they cannot make it to the finals of major tournaments.

Shaheen Afridi celebrates after taking a wicket (L) and Fawad Alam acknowledges the crowd after scoring a century. Photo: AFP
Shaheen Afridi celebrates after taking a wicket (L) and Fawad Alam acknowledges the crowd after scoring a century. Photo: AFP
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Fawad Alam And Shaheen Shah Afridi Achieved Career-Best Positions In ICC Test Player Rankings

Fawad Alam, a left-handed batsman and left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi have achieved career-best positions in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings after helping Pakistan win the second Test against the West Indies in Kingston to draw their two-match ICC World Test Championship series 1-1.

Fawad Alam’s unbeaten 124 in the first innings has helped him shoot up 34 places to 21st position. Shaheen Shah Afridi has gained 10 slots to reach the eighth position after a 10-wicket match haul that helped seal a 109-run victory and won him the Player of the Match award.

Fawad Alam (Photo-Twitter)
Fawad Alam (Photo-Twitter)

Fawad Alam, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan Gain Positions In ICC Test Ratings

Fawad Alam, who has struck four centuries since his return to Test cricket in August last year, had a previous best of 47th position attained in May this year while Shaheen Shah Afridi’s 18th position before this Test was his highest.

Shaheen Shah Afridi, who also finished as the Player of the Series with 18 wickets, had started the series in 22nd position. Shaheen Shah Afridi claimed 4-43 to add to his career-best figures of 6-51 in the first innings as West Indies were dismissed for 219 on the last day to give Pakistan victory by 109 runs.

Shaheen Shah Afridi returned 6 for 51 in 1st innings to help bowl West Indies for 150.© AFP
Shaheen Shah Afridi returned 6 for 51 in 1st innings to help bowl West Indies for 150.© AFP

Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, the two Pakistan players ahead of Fawad Alam in the batters’ list, have also gained.  Babar Azam’s scores of 75 and 33 have helped him advance one slot to the seventh position, two below his career-best fifth position in August last year, while Mohammad Rizwan is back in the top 20 with scores of 31 and 10 not out.

Jason Holder Advanced 6 Places

Left-arm spinner Nauman Ali is another one to gain in the latest weekly update to the men’s rankings that is carried out across formats on Wednesdays. His three-wicket haul in the second innings has helped him progress from 48th to 44thposition.

West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder
West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder (Photo | AP)

For the West Indies, all-rounder Jason Holder has advanced six places to 37th among batters with scores of 26 and 47. Fast bowler Jayden Seales, the most successful after Shaheen Shah Afridi with 11 wickets in the series, has moved up four slots to 54th after his three first-innings wickets.

Shaheen Shah Afridi, the Pakistan pacer was the hero, finishing with a match haul of 10 wickets as West Indies folded against a well-rounded attack. It meant they will have to wait a few more years to record a first Test series win over Pakistan since 2001.

Pakistan 302 for 9 dec (Alam 124, Azam 75, Roach 3-68) and 176 for 6 dec (Butt 37, Azam 33) beat West Indies 150 (Bonner 37, Afridi 6-51) and 219 (Holder 47, Afridi 4-43, Nauman 3-52) by 109 runs

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