PM Imran is unhappy with the current squad
Former captains Sarfraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik might well end up being in the Pakistan squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
This possibility is on the cards after the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s reported unhappiness with the poor performance of the players, who are already part of the squad, in the ongoing National T20 Cup.
The premier, according to sources, has directed Pakistan Cricket Board chairperson Ramiz Raja to consider bringing changes in the national roster for the mega event, which is set to be held from October 17.
Sources say the PCB chief has asked PM Imran for time till October 3, when the first phase of the National T20 Cup ends. The deadline to submit the final squad for the World Cup is October 10.
Members of the Pakistan T20 World Cup squad wicket-keeper/batsman Azam Khan, all-rounder Khushdil Shah, spinner Mohammad Nawaz, pacer Mohammad Hasnain and batsman Sohaib Maqsood have received criticism from the cricketing circles after poor performances in the first five days of the National T20 Cup.
Southern Punjab’s Azam has scored only 35 runs in his three outings at the Cup while his captain Maqsood has managed to accumulate only 42 runs. Khushdil, with 51 runs in three matches, has also failed to demonstrate match-winning capabilities.
Left-armer Nawaz has two wickets in as many matches for Northern, while pacer Hasnain has bagged two in four matches for Sindh.
Sources say batsmen Fakhar Zaman and Sharjeel Khan, fast-bowler Shahnawaz Dahani and leg-spinner Usman Qadir are being considered ahead of them.
Malik and Sarfraz, due to their experience, can also make the cut after interference by the premier. While Malik has played only one match for Central Punjab in the National T20 Cup, Sarfraz has done some impressive captaincy to lead Sindh to the top of the points table with a perfect record.
Ramiz, sources say, will consult with the selection committee very soon and changes are imminent in the Pakistan T20 World Cup squad.