Pakistan announces squad for Asia Cup, T20 World Cup; Ahmad Shahzad, Umar Gul dropped

LAHORE, Pakistan: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday announced the 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 Asia Cup and World T20, dropping the opener Ahmad Shahzad and experienced fast bowler Umar Gul.

Besides, Muhammad Rizwan and Sohaib Maqsood were also dropped by the PCB for the mega events while Muhammad Nawaz and Rumman Raees were included after they performed exceptionally well in the ongoing HBL Pakistan Super league (PSL) for Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United respectively.

The 15-member squad includes:

Khurram Manzoor, Muhammad Hafeez, Umar Akmal, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Sarfraz Ahmed, Shahid Afridi (Captain), Muhammad Nawaz, Anwar Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Muhammad Amir, Rumman Raees, Wahab Riaz and Muhammad Irfan.

Interestingly, Khurram Manzoor who was included in the squad neither has ever played any T20 international match nor any domestic T20 game in last six months. In addition, he was not even picked by any franchise for the HBL PSL 2016.

The announcement came two days later than the PCB had to make. The International Cricket Council (ICC) had set February 8 for all the participating nations to announce their respective squads.

However, the PCB sought more time from the ICC in announcing squads for the Asia Cup and Twenty20 World Cup because the team management wanted to watch players further in action in the ongoing PSL.

The T20 Asia Cup is scheduled to be hosted by Bangladesh from February 24 to March 6 followed by the T20 World Cup in India from March 8 to April 3.