In-form batsman Fakhar Zaman is likely to replace Shadab Khan in Pakistan’s twenty20 squad for the upcoming seven T20Is against South Africa and Zimbabwe in the ongoing tour.
It is learned that a request to retain the batsman for the T20 series was sent to the selection committee and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) back home considering Fakhar’s form and utility for the T20 series.
“Head coach Misbah and captain Babar want to retain him [Fakhar Zaman] for the seven T20 matches that Pakistan are to play during the African Safari,” a well-placed source in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) told the correspondent.
“Following his heroics at the Wanderers that saw Fakhar playing one of the finest innings in the ODI cricket, questions were raised as to why such a powerful hitter was sidelined from the T20 series.”
Read: Babar Azam says Fakhar Zaman’s innings ‘one of the best’ he’s seen
The top-order batsman will be retained keeping in mind the team’s preparations for the T20 World Cup scheduled in India later this year. “Misbah and Babar spoke highly of him and his utility for the forthcoming series that will serve as a stepping stone in team’s preparations for the T20 World Cup,” the source added.
“Both captain and the head coach is interested in keeping him on top of their priority list for the T20 World Cup to be held in India in October-November.”
A team official in South Africa said that they have received a go-ahead to retain Fakhar for the back-to-back T20 series while the official announcement regarding his inclusion in the squad is expected to be made very soon.
On the other hand, injured Shadab Khan who has failed miserably as a bowler and batsman during the ongoing series is expected to return home along with Imamul Haq.
“It would be useless to retain injured player in the team and take him to Zimbabwe knowing that he cannot play anymore during the tour. The decision to send Shadab back home will be made soon.”