Shivani Shukla ∙ Sep 16 2022, 12:00 AM | 2 Min Read

PCB chief clarifies Fakhar Zaman's exclusion from T20 World Cup Squad

image-l839gv3xFakhar Zaman in action (PC: Twitter)

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), on Thursday (September 15) announced the squad for the seven-match T20I series against England, the tri-series in New Zealand, and the upcoming T20 World Cup 2022.

There were no major surprise picks barring uncapped Shan Masood's inclusion into the team and Fakhar Zaman missing out from the squad. The destructive left-handed batter, however, has been kept on the standby list alongside Mohammad Haris, and Shahnawaz Dahani. 

Fakhar suffered an injury to his right knee while fielding during the Asia Cup final last Sunday against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates and has been ruled out of the T20 WC. The top order batter will also miss the seven-match T20I series against England starting next September 20 in Karachi.

Pakistan Cricket Board Chief, Muhammad Wasim cited it as the major reason behind Fakhar Zaman's exclusion from the T20 home series against England and the upcoming T20 World Cup. 

“Fakhar Zaman has also been rested from the England T20Is so that he can recover from the knee injury he sustained when he landed awkwardly while fielding in the final." 

Fakhar Zaman had a dismal outing in the recently concluded Asia Cup 2022, where he managed to accumulate just 96 runs across six innings with 53 of them coming against Hong Kong in a group stage fixture. He was dismissed on a golden duck against Sri Lanka in the final of the tournament. 

Shaheen Shah Afridi Returns to the Pakistan Set-Up

Pakistan also breathed a sigh of relief as their fast-bowling sensation Shaheen Shah Afridi, who was ruled out of the Asia Cup 2022, is back in the squad for the T20I World Cup. 

Afridi underwent surgery in London and is expected to join the T20I World Cup squad in Australia next month. Naseem Shah, who enjoyed a phenomenal run in Asia Cup 2022 has also been picked into the squad.  

The PCB chief further stated that all the players picked in the World Cup squad have given consistent performances since November 2021 and hence it is fair to back and invest in them for the upcoming showpiece event Down Under.

“These players have performed well since November 2021 and that’s why we have won nine out of our last 13 T20Is. We have invested in these cricketers, and it is fair to them that they get the opportunity to show their mettle in the World Cup, an event for which they have been preparing and training hard." 

Pakistan, just like last year, will open its  T20I World Cup 2022 campaign against arch-rivals India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on October 23.

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