Babar wanted Shadab in ICC World Cup squad, confirms Zaka Ashraf

Pakistan announced their 15-man squad for the mega event on Friday

By Web Desk
September 22, 2023
Babar Azam (R) wanted Shadab Khan (L) in the squad as a vice-captain. — PCB

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced the men’s squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 on Friday and there have been many questions on the contingent chosen by the board to participate in the mega event.

Some changes were made in the squad that were not welcomed by the cricket fraternity but the board members had justifications for their every choice.

Former captains, Misbah ul Haq and Mohammad Hafeez were included in the Technical Committee of PCB and everyone had their say in the squad planning following the Green Shirts’ humiliating exit from the Asia Cup 2023 as they finished last in the Super Four points table.

Although, on Thursday night, Hafeez resigned from his post from the Technical Committee, but the reason behind his resignation is yet to be known.

Similarly, the Chairman of the PCB Management Committee Zaka Ashraf had his say on the squad as strict scrutiny was needed because of Pakistan’s poor performance in the Asian event.

“It was important to review the Asia Cup performance,” said Ashraf. “Mohammad Hafeez and Misbah-ul-Haq have been advising me on essential matters.

“Both former captains wanted big changes in the squad because of the team’s Asia Cup performance while our captain, Babar Azam, and the chief selector, Inzamam-ul-Haq, didn’t want to change the squad.

“We went with the advise of Babar Azam and Inzamam-ul-Haq in the wider interest of the World Cup and the Pakistan cricket team.”

Ashraf also confirmed that Babar chose to include Shadab Khan in the World Cup squad as a vice-captain.

“It was Babar’s wish that Shadab remains the vice-captain during the World Cup,” he said. “However, if he doesn’t perform, he will be dropped.”

Pakistan squad for ICC World Cup 2023

Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, M Wasim Jnr, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha.

Travelling reserves: Mohammad Haris, Abrar Ahmed, Zaman Khan