Masood gets maiden call-up, lead Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi named in T20 World Cup squad

Shaheen, who is under treatment in London, is expected to resume bowling in the nets in early October and will join the team in Australia

Shaheen, who is under treatment in London, is expected to resume bowling in the nets in early October and will join the team in Australia

Shan Masood on Thursday received his maiden T20 call while experienced batter Fakhar Zaman was dropped from the Pakistan team picked for the World Cup in Australia.

A fit again Shaheen Shah Afridi has also been named in the squad.

Masood, who captained Derbyshire in the Vitality Blast in England and did outstandingly well in red and white ball formats, replaces Zaman who is out with a knee injury.

Fakhar despite being discarded for the World Cup and home series against England has been named as travelling reserve for the World Cup.

Chief Selector Muhammad Wasim announced the World Cup squad besides 18 players for the home series of seven T20 matches against England in Karachi and Lahore at the PCB headquarters in Lahore on Thursday.

While the selectors have avoided any experiments in the World Cup squad they have named two uncapped players, allrounder Aamir Jamal and mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed in the home squad besides including a reserve wicketkeeper batsman in Muhammad Haris.

Wasim said despite the fact that there was concern over the failures of the middle and lower order batting in the Asia Cup they had decided to stick with the same set of players who had been playing in the T20 set up since last year’s World Cup in UAE.

“We have reposed faith in the same set of players who have won us matches frequently in this format and we also feel these players brought us several positive victories,” the former Test batsman said.

Conceding that Pakistan’s batting was a problem in the Asia Cup he said the team’s strength remained the opening pair of captain Babar Azam and keeper Muhammad Rizwan.

The good news for Pakistan was the return of tall left arm pacer and lynchpin of the bowling attack, Afridi who has not played any cricket since mid July due to a knee injury.

Shaheen, who is under treatment in London, is expected to resume bowling in the nets in early October and will join the team in Australia.

New Zealand Tri-Series

Pakistan besides playing the seven matches against England will also go to New Zealand for a tri-Series with the hosts and Bangladesh before flying to Australia.

The chief selector also said that Shan Masood had been included in the team because of his form in red and white balls formats including the PSL this year.

“Shan has batted in the ongoing National T20 Championship in the middle order and done well for Balochistan so we felt this was right time to recall him.” Shan has already played 25 Tests and 5 ODIs and last appeared for Pakistan in a Test match in New Zealand in late 2020 after which he was discarded by the selectors.

About the squad for the home series against England, Wasim said that they would try out different combinations keeping in mind the future as well.

Pakistan WC squad and traveling reserve: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood and Usman Qadir.

Traveling reserves: Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Haris and Shahnawaz Dahani.

Pakistan squad for home series v England: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Aamir Jamal, Abrar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan Mohammad Wasim Junior, Naseem Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani, Shan Masood and Usman Qadir.

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