Cricket

Salman Butt picks his Pakistan T20 World Cup squad; includes Sarfaraz Ahmed

Salman Butt
Salman Butt. (Photo Source: ARIF ALI/AFP via Getty Images)

Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt reckoned that Sarfaraz Ahmed should have got a chance in the national squad for the 2021 T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. The PCB has named two wicketkeepers- Mohammad Rizwan and Azam Khan– in the squad and left out Sarfaraz. The 34-year-old Sarfaraz is currently playing for Sindh in the 2021 National T20 Cup.

Even as Sindh are unbeaten out of three games in the tournament, Sarfaraz is their leading run-scorer, having notched 98 runs at an average of 98 and a strike rate of 124.05. He also got the Player of the Match award in the game against Northern where he scored an unbeaten 41-ball 42 to steer his team through to victory at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

Sarfaraz not in Pakistan’s squad for the mega event

Sarfaraz has been in and out of the Pakistan team since the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales where the Men in Green couldn’t qualify for the semi-final. He lost his captaincy from all three formats and Mohammad Rizwan’s incredible form has kept him out of the eleven. In his squad, Butt also went for the experienced Shoaib Malik, who isn’t a part of the original squad.

But also included left-handed batter Fakhar Zaman in the main squad. Fakhar isn’t a part of Pakistan’s main squad, but has been included as a travelling reserve. The southpaw is currently plying his trade for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the National T20 Cup.

In the meantime, Butt clarified that he picked the squad based on the playing conditions in the UAE. “Based on the kind of conditions we might have in the UAE. For those asking about it, this is what I think,” Butt was quoted as saying.

Pakistan are set to start their World Cup campaign against India on Sunday, October 24 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. The team was recently jolted with a blow after New Zealand and England cancelled their tours to the Asian country due to obvious reasons.

Salman Butt’s squad

Fakhar Zaman, Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Hassan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Usman Qadir, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Wasim Jr./Anwar Ali.