Shehzad and Gul dropped as Pakistan ring changes for World T20
Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Gul have been left out of Pakistan’s World Twenty20 squad, which features four players uncapped in the shortest format.
Khurram Manzoor, Babar Azam, Mohammad Nawaz and Rumman Raees are the new faces in a 15-man party.
Pakistan played a T20 series in New Zealand as recently as last month, losing 2-1. Opener Shehzad and experienced paceman Gul are among six players to have been cut after participating in that rubber.
Shehzad managed just 33 runs from three innings against the Black Caps and also struggled in the subsequent one-day internationals, while Gul proved expensive in his two T20 outings.
Pakistan’s World T20 squad also serves as their selection for the Asia Cup, which precedes the global event.
Left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir is included, having returned to international cricket in New Zealand after serving a five-year spot-fixing ban.
Haroon Rashid, the Pakistan Cricket Board’s chief selector, said: “While picking the squad, the team management and skipper were consulted by the selectors, and all concerned gave their consent in this regard.
“The T20 team has been selected keeping in mind the conditions during [the] Asia Cup and World T20 and the recent performances of some players in domestic and A team tours.”
Pakistan have been grouped with Australia, India, New Zealand and a qualifier for the Super 10 phase of the World T20. The tournament begins on March 8, with the Super 10s commencing eight days later.
However, uncertainty remains over whether Pakistan will travel to India – with government approval being sought amid security concerns. PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan has said neutral venues could yet be used for Pakistan matches.
Pakistan World T20 squad: Shahid Afridi (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Babar Azam, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Nawaz, Khurram Manzoor, Rumman Raees.