Shoaib Malik Age, Biography, career, stats, networth, Ranking & News

Shoaib Malik

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
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Shahid Afridi Hints At Changes In Pakistan’s T20 World Cup 2021 Squad

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.

Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
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Ramiz Raja Disappointed In England’s Expected Withdrawal And Said “It Was A Lesson For Pakistan”

Ramiz Raja, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman has said that both England and New Zealand’s decision to not play series in Pakistan is a lesson for them and now they will just look after their own interest.

After New Zealand decided to abandon their tour of Pakistan right ahead of the first ODI, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Monday announced that its men’s and women’s tour of Pakistan would not go ahead as planned.

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

Ramiz Raja Disappointed In England’s Expected Withdrawal After New Zealand Which Was A Lesson To Pakistan

Already reeling from New Zealand’s last-minute tour abandonment, Pakistan suffered another massive jolt on Monday as ECB pulled out both its men’s and women’s teams from the tour of the country.

“I am severely disappointed in England’s withdrawal but it was expected because this western bloc gets united unfortunately and tries to back each other. So you can take any decision on the basis of security threat and perception. There was a sense of anger because first New Zealand got away without sharing information about the threat they were facing,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Ramiz Raja as saying.

“Now, this England was expected but this is a lesson for us because we go out of our way to accommodate and pamper these sides when they visit. And when we go there, we undergo strict quarantines and we tolerate their admonishments, but there is a lesson in this. That is, that from now on we will only go as far as is in our interest,”Ramiz Raja added.

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

Further talking about cricket in Pakistan, Ramiz Raja said: “Our interest is that cricket will not stop in our country and if the cricket fraternity will not take care of each other then there’s no point to it. New Zealand, then England, now we have a West Indies series that can also be hit, and Australia who is already reconsidering. This – England, Australia, New Zealand – is all one block. Who can we complain to? We thought they were our own but they haven’t accepted us as theirs.

“We have to improve and expand our cricket economy so that these countries remain interested in playing us. That is in our interests as well so that our players are paid better and we are respected more. They come to the PSL where they don’t get spooked or fatigued but collectively they have a different mindset together toward Pakistan,” Ramiz Raja added.

With the likes of Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka touring the country, it seemed things were starting to get back on track. But England and New Zealand withdrawing from their respective tours will be a body blow to the Pakistan Cricket Board.  On Monday, the ECB announced that it was withdrawing both the men’s and women’s teams from next month’s white-ball series in Pakistan citing “increasing concerns about travelling to the region”.

New Zealand had earlier pulled out of their Pakistan tour even before play started in the 1st ODI in Rawalpindi. The Kiwis left Islamabad on a charter flight on Saturday 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.

Ramiz Raja: Pakistan Would Develop A Mindset Not To Lose And Will Avenge The Withdrawals In The Ground In T20I WC

Rawalpindi was due to host men’s and women’s T20 double-headers on October 13 and 14 as England’s men prepare for next month’s T20 World Cup. England women’s team were then due to play one-day internationals (ODIs) on October 17, 19, and 21, also in Rawalpindi.

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

Ramiz Raja said that his team would now be required to channel all their frustration into showcasing good performance in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

“We go in the World Cup now and where we had one team in our target – our neighbours India, they now add two more teams – New Zealand and England. So pick up the strength and develop a mindset that we are not going to lose because you didn’t do right by us with us and we will avenge that in the ground,” said Ramiz Raja.

There are a few surprises in the Pakistan 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 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 In T20I WC:-

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

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.

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.

Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez
Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez Photo: AFP
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Both Mohammed Hafeez And Shoaib Malik Deserve Chance In T20I World Cup, Says Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi called for people to be elevated on merit from within the cricket board. The former skipper was also of the view that Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik should be given a chance, as the team “needs them”.

Ramiz Raja, the former Pakistan cricketer has taken over the charge as Chairman of PCB and there have been varied reactions over the same. Some reports added that Ramiz Raza is having a great bond with Indians and it might revive the bilateral series between the two nations.

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

Ramiz Raja Should Ensure Capable Cricketers Are Picked Based On Merit: Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi made it a point that Pakistan has a lot of talent but it needs to be groomed. He added that a capable person should take the same charge and Ramiz Raja has all the potential to manage the responsibility. The only thing he wants from the new authorities is that Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik should get a chance in the upcoming T20 WC.

“PCB Chairman should be a capable person as Ramiz Raja is but the main decision for him will be to take on people who have sincere intentions for this country and PCB, and are good quality professionals – Only such people can run an institution like PCB where capable people are appointed based on merit. With such people in place, the PCB will rise to greater heights. We have a lot of talent but it needs to be groomed,” said Afridi while speaking to the Press.

Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League
Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League

In the latest turn of events, Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi stated that a change in the chairman’s post was necessary and he has even extended his wishes to Ramiz Raja for taking up the chair.

Shahid Afridi: Both Mohammed Hafeez And Shoaib Malik Served Pakistan Well In The Past And Deserves Chance In T20I World Cup

Shahid Afridi added that team needs a lot of change when it comes to selection. Pakistan’s great players like Mohammed Hafeez and Shoaib Malik have done a lot for the team in the past and it might be Shoaib Malik’s last ICC World Cup too. Therefore, Shahid Afridi awaits what decision would be taken about them with context to T20 World Cup 2021.

“We tried a lot of things when it comes to team selection, where we tried out and gave chances to young players from whom we had a lot of expectations but they couldn’t perform. So, this is the last time Shoaib Malik will play in an ICC World Cup, so let’s give him chance. Both Hafeez and Malik have served this nation well in the past and it’s not as if we don’t have a need for them as I feel Pakistan needs them so let’s see what decision is taken about them for the upcoming T20 World Cup,” he added.

Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez PHOTO: AFP
Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez PHOTO: AFP

In the build-up to the 2021 T20 World Cup, Pakistan’s middle-order has misfired. Apart from Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, there hasn’t been a major contributor. Several youngsters have been given opportunities but they’ve failed to deliver, and Afridi wants Pakistan to consider Mohammed Hafeez and Shoaib Malik instead.

BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
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BCCI Writes To ICC Urging It Not To Recognize KPL

BCCI has written to the ICC urging it to not recognize the Kashmir Premier League (KPL), the Pakistan domestic T20 tournament which is due to begin on August 6.
The PCB expressed its unhappiness over what it considered the BCCI’s attempts to interfere in the PCB’s internal affairs. That was based on reports that the BCCI had been in touch with a number of other Full Members to try and prevent players from those countries from appearing in the league.
BCCI, ICC, PCB
BCCI, ICC, PCB

BCCI Writes To The ICC Urging Not To Recognize The Kashmir Premier League

Herschelle Gibbs, the former South Africa opener, who is expected to play in the league, said on Twitter that he had been threatened that he wouldn’t be allowed entry “into India for any cricket-related work. Ludicrous.”
But it has emerged now that the BCCI had also reached out to the ICC. The basis of the BCCI’s complaint seems to center around the status of Kashmir as a disputed territory – and whether matches can be played in such territories – and its central place in the long-running dispute between the two countries.
The status of Kashmir has been the cause of several wars between India and Pakistan from the moment India gained independence and Pakistan was created in 1947. Both countries control parts of the region but govern it separately. Political and diplomatic ties between the two countries have fluctuated over the years, and are currently going through a prolonged low.
Former South Africa opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs. (Getty Images)
Former South Africa opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs. (Getty Images)
Relations between the two boards generally follow on from the political atmosphere of the day, and this latest spat will merely exacerbate an already strained relationship. But there would appear to be little the ICC can do about this. Approval for such domestic leagues is given by the Full Member country in which the tournament is being played, and not the ICC, and the KPL has the PCB’s approval. There is also nothing in any ICC regulations about matches in disputed territories.
The KPL is a six-team franchise-model league, PCB-approved, and to be played at the Muzaffarabad cricket stadium in Pakistan-administered Kashmir from August 6. Squads were selected in a draft last month and, according to the organizers, would be captained by Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, and Shadab Khan.
The BCCI’s concern centers, however, on the foreign players signed up with the league, on the basis that international players turn the tournament into something more than just a domestic event and give it international legitimacy of sorts.

Monty Panesar Pulls Out Of KPL

Foreign players on the roster are mostly retired and include Monty Panesar, Matt Prior, Phil Mustard, Tino Best, Tillakaratne Dilshan, and Herschelle Gibbs. Through conversations with several boards, the BCCI has made it clear that these players would be considered rebels and would be treated by them as would the participants of any unrecognized league.
Monty Panesar declared that he will not be participating in Pakistan’s ‘Kashmir Premier League’ and also warned the other participating players to think about the consequences first before taking part in the Pakistan Occupied ‘Kashmir Premier League’.
Monty Panesar pulls out of Kashmir Premier League after BCCI threat following Herschelle Gibbs statement
Monty Panesar pulls out of Kashmir Premier League after BCCI threat following Herschelle Gibbs statement (Source: Twitter)

The two sides have not played each other in a bilateral series since 2012-13 or a Test match since 2007-08, though they do face off regularly in ICC events. PCB has accused the BCCI of not honoring their agreement, signed in 2014, to play bilateral series between the two nations. PCB claims that this has caused large commercial losses to them.

According to the agreement signed in 2014, India and Pakistan were scheduled to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023 with four of those to be hosted by the PCB. However, BCCI has claimed that they have no authority on the same and have to follow the Indian government orders, that have prohibited any bilateral cricket between the neighbors, following which PCB claimed losses.

Former South Africa opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs. (Getty Images)
Former South Africa opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs. (Getty Images)
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Herschelle Gibbs Terms It Unnecessary Of The BCCI To Stop Him From Playing In KPL But BCCI Says They Are Within Their Rights

Herschelle Gibbs, former South African batsman, and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) were slammed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) saying the Indian board is well within its rights to take decisions with respect to the cricketing ecosystem in the country.

This response from the BCCI comes on the same day when former Proteas’ batsman Herschelle Gibbs criticised the Indian board for allegedly stopping him to play in the Kashmir Premier League.

Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors. (AP File Photo)
Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors. (AP File Photo)

Herschelle Gibbs Termed It Unnecessary Of BCCI To Bring Their Political Agenda With Pakistan But BCCI Is Within Their Rights To Take Decisions: Official

Herschelle Gibbs plans to play for the Overseas Warriors in the six-team Kashmir Premier League, which runs from August 6-17 and includes several retired international cricketers.

“While one can neither confirm nor deny the veracity of the statement made by a former player who has figured in a CBI investigation into match-fixing earlier, the PCB must understand that even if Herschelle Gibbs’ statement is assumed to be true, the BCCI would be well within their rights to take decisions with respect to the cricketing ecosystem in India.

“The fact that the Indian cricketing ecosystem is the most sought after for cricketing opportunities globally, should not be envied by the PCB,” a BCCI official said.

PCB is coming across as confused. Just the way the decision to not allow players of Pakistani origin to participate in the IPL cannot be construed as interfering in the internal affairs of an ICC member, the decision, if any, to allow or disallow anyone from participating in any manner with cricket within India is purely an internal matter of the BCCI,” the official added.

Herschelle Gibbs have made some serious allegations on BCCI.
Herschelle Gibbs has made some serious allegations on BCCI.

Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors. The official also said that the PCB can take up the matter with the ICC, but in the end, everyone knows why the Pakistan board is behaving this way, and what is motivating their actions.

“They are welcome to raise the matter at the ICC and one can understand where this is coming from but the question that they need to ask themselves is whether it is on account of government interference in their working since the PM of Pakistan is officially their Patron as per their own constitution. It is time to consider whether this issue also ought to be raised at the ICC,” said the official.

Earlier on Saturday, former Proteas batsman Herschelle Gibbs took to Twitter to say: “Completely unnecessary of the @BCCI to bring their political agenda with Pakistan into the equation and trying to prevent me playing in the @kpl_20. Also threatening me saying they won’t allow me entry into India for any cricket related work. Ludicrous.”

After this, the PCB also issued a statement, saying: “The PCB believes the BCCI has once again breached international norms and the spirit of the gentleman’s game by interfering in internal affairs of the ICC Members as the KPL has been approved by the PCB.”

Not impressed by this statement, the BCCI official added, “The PCB would do well to peruse the ICC’s classification of official cricket. In the eventuality that a retired player is participating as a player in a tournament, it would not quite be official cricket and any permission granted would be moot. I am not really sure how they are reading this to mean what they are intending it to mean, but then the PCB‘s positioning is always bemusing. They should allow cricket to entertain rather than their decision making.”

Tensions have been high between the neighboring countries Pakistan and India since New Delhi unilaterally changed the semiautonomous status of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, which is split between Pakistan and India but claimed by both in its entirety.

Pakistan has reduced diplomatic ties with India since then, vowing there will be no peace talks with India until the 2019 move under which New Delhi divided the Indian-administered part of the Muslim-majority Kashmir into two federally governed territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh — is reversed by the Indian government.

Pakistan also wants Kashmiri people to be given the right to self-determination under a 1948 U.N. resolution that called for a referendum on whether Kashmiris wanted to merge with Pakistan or India.

Kashmir Premier League’s Inaugural Edition Will Be Held With 6 Teams From August 6-16

The tournament is likely to see six teams- Overseas Warriors, Rawalakot Hawks, Muzaffarabad Tigers, Bagh Stallions, Kotli Lions, and Mirpur Royals. Players like Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Herschelle Gibbs, Monty Panesar, and Kamran Akmal are expected to participate in this team.

Wasim Akram (right) and Shahid Afridi (left) Getty Images
Wasim Akram (right) and Shahid Afridi (left) Getty Images

The first KPL edition is scheduled to be held with six teams from August 6 to 16. Five of those teams will represent cities in PoK, while the sixth franchise, Overseas Warriors, is reserved for overseas Kashmiris. The tournament’s launch saw a mix of politicians and former Pakistan cricketers.

Wasim Akram is KPL’s founding vice-president, while Shahid Afridi is the league’s brand ambassador. Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, and Abdul Razzaq were present at the launch as well.

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