PCB likely to name T20 World Cup squad today


Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is expected to announce the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 squad on September 6, following consultations with the coach staff as well as captain Babar Azam.

According to a report by Cricket Pakistan, Pakistan’s squad is likely to include players who have recently been part of the limited-overs squad for series against England, West Indies as well as the forthcoming series against New Zealand.

It was also reported that PCB chairman-in-waiting Ramiz Raja is said to have provided his input in naming the team for the tournament.

Moreover, the CEO of the cricket governing body, Wasim Khan will also be approving the squad.

For a man regarded among the top batters in current world cricket, Babar Azam is a quiet individual in his role as the all-format Pakistan captain.

While there is no denying his standing as the country’s best batter — who currently tops the ICC One-day International batting ranking and has been overtaken by England’s Dawid Malan as the No.1 batter in Twenty20 Internationals — Babar is focusing on leading Pakistan at the T20 World Cup in the UAE where Pakistan open against India in the Group 2 clash on Oct 24.

‘Obviously our preparations for the World Cup will be as best as possible, and the seven matches [five against New Zealand, followed by two England fixtures] we play would surely help us before the mega event,’ Babar said in an interview with Dawn.

‘The stats say we’ve won 21 of the 31 matches and that is an indication our confidence level is high.

‘We are quite familiar with the UAE conditions because we’ve played a lot on those pitches and it has been a lucky venue where Pakistan became the top-ranked T20 side.

The [three-match] ODI and T20 series against New Zealand will be crucial for us as a group because it give adequate practice before the World Cup.

‘Although it would have been nice if Pakistan had faced a full-strength New Zealand team just to give us good workout against one of the best sides who we’ll also play in the World Cup,’ he added. ‘Our focus is to make sure Pakistan get to the UAE in a winning mode.—AFP

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