The World Twenty20 dream is over for Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Gul as Pakistan named its 15-man squad after a lengthy meeting which split the selection committee.
Shehzad, who scored a match-winning 71 off 46 balls for Quetta Gladiators against Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) last week, could not impress the selectors enough to earn a spot in the national team.
The uncapped left-arm fast bowler Rumman Raees and all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz were rewarded for their impressive performances in the PSL. Khurram Manzoor, who last represented Pakistan in a Test match in 2014, returned to the side after scoring big in the National T20 Cup and against the England Lions recently
“While picking the squad, the team management and skipper were consulted by the selectors, and all concerned gave their consent in this regard,” chief selector Haroon Rasheed said.
“The T20 team has been selected keeping in mind the conditions during Asia cup and World T20 and the recent performances of some players in domestic and A Team tours. The team is a fine blend of experience and youth and the selectors believe that team will do well in both tournaments.”
Twenty20 cricket's mega event will be held in India from March 8 to April 3, and the International Cricket Council (ICC) had set February 8 as the deadline for naming squads for the tournament.
But the PCB requested the world governing body to give them more time to assess the performances of the players featuring in the PSL.
The same squad will first feature in the Asia Cup T20 which starts on February 24.
Who is Rumman Raees?
- Age: 24
- Left-arm medium fast
- Teams: Karachi, United Bank
- First-class matches/Wickets: 40/116
- T20 matches/Wickets: 39/44
- Performance against England Lions: 8 wickets in 4 T20s
Raees on being picked for the Asia Cup and World T20
“I’m really happy about getting selected in the Pakistan squad for the Asia Cup and World T20. I don’t feel any pressure because I’ve earned the call up through consistent performances in the domestic circuit and the PSL. Pakistan Cricket Club has already produced five international cricketers and I am very hopeful about becoming the sixth player from this club to represent Pakistan”
The big break
“The series against England Lions was my first international outing and performing there made me feel very confident about my ability to do well at the top level. It helped me strengthen my mental approach to the game.”
The PSL experience
“Playing in the PSL has been a good experience and the added glamour is not intimidating for us as players. In fact, we have played in front of bigger crowds back home in domestic matches.
“I'm very lucky to be playing under the supervision of Wasim Akram and that is surely helping me grow as a left arm fast bowler.”
Who is Mohammad Nawaz?
- Age: 21
- Left-handed batsman – Slow left-arm
- Teams: Rawalpindi, National Bank
- First Class matches/Runs/Wickets: 26/1302/36 (3 hundreds and 5 fifties)
- T20/Runs/Wickets: 29/303/16
- Performance against England Lions: 3 Wickets in 5 T20s, 11 wickets in 5 One-days and scored 90 runs in 5 One-days
Nawaz on being picked for the Asia Cup and World T20
“I have performed well in the PSL and hopefully will do the same for Pakistan too. I’m motivated and the pressure on me will work in positive way and help me to prove my worth as a good cricketer.”
“I’m very privileged that I’ll get my Pakistan cap and that too in a World Cup. I can’t thank God enough and I’ll grab this opportunity with both hands.”
Biggest influence on cricketing career
“Reaching this far would not have been possible if it wasn't for Haji Naeem who helped me in all ways since I started playing at the under-15 level.”
Shahid Afridi (c), Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Irfan, Rumman Raees, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Nawaz, Babar Azam, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Amir, Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Anwar Ali, Khurram Manzoor