Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Wasim Khan has disapproved media reports that have claimed skipper Babar Azam is “unhappy” with the 15-member squad picked for the T20 World Cup.
In an official press release on Wednesday, Khan termed the reports ‘factually incorrect’ while adding that Azam was fully behind the decisions taken while selecting the squad.
“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 Muhammad Wasim-led national selection panel picked Pakistan’s squad for the T20 World Cup last week. Since then, there have been reports circulating that outgoing coach Misbah-ul-Haq and captain Babar were “unhappy” with some of the players picked for the quadrennial event. The biggest controversy has been sparked by the selection of rookie middle-order batsman Azam Khan. This controversy makes sense since Azam Khan has played only two T20Is.
However, Wasim Khan, in a press release, made it clear that several Pakistani players had fruitful discussions with the new PCB chairman Ramiz Raja where both members mutually agreed on the brand of cricket the former T20 world champions need to play moving forward. He said,
“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, Ramiz Raja, in which there was a consensus on the brand of cricket that needs to be played in the upcoming series and beyond.”
The PCB CEO further requested everyone in Pakistani cricket to get firmly support the squad so that the players can focus on the task ahead, which is winning the T20 World Cup trophy after 12 years. He added, “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.”
Pakistan’s 15-member squad for the quadrennial event includes
Five batsmen – Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Khushdil Shah, Asif Ali,
Two stumpers – Mohammad Rizwan, Azam Khan,
Four all-rounders – Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim
Four fast bowlers – Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain, Hasan Ali, and Haris Rauf.
Pakistan will also face their arch-rivals India in the super 12 league phase on October 24. While teams like Pakistan and Australia have announced their squads, India still isn’t clear about the players to be included since there are too many good options.