Thursday Sep 22 2022

Pakistan's T20 World Cup squad can be changed if needed: chief selector

Chief selector Mohammad Wasim speaks during a press conference at the National Stadium in Karachi in this undated photo. — PCB/File
Chief selector Mohammad Wasim speaks during a press conference at the National Stadium in Karachi in this undated photo. — PCB/File

KARACHI: The Pakistani side has no plan to change the T20 World Cup squad, but an option is available to bring in some changes if needed, chief selector Mohammad Wasim said Wednesday.

Speaking to Geo News, Wasim admitted that the Pakistan team is facing problems in the middle order and they are trying different combinations during the England series ahead of the mega tournament.

In the 15-player squad announced last week, top-order batter Shan Masood was included in the side for the shortest format for the first time along with fast bowlers Mohammad Wasim Junior and Shaheen Shah Afridi, while Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Haris and Shahnawaz Dahani have been named as the three travelling reserves.

Wasim Junior was included after recovering completely from the side strain he suffered during the ACC T20 Asia Cup, whereas Shaheen, who is undergoing rehabilitation for a knee injury in London and expected to resume bowling early next month, will join the squad in Brisbane on 15 October.

Changes can be made to the squad till 15 October, without needing the Event Technical Committee’s approval.

Mohammad Wasim said that team's performance was not satisfactory in the Asia Cup 2022 final and the first T20 against England.

“The Pakistan team is facing batting problems for which efforts are being made to solve. The team management is also making different combinations in the recent series to solve it and giving the opportunity to bench strength. The World Cup is around the corner and we are not too worried about two consecutive defeats.”

Regarding the changes in the World Cup squad, the chief selector said that there is no plan to change it yet, but the option is definitely there.

"I am not sure what changes could be made. I am hopeful that the players selected for the tournament perform well [in the ongoing series].

Injuries can also cause changes, he said, adding Fakhar Zaman is part of the squad and we hope he recovers from injury soon, but if he is not fit for the World Cup, some names are under consideration.

He said that Saim Ayub and Sharjeel Khan are in our 18 players but not in 15.

“It is not necessary to choose an opener in place of an opener. There are some names under review.”

Wasim said he wouldn’t mind criticism on his selection or on himself but regretted targeting players.