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Pakistan

Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
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Pakistan ‘Used And Then Binned’ By England: Ramiz Raja

Ramiz Raja, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman said on Tuesday he felt “used and then binned” after England followed New Zealand’s example as they cancelled a white-ball tour for both their men’s and women’s teams next month.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) cited “increasing concerns about travelling to the region” just days after New Zealand also pulled out of the Pakistan tour over security concerns. However, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Christian Turner, confirmed the decision was taken by the ECB on the grounds of player welfare.

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

Ramiz Raja: It’s The Feeling Of Being Used And Then Binned After England Withdrew From Pakistan Tour

The first trip by the England men’s side to Pakistan since 2005 was only meant to last only four days with two Twenty20 matches in Rawalpindi on October 13 and 14. Two women’s T20 matches were scheduled to be held on the same days as double-headers with three women’s one-day internationals to follow in the same city.

Public reaction to the withdrawal in Pakistan has been furious. Pakistan travelled to England last year at a time when Covid-19 infection rates in Britain were among the highest in the world for a three-match Test and T20 series that saved the ECB millions in television rights deals.

“It’s the feeling of being used and then binned. That’s the feeling I have right now,” Raja told reporters.

England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)
England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

“A little bit of hand-holding, a little bit of caring was needed after the New Zealand pull out and we didn’t get that from England which is so frustrating. We’ve been going out of our way to meet the international demands, being such a responsible member of the cricketing fraternity, and in return we get a response from ECB saying the players were spooked by New Zealand’s withdrawal. What does that mean?”

New Zealand officials refused to give details of the security threat that forced them to abruptly cancel their matches.

Christian Turner: Decision To Withdraw From Pakistan Tour Was Made By The ECB Based On Concerns For Player Welfare

A deadly 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore saw Pakistan become a no-go destination for international teams. In between 2012 and 2015, Pakistan hosted England in the UAE, which has staged most of its “home” games since the attack. A rapid improvement in security in recent years has led to the return of international cricket, with Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies, South Africa and Bangladesh touring in the past six years.

“I share the deep sadness of cricket fans that England will not tour Pakistan in October,” Turner said in a video post on Twitter.

“This was a decision made by the ECB, which is independent of the British government, based on concerns for player welfare. The British High Commission supported the tour; did not advise against it on security grounds; and our travel advice for Pakistan has not changed.”

The T20 series was supposed to be part of the preparation for England’s men ahead of the next month’s T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.  But many of their star players would now be free to play in the latter stages of the lucrative second half of Indian Premier League 2021, also being hosted in the UAE, should their sides reach the knockout phase.

“You are quoting fatigue and mental tension and players being spooked and a hour-and-a-half flight from here before a World Cup they are quite happy to be caged in a bubble environment and carry on with the tournament,” added Raja.

“One feels slighted, one feels humiliated because withdrawal doesn’t have an answer.”

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021
Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021. Image Credits: Twitter

Heather Knight recently spoke enthusiastically about the prospect of captaining England Women on their first visit to the country. But on Tuesday she admitted the decision to withdraw had been taken out of her hands.

“The conversation and the communication between the board and PCA is a strong one, and it was a tricky situation with what had gone on with New Zealand,” Knight said after England Women lost to New Zealand in a one-day international.

“Taking it out of our hands is probably the right thing to do. That was done with a view to try and look after the players. Hopefully, sometime in the future we’ll be able to go. I do think it is important for them, particularly in women’s cricket with what’s going on in the region.”

New Zealand pulled out of their Pakistan tour even before play started in the 1st ODI in Rawalpindi. The Kiwis left Islamabad on a charter flight the next night. The Pakistan tour was Black Cap’s first tour to the Asian country since 2003 and it was made possible after receiving clearance from their security agency.

New Zealand was scheduled to play three ODIs in Rawalpindi starting Friday (September 17) before the series shifted to Lahore for a five-match T20I series, but the entire tour now stands unilaterally postponed following the visitors’ expression of concern.

Waqar Younis. (Image Credits: Getty)
Waqar Younis. (Image Credits: Getty)
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Waqar Younis Opens Up On Reasons Behind His Resignation As Pakistan Bowling Coach Before 2021 T20I WC

Waqar Younis, former Pakistan bowling coach has elaborated on his abrupt resignation from the role. Waqar Younis and head coach Misbah-Ul-Haq stunned the global cricketing fraternity by stepping down after selectors announced Pakistan’s squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup where experienced campaigners like Shoaib Malik, Faheem Ashraf, and Wahab Riaz were omitted.

Waqar Younis earlier revealed that it made no sense for him to stay after Misbah-Ul-Haq decided to walk away. The former Pakistan skipper opined that they quit their roles before the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) fired them.

Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis- Former Pakistan Coaches (AFP)
Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis- Former Pakistan Coaches (AFP)

Waqar Younis Quit As Pakistan Bowling Coach For Spending Time With Family And Appointment Of Ramiz Raja Also Was A Part Behind The Decision

Waqar Younis stated that spending more time with family was one of the significant reasons behind his resignation. The 49-year old further claimed it was better to step down before the management under new Chairman Ramiz Raja installed a new setup.
Ramiz Raja is a former Pakistani cricketer currently serving as the 36th Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board. Ramiz Raja represented Pakistan during the 1980s and the 1990s. Since retiring from cricket, he has been a commentator on International cricket matches.

“There were two to three reasons behind my decision. Obviously, spending time with family was one of them which was becoming difficult due to Covid-19. Also, after the appointment of new PCB chairman [Ramiz Raja], the wise thing was to reign because it seemed as if he [Raja] wanted to bring a new setup. So, when Misbah resigned, I decided to follow suit,” Younis told Cricket Pakistan.

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

Waqar Younis continued by saying there could have been bigger repercussions if he hadn’t stepped down as new people tend to have a different way of doing things.

“If we would not have taken this decision, a bigger problem would have been created. There could have been a controversy. I have enough experience to understand the cricket board and its history. When a new setup takes over, they have their own way of doing things and taking all of that into account it was a sensible thing to do.”

Waqar Younis and Misbah-ul-Haq both had a year still left in their tenures, having taken charge in September 2019. However, the pressure on them was mounting after Pakistan had endured plenty of crushing overseas losses under their reign.
Pakistan has been in an excellent run of form in 2021 as they started off with two consecutive home and away series wins against South Africa. They won the next T20I series against Zimbabwe as well but couldn’t get past the line in England where they lost the series 1-2. Their previous series against West Indies ended in their favour as well with a 1-0 win in the four-match rain-hit series.

Waqar Younis Also Backed Pakistan’s Bowling Attack To Thrive In 2021 T20I WC

Waqar Younis also backed Pakistan’s bowling attack to thrive in the upcoming 2021 T20 World Cup. As for the blockbuster clash against India, the former bowler urged his countrymen cricketers to have the self-belief to have any chance of winning.

“[A] World Cup is a small tournament and if your players are in form and luck favours you, the team can go all the way. Our bowling can defend any total and, if we can fix some of the issues in our batting, this team has the potential to go all the way. If the team plays to their potential, I think they will challenge the Indian team and even beat them. They should play positive cricket and believe that they can beat India.”

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images) NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

India and Pakistan will open their World Cup campaign against each other in Dubai on the 24th of October. It’s worth noting that the Men in Green are yet to beat their arch-rivals in a World Cup game in 12 encounters across the T20I and 50-over editions.

But, rather than the record against their arch-rivals, Pakistan will be more worried about their lack of match practice ahead of the forthcoming T20 World Cup. It is to be noted that New Zealand recently called off their white-ball tour to Pakistan due to security reasons and England looks likely to follow suit. New Zealand was supposed to play 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is and England -2 T20Is in Pakistan.

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 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 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

Sourav Ganguly reveals T20 world Cup trophy | Image Credit: Twitter
Sourav Ganguly reveals T20 world Cup trophy | Image Credit: Twitter
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ICC T20I World Cup 2021: 4 Teams Which Won’t Be Able To Qualify For The Semi-Final

ICC T20I World Cup 2021 is just a month away from taking place after a gap of five years and the excitement for the tournament in UAE is at its’ peak already. The previous edition took place in 2016 when West Indies emerged as the champions and this will be a 12 team affair this time around for the group stages.

The top eight teams from the T20 international rankings qualified automatically for the league stages of the T20 Worldcup while the remaining four teams will have to make it through the ICC T20I World Cup 2021 qualifiers. Surprisingly, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh haven’t been able to make it to the league stages and are placed in the qualifiers. Here are 4 teams that won’t be able to qualify for the semi-finals of ICC T20I World Cup 2021.

Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
Representational image of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad

ICC T20I World Cup 2021: 4 Teams Which Probably Won’t Be Able To Qualify For The Semi-Final

Australia:

Australia Pic: Getty
Australia Pic: Getty

Australia is one of the powerhouses in world cricket at present for a long time now and they still continue to dominate best teams but haven’t been doing it on a consistent basis. But recent losses to West Indies and Bangladesh with a depleted squad saw their reputation diminish.

When it comes to T20 cricket, Australia hasn’t always been the team to watch out for as they do have a lot of stars in their lineup but despite that, they have lacked the T20 flavour. 2010 was the only year they reached the finals of the ICC T20I World Cup and they lost to England.

Australia’s recent form in T20I hasn’t been impressive either as they lost the T20I series in West Indies 4-1 and lost a bilateral series for the first time against Bangladesh which wasn’t the ideal preparation they needed. Australia has been placed in a strong group comprising of England, West Indies, and South Africa and their chances of making it to the semifinals look bleak at the moment.

Australia has lost the last 5 T20I series they have played against New Zealand, India, England, West Indies, and Bangladesh. With the return of big names like David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, and Pat Cummins the Aaron Finch-led side will be looking forward to gaining back the momentum.

South Africa:

South Africa ( Photo Credit: Twitter )
South Africa ( Photo Credit: Twitter )

South Africa has lacked the edge needed in the knockouts to progress to the finals of the tournament and it has been evident through their results so far in ICC events. They haven’t made it to a final in ICC T20 World Cup yet and have been succumbing down when it comes to pressure games for which they are labelled chokers.

The Proteas are a different looking side now without AB De Villiers and Faf du Plessis, and their new skipper Temba Bavuma will have a huge responsibility under his belt for the T20I World Cup. Their bowling attack does look good but they are expected to struggle with their inexperienced batting lineup and are unlikely to progress to the semi-finals after being placed in a tough group.

They are currently placed on the 5th spot in ICC T20 Internationals rankings. Also in the last 5 T20 international series, they have lost 3 series. They have some exceptionally talented players like Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassi Van Der Dussen, and David Miller on the team but have left out experienced Chris Morris, Faf du Plessis, and Imran Tahir.

Afghanistan :

Afghanistan
Afghanistan

Afghanistan has been one of the teams that have come from far behind in terms of development and the results are there to see as well. They have produced a lot of young match winners already and the best example is Rashid Khan who has been the best spinner in the world in the last two years globally.

Afghanistan has picked up a good squad for the ICC T20I World Cup 2021 but they have a lot of issues going on with the Taliban government and it will certainly take a toll on their performance. They have gone in for experience in the fast bowling department and Rashid Khan has stepped out as the captain of the side as well for the ICC T20I World Cup 2021. With India and New Zealand in the group, Afghanistan might not be able to progress to the semi-finals.

Currently, Afghanistan is placed on the 7th spot in the ICC T20 international rankings. Once the team enters the tournament all eyes will be on big names like Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Mohammad Nabi. ACB named Rashid Khan as their captain for the T20 world cup 2021. Rashid Khan soon came up with a tweet stating that he will be leaving the captaincy. Post that, ACB announced that Mohammad Nabi will be the captain of the team.

Pakistan:

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

Pakistan is looking like a better group in the last few international series and with the change in the coaching staff and the Director, a lot could change for the Pakistan side ahead of the ICC T20I World Cup 2021.

However, their recent performances haven’t been up to the mark especially in England and they still have holes to fill inside the group. Lead by captain Babar Azam, 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.

Their middle order needed some solid experience and they have gone in for youngsters who had failed earlier. Their fast bowling and spin department don’t look bad either but they still do not like getting past New Zealand and India who have strong depth in their squads for the ICC T20I 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 has helped him seal a berth in the ICC T20I World Cup 2021 squad.

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.

They did not find a place in the squad for the tours of England and the West Indies. The experienced campaigners Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz, and Sarfaraz Ahmed surprisingly didn’t find a place in ICC T20I World Cup 2021 squad.

Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
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Impossible Right Now: Ramiz Raja Opens Up On Resumption Of Pakistan And India Bilateral Series

Ramiz Raja, the newly-elected Pakistan Cricket Board chairman on Monday said the resumption of bilateral assignments with India is “impossible right now” and he is “not in a hurry” for it either as his focus is solely on his country’s domestic circuit at this point.

The 59-year-old, who formally took over on Monday after being elected unanimously, also acknowledged that being chairman of the PCB is one of the toughest jobs in cricket.

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

Ramiz Raja Opens Up On Resumption Of Pakistan And India Bilateral Series: Impossible Right Now

Ramiz Raja, a member of the 1992 World Cup-winning Pakistan team under Pakistan’s current Prime Minister 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.

“It is a very big challenge and a lot of boxes had to be ticked before the prime minister (Imran Khan) decided to give me this tough job,” he said in a press conference here.

Asked about the possibility of revival of bilateral series between Pakistan and India, Raja said, “Impossible right now…”

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images) NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“…because the sporting model has been spoiled by politics and right now it is a status quo and we are not in a hurry on this issue because we have to focus on our domestic and local cricket,” he added.

The last time India and Pakistan faced each other was in the round-robin stage of the 2019 ODI World Cup, where the former won by 89 runs (DLS method). Their last T20 World Cup face-off resulted in India’s 6-wicket win over Men in Green in Kolkata in the 2016 edition.
However, due to the unfortunate political situation, the two teams haven’t played a bilateral series since 2012-13. Pakistan and India’s last bilateral ties at either of the two neighbouring countries were 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs in India way back in 2012.

Ramiz Raja Wants Pakistan To Play Fearless Cricket

He also expressed his displeasure over the development that there would be no Decision Review System in the upcoming Pakistan and New Zealand white-ball series in Rawalpindi and Lahore.

“Yes there is no doubt that this DRS issue reflects a mess and I will look into this matter,” he said.

Ramiz Raja expressed his reservations over the standard of coaching in the country and said there was a dire need to improve the local infrastructure in the country.

When asked whether he would allow the board CEO, Wasim Khan, to carry on, Ramiz Raja made it clear that he would not discuss internal matters of the body in public. However, he claimed that if it came down to proper accountability 90 per cent of the functionaries deserved to be sacked from the board.

Ramiz Raja was also asked about the India-Pakistan match in the coming T20 World Cup in Dubai. The game is due on October 24.

“It is a show stopper and when I met with the Pakistan team players I told them I want the tables to be turned this time and the team must be 100 per cent operational for the match and to do well in it,” he said.
India has not lost to Pakistan in any World Cup, be it in the ODI or T20I format. India has an 11-0 record versus their arch-rivals in limited-overs ICC tournaments.
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

The new PCB Chairman also said that he wants the national team to play fearless cricket.

“We must be prepared to face problems and also lose matches but I have told the players they shouldn’t worry about being secure about their places in the team and play fearless cricket. I know we will face more failures than success when we go on this path but we have to do it if we are to become relevant in world cricket. Because this is a process and we need to change the mindset of our players as well.”

Ramiz Raja is Pakistan’s 18th Test and 12th ODI captain and played 255 international matches in which he scored 8,674 runs in the period from 1984 to 1997. He has previously served the PCB as its Chief Executive from 2003-2004 and has represented Pakistan on the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee and presently sits on the MCC World Cricket Committee. After retirement, he has been a successful broadcaster.

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.

Mohammad Amir | AFP
Mohammad Amir | AFP
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Pakistan Pacer Mohammad Amir Set To Come Out Of Int’l Retirement

Mohammad Amir, the left-arm fast bowler has decided to come out of international retirement in what comes as a pleasing development for Pakistan cricket. The 29-year-old pacer stunned the cricket world by announcing his international retirement last year.

The pacer clarified that he made the big decision because of his issues with the team management. After Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis stepped down from their posts on Monday, Mohammad Amir decided to make himself available for his country once again.

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

Mohammad Amir Available For Pakistan After

On 26 July 2019, Mohammad Amir announced his retirement from Test cricket in order to focus on limited-overs cricket. On 17 December 2020, he announced his retirement from international cricket. The pacer played 36 Tests, 61 ODIs, and 50 T20Is before announcing retirement. He represented Pakistan in 36 Tests and took 119 wickets at an average of 30.47. He also featured in 61 ODIs and claimed 81 wickets at an average of 29.62.

As reported by Daily Pakistan, Amir told private media: “I am available for the team”.

Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir
Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir (Photo| AP)

He is available to play for the Pakistan cricket team but the left-arm fast bowler will not represent his nation in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced their 15-man squad yesterday, and Mohammad Amir, expectedly, was not a part of the team.

Pakistan had recently announced a 15 member squad for the T20 World cup and there was no place for Mohammad Amir who has shown interest in coming back to international cricket.

Pak squad for NZ, ENG & T20 WC: Babar Azam (c), Mohd Rizwan, Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah, Mohd Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Azam Khan, Imad Wasim, Mohd Nawaz, Mohd Wasim, Shahdab Khan, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Mohd Hasnain, Shaheen Afridi.
Traveling reserves: Fakhar Zaman, Usman Qadir, Shahnawaz Dhani

Mohammad Amir Has Not Played International Cricket Since August 2020

Mohammad Amir has represented the Pakistan cricket team in 50 T20I matches, scalping 59 wickets at an economy rate of 7.02. His last appearance for the Pakistan cricket team came during the side’s England tour last year. Amir was a part of the playing XI that played in the second T20I of the series in Manchester on August 30, 2020.

A few months after the tour, the pacer bid farewell to the international arena. During his time away from international cricket, the left-arm fast bowler played in various T20 leagues around the world.

Mohammad Amir
Mohammad Amir Photograph: K.M. Chaudary/AP
He represented the Karachi Kings in Pakistan Super League (PSL), London Spirit in the Men’s Hundred, Pune Devils in Abu Dhabi T10 League, and currently, he is playing for the Barbados Royals in Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

Mohammad Amir has performed well in CPL 2021. It will be interesting to see if and when he plays for the Pakistan national team after coming out of international retirement.

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

Wahab Riaz. Image-Sky Sports
Wahab Riaz. Image-Sky Sports
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Wahab Riaz Feels Pakistan Can Beat India In T20I World Cup 2021

Wahab Riaz, Pakistan pacer, in an interview with PakPassion.net, claimed that the Men in Green Pakistan can beat India during the upcoming T20 World Cup. The 36-year-old believed that Pakistan could beat any team in the world if it played up to its potential.

Wahab Riaz. (Credits: Twitter)
Wahab Riaz. (Credits: Twitter)

Wahab Riaz: Pakistan Has The Ability To Beat India In 2021 T20I World Cup If It Plays To Its Potential

India and Pakistan haven’t been playing any bilateral series for a long time now (since 2012-13) with the political issues going on but they have been meeting in the ICC tournaments or the Asia cup.

The T20I World Cup 2021 group stages will also feature India and Pakistan taking on each other on October 24 and the excitement has already started. Pakistan has never beaten India in any World Cup T20 or ODI game and they will be looking to break the streak in the upcoming fixture in the group stages.

“They definitely have the ability to achieve that result. If Pakistan plays to its potential, then they can beat any team in the world including India.

“Twenty20 cricket is such a format that the whole match can turn in the space of a few balls or even one incident and the Pakistan versus India match will be no different. If Pakistan play at their best, they can certainly beat India,” Wahab Riaz said.

“Given the conditions and where it’s being held, I believe Pakistan has a very good chance of winning the tournament. Pakistan has played a lot of cricket in UAE, and this gives them a very good chance to win the competition.

“They’ll be familiar with the conditions, and they’ll know what the ball will do. If they can utilize the conditions and use them to their advantage, then there is no reason why they can’t be considered amongst the leading contenders for the title,” he added.

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images) NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Pakistan has been in an excellent run of form in 2021 as they started off with two consecutive home and away series wins against South Africa. They won the next T20I series against Zimbabwe as well but couldn’t get past the line in England where they lost the series 1-2. Their previous series against West Indies ended in their favour as well with a 1-0 win in the four-match rain-hit series.

After the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka squad during a bilateral series in Pakistan in 2009, Pakistan was banned by ICC from hosting any international games due to security concerns. Their home matches were shifted to UAE later, and the country observed UAE as their home ground for many years in the last decade. Now, the situation has improved in Pakistan and their home matches are being scheduled in their own country.

Wahab Riaz  Feels He Has To Perform As It’s Up To The Selectors To Include Him Or Not For T20I World Cup

The fiery pacer stated that he had nothing to prove while revealing that the final decision of his inclusion in the squad rested with the national selectors.

“If it was up to me, then yes you will. But it’s up to the selectors who they want included in the side and who they think will provide the maximum utility. As a player, all you can do is to perform and that’s what my aim is and that’s what I am doing around the world.”

Pakistan Cricket Team
Pakistan Cricket Team (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Lately, I’ve played in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), and I have shown what I am capable of, and I don’t think I have to prove it again and again. Regardless of what they feel, I am performing well wherever I am getting a chance to play. So, let’s see what the selectors have in mind and whether they want me to be a part of future squads is totally up to them,” Wahab Riaz concluded.

Wahab Riaz hasn’t been in the Pakistan T20 side for a long time now and he will be looking for a comeback in the T20 World Cup squad.

Wahab Riaz has so far played 27 Tests, 91 ODIs, and 36 T20I games for Pakistan. He has bagged 83 wickets in Tests and 120 in ODIs. In T20Is, he accounts for 34 scalps. Since December 2020, he has not represented the national side but was active in franchise T20 league Pakistan Super League 2021 (PSL).

Azhar Ali AFP
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Azhar Ali Expressed His Desire To See Pakistan Win 2nd WTC Title During His Career

Azhar Ali, a former Pakistan Test skipper expressed his desire to see his country win the World Test Championship during his career. Pakistan had a torrid time in the inaugural WTC as they finished fifth in the table with four wins, five losses, and three draws from 12 matches. Pakistan will start their 2021-23 WTC cycle with their two-match Test series against the West Indies.

Azhar Ali has been a prolific run-scorer for the nation in the purest format, having notched 6579 runs at an average of 43.28 with 18 tons and 33 fifties. Even as he hasn’t played T20 cricket for the Men in Green, his last ODI for Pakistan came way back in January 2018 against New Zealand.

Azhar Ali
Azhar Ali. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Azhar Ali Admits The WTC Is A Valuable Addition And He Wants To See Pakistan Win WTC During His Career

Azhar Ali put forth his wishes prior to Pakistan’s upcoming Test series against the West Indies that starts on Thursday, August 12. Both matches of the red-ball series will take place at Sabina Park, Kingston in Jamaica.

“The ICC World Test Championship is a valuable addition and has helped make this format more competitive. I want to see Pakistan win the Test championship in my career. Test cricket is the pinnacle format and this format is still entertaining fans around the globe. Fans in Australia, England, and New Zealand still wait for a Test match,” Azhar was quoted as saying in a press conference.

Pakistan Cricket Team
Pakistan Cricket Team (Credit: Getty Images)

After a poor outing in the inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship, Pakistan Cricket Team will be desperate to bounce back in the second cycle of the Test supremacy. The Men in Green failed to secure a place in the top 5 and recorded only four wins in 12 matches. Pakistan ended the competition in sixth place with 43.3% points.

The first West Indies-Pakistan Test will be played at the Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica from August 12. The 2nd Test will be at the same venue and will get underway from August 20.

Azhar Ali Admits A Caribbean Tour Isn’t An Easy One

Prior to the series, Azhar Ali felt the upcoming games will pose their fair share of challenges to the visiting team. Pakistan has won seven out of 26 Tests in the West Indies while losing 12 and drawing seven games. Azhar Ali also said that with the likes of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Abid Ali, and Fawad Alam in their ranks, Pakistan has a power-packed batting lineup.

“A Caribbean tour is never an easy one and we are preparing for the challenges ahead here in Guyana. The West Indies have a good bowling line-up but our batters are in a good shape,” he stated.

Azhar Ali And Fawad Alam Photo: AFP
Azhar Ali And Fawad Alam Photo: AFP

“Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are in good knick and they have shown their pedigree in the white-ball matches leading up to the Tests. Among the Test batters, Abid Ali and Fawad Alam are also performing consistently from the last couple of series,” Azhar added.

The visitors will play against West Indies in a two-match Test series that gets underway from August 12. The 11 players who left for Barbados on July 26th were Abid Ali, Ali, Fawad Alam, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Shahnawaz Dahani, Yasir Shah, and Zahid Mahmood.

Azhar Ali has amassed 6579 runs from 87 Tests averaging 43.28 with 18 tons with a highest of unbeaten 302. Fawad Alam played 3 Tests in 2009 before being recalled in 2020 to play against England. He has scored 3 tons in each of the last three series against New Zealand, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

Pakistan will open its World Test Championship campaign in August 2021 against the West Indies cricket team. Initially, the series was supposed to have three Tests, but both boards agreed to have only a two-Test series. After the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, Pakistan will visit Bangladesh to play a two-Test series against the home team. The series is likely to take place in November 2021.

The Australian cricket team will play an away Test series against Pakistan in the first quarter of 2022. The series will comprise three Tests, with either Pakistan or the United Arab Emirates playing host to the fixtures. Babar Azam’s men will play their final away series under the new WTC cycle against Sri Lanka in July and August 2022.

Like the series against Bangladesh and West Indies, the Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Test series will also consist of two matches. World Test Champions New Zealand will play two Tests against Pakistan in November 2022.  The England cricket team led by Joe Root will travel to Asia to compete in a three-Test series against Pakistan.

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