Monday Sep 20, 2021
LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday announced the schedule and squads for the National T20 2021-22, which is scheduled to be held from September 23 to October 13.
It will be Babar Azam versus Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan versus Shadab Khan, Sharjeel Khan versus Naseem Shah, Fakhar Zaman versus Shahnawaz Dahani and Hasan Ali versus Imam-ul-Haq during the matches.
According to the statement issued by the board, the 18 Rawalpindi-leg matches, which were earlier planned for Multan, will now be played at the Pindi Cricket Stadium till October 3, while Gaddafi Stadium will remain the venue of the remaining 15 matches that will commence on October 6.
Both semi-finals will be played on October 12 with the first match to commence at 3pm and the second match to begin at 7:30pm.
The National T20 is a fiercely contested and highly entertaining tournament. It not only provides opportunities to cricketers to stake claims on the national side, but leading performers get a chance to be included in the PSL Player Draft and then picked up by the franchises.
“The event starting later this week has become even more important and critical as members of the Pakistan squad for next month’s ICC T20 World Cup will be in action,” the statement noted.
With each player to get, at least, 10 matches, they will aim to strike form and fitness that can help them be in their best shape when they arrive in the UAE on October 15.
PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja said: “Following the postponement of the New Zealand series, the National T20 provides an opportunity to our elite cricketers to maintain their focus and composure, show the world that they have not been distracted by the events of last week and continue with their preparations for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.”
“The participation of our finest cricketers in the National T20 will also enhance the reputation, value and significance of the tournament while providing the next generation of cricketers a chance to rub shoulders with the national stars and learn the art of preparing and performing at the highest level.
“With your enthusiasm, wishes and backing, Pakistan cricket will continue to move forward. Pakistan Zindabad!” he added.
Pakistan wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan will lead defending champions Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, runners-up Southern Punjab will be captained by hard-hitting top-order batter Sohaib Maqsood.
Babar Azam, Pakistan’s all-format captain and second-ranked T20I batsman, will captain Central Punjab and Pakistan’s ODI opener Imam-ul-Haq will lead Balochistan.
Sindh has kept faith in former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, while Pakistan white-ball vice-captain Shadab Khan will be in charge of Northern.
Apart from Babar, Rizwan, Shadab and Sohaib, other members of the ICC T20 World Cup squad to feature in the 33-match National T20 are Azam Khan, Khushdil Shah (both will play for southern Punjab), Hasan Ali, Mohammad Hafeez (both supposed to play for central Punjab), Imad Wasim (Northern), Mohammad Hasnain (Sindh), Asif Ali, Haris Rauf, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz (all Northern) and, Mohammad Wasim Jnr and Shaheen Shah Afridi (both will play for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa).
Fakhar Zaman (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Shahnawaz Dahani (Sindh) and Usman Qadir (central Punjab) will also be in action. They have been named as the travelling reserves.
In Balochistan’s squad, Mohammad Ibrahim Snr has replaced Awais Zia, who withdrew from the National T20.
National T20 matches from September 23 to October 3 will be held at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium; meanwhile, matches from October 6-13 will be played at the Gaddafi Stadium.
The first match will start at 3pm, the second match to begin at 7:30pm.
The schedule for the matches is as follows:
23 Sep - Balochistan-Northern; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Central Punjab
24 Sep - Sindh-Southern Punjab; Balochistan-Central Punjab
25 Sep - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Southern Punjab; Sindh-Northern
26 Sep - Balochistan-Southern Punjab; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Central Punjab
29-Sep - Sindh-Balochistan; Northern-Southern Punjab
30 Sep - Northern-Central Punjab; Sindh-Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
1 Oct - Balochistan-Southern Punjab; Northern-Sindh
2 Oct - Balochistan-Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Sindh-Central Punjab
3 Oct - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Northern; Southern Punjab- Central Punjab
6 Oct - Central Punjab-Sindh; Balochistan-Northern
7 Oct - Central Punjab-Southern Punjab; Balochistan-Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
8 Oct - Central Punjab-Northern; Southern Punjab-Sindh
9 Oct - Sindh-Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Northern-Southern Punjab
10 Oct - Southern Punjab-Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Balochistan-Central Punjab
11 Oct - Sindh-Balochistan; Northern-Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
12 Oct - No 1 team vs No 4 team; No 2 team vs No 3 team
13 Oct – Final