Sarfaraz Ahmed among 3 Pakistan changes for T20 World Cup

Former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed was recalled on Friday as Pakistan made three changes to its squad for this month’s T20 World Cup.

Sarfaraz replaces Azam Khan, who was dropped after a review of performances in the ongoing National T20 Cup.

Khan was originally named in the squad of 15 announced by the selectors on Sept. 4.

Fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain was also dropped on Friday while young batsman Haider Ali was chosen. Experienced batsman Fakhar Zaman has swapped places with Khushdil Shah, who will now be a travelling reserve.

“The three in-form players bring with them a wealth of experience and talent, and provide further stability, balance and strength,” chief selector Mohammad Wasim said in a statement.

Sohaib Maqsood has been retained in the squad but the Pakistan Cricket Board said a final decision on his inclusion will be made following medical advice on his back problem.

All the World Cup players competed in the National T20 Cup after New Zealand and England abandoned their tours to Pakistan.

“I am pleased with the intensity and high quality of cricket that we have witnessed in the National T20,” Wasim said.

“It has not only provided the players with excellent match practice in the lead up to the UAE competition, it has also given us the opportunity to closely monitor player progress and make decisions that are in the best interest of the side for what will be a cut-throat tournament.”

Pakistan is in Group 2 alongside India, New Zealand, Afghanistan and two qualifiers. The World Cup begins on Oct. 17.


Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim junior, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood.

Travelling reserves: Khushdil Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir.