Misbah and Waqar stepped down today while Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) dropped Sarfaraz Ahmed and Sharjeel Khan in the #T20WorldCup squad and instead picked Azam Khan, Khushdil Shah and Asif Ali. The selection committee’s decision has left the fans shocked and so, here is a look at the story.
Misbah And Waqar Step Down Ahead Of The #T20WorldCup
With the new chairman taking over it was obvious that head coach, Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach, Waqar Younis would find survival difficult particularly, after their performance hasn’t been too impressive ever since they assumed charge of the Pakistan dressing room in 2019.
Nevertheless, it was expected that would be allowed to carry on till the T20 World Cup i.e. scheduled to commence next month. However, perhaps the duo didn’t wanted to wait that long and decided to give up on their roles even before a formal announcement with regard to the appointment of the new PCB chairman is made.
While confirming his decision Misbahul Haq, said, “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. 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. 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.”
On the other hand while explaining his decision Waqar Younis said, “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. 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. 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 more brighter days ahead.”
No Place For Sarfaraz Ahmed And Sharjeel Khan In The T20 World Cup Squad
Experienced cricketers like Sarfaraz Ahmed, Sharjeel Khan, Shoaib Malik and Wahab Riaz were ignored for the ICC T20 world cup while cricketers like Khushdil Shah, Azam Khan, Sohaib Maqsood and Asif Ali who are yet to make their mark at the international level were selected ahead of them. The development then has come down as a surprise and has left the fans in the country in a state of shock.
Nevertheless, while explaining his decision chief selector i.e. Mohd. Wasim said, “Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah may not have impressive numbers against their names but hardly anyone can doubt their tremendous talent and prowess. They are the best in the available pool of middle-order batsmen and we remain confident that they will provide solutions to our middle-order difficulties through solid performances. These two experienced middle-order batters will compliment Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan and Shoaib Maqsood, while in Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan, we have three top-quality spinners who are equally good with the bat and outstanding in the field. 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. 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’s squad for the home series against New Zealand and England as well as the T20 World Cup comprises of the following players.
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 and Sohaib Maqsood.
Reserves: Fakhar Zaman, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir.