LAHORE - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday made three changes as they included Haider Ali, Fakhar Zaman, and Sarfaraz Ahmed in the 15-member squad for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. 

From the squad that was announced on September 4, the selectors have confirmed three changes in the national squad after taking into consideration player performances and recent form in the National T20. Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali have replaced Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain respectively, while Fakhar Zaman, who was originally named as a travel reserve, has swapped places with Khushdil Shah. 

The decision on Sohaib Maqsood’s inclusion in the squad will be made following medical advice. The top-order batter underwent MRI scans for the lower back after the October 6 National T20 match against Northern and missed Thursday’s Punjab derby against Central Punjab. 

Chief Selector Muhammad Wasim stressed the current form of players in the domestic T20 tournament as a reason to bring changes in the squad in the hopes of stability and balance. “After reviewing player performances in the highly competitive National T20 and in consultation with the team management, we have decided to include Haider Ali, Fakhar Zaman and Sarfaraz Ahmed in the squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. 

“The three in-form players bring with them a wealth of experience and talent and provide further stability, balance and strength to the side. It must be tough for Azam, Khushdil and Hasnain for missing out but they still have a lot to offer in their careers. They are in our future plans as a lot of cricket has to be played post the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 and in the lead up to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia,” he added. 

“I am pleased with the intensity and high quality of cricket that we have witnessed in the National T20. It has not only provided the players excellent match practice in the lead up to the UAE competition, it has also given us the opportunity to closely monitor the player progress and then make decisions that are in the best interest of the side for what will be a cut-throat tournament,” Wasim concluded. Pakistan forms part of Group 2 and will open their campaign against India on 24 October at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.