KARACHI: Under-fire for the selection of the Pakistan squad for the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup, chief selector Mohammad Wasim on Friday hinted that there might still be changes before the tournament begins in October.

“We all know that changes can be made to the squads before October 10 as per the ICC rules,” Wasim said during DawnNews programme Replay. “Of course we didn’t announce the squad to make changes later but under special circumstances, changes can be made.”

A likely change, it is understood, could be the inclusion of opening batter Fakhar Zaman, who is already a travelling reserve, in place of either Mohammad Hasnan or Harif Rauf.

Pakistan head to the T20 World Cup with concerns over their middle-order and Wasim, pointing to widely-criticised selections of Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah and Azam Khan, said those who had been given chances didn’t perform.

“Players haven’t been able to cement their places in the team which is why we had to recall Asif, Azam and Khushdil who are all good power-hitters,” Wasim said.

The chief selector also spoke on the exclusion of Sarfaraz Ahmed, saying that since Mohmmad Rizwan’s emergence as Pakistan No.1 wicket-keeper there had been limited playing opportunities for the former Pakistan captain.

“We had larger squads in during the last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Wasim. “And therefore we were able to include Sarfaraz.

“However, we could only select a 15 players for the World Cup and that’s why we decided on taking Azam as a reserve wicket-keeper since he can also be a part of the playing XI.”

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2021

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