Karachi: Pakistan today recalled experienced opener Ahmed Shehzad in their 15-member squad for World Twenty20 Cricket Championship in India, while retaining the struggling Shahid Afridi as captain.
Ahmed Shehzad. Pic/AFP
Under-fire chief selector Haroon Rasheed said Shehzad would replace Khurrum Manzoor in the World Twenty20 while as earlier announced, middle-order batsman Khalid Latif would take the place of batsman Ifthikar Ahmed.
Ironically, Ifthikar was a part of the squad on the tour to New Zealand and in the Asia Cup but was fielded in only one match in which he didn't face a single ball and thus goes out without getting any chance to show his worth.
The selectors had dropped Shehzad for the Asia Cup and World Twenty20 last month but Haroon justified his recall by stating that the opener had shown a return to form in the Pakistan Super League.
"The team has been selected keeping in mind the conditions during the World T20 in India," Haroon said. "The team is a fine blend of experience and youth and the selectors believe that team will do well in the mega event," he added.
The selectors had announced midway through the PSL that Khalid Latif would replace Ifthikar for the World event. And despite speculations about the future of flamboyant all-rounder, Afridi the board has decided to retain him for the mega event as captain but it is certain he will now be asked to retire after the tournament.
Pakistan squad: Ahmed Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan, Muhammad Hafeez, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Khalid Latif, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Anwar Ali, Muhammad Nawaz, Emad Wasim, Shahid Afridi (Capt), Wahab Riaz, Muhammad Aamir, Muhammad Irfan and Muhammad Sami.