T20 World Cup 2022: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had announced a 15-member squad for the 2022 T20 World Cup, which will be held in Australia in October-November. Despite significant criticism from former cricketers about their form and inexperience, the selectors continued to place their faith in the middle-order lineup of Khushil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Iftikhar Ahmed, and Asif Ali. Also, surprisingly, Shan Masood has also been added to the squad.
However, former Pakistan star and spin legend Saeed Ajmal was dissatisfied with the inclusion of youngster Mohammed Haris in the squad. The 21-year-old star, who occasionally works as a wicketkeeper, was chosen even though he is yet to participate in a T20I for the team. Haris had played for Pakistan in four ODIs, but failed to impress, hitting only 10 runs with the highest score of 6.
Ajmal made a significant assertion regarding the selection of Haris, claiming that Ramiz Raja, the chairman of PCB, “likes” him and that this is the reason why Haris was included in the squad. In a video posted on his official channel, Ajmal said “Mohammad Haris is selected because he is Ramiz Raja’s choice, he is his favourite. Ramiz Raja likes him, that’s why they kept him.”
Saeed Ajmal added that, “If you want to go by performance, Sarfaraz (Ahmed) has been performing well in the (domestic) T20s. You could have kept him in the reserves.” Ajmal added that Sharjeel Khan might have been considered by the PCB for a spot in the team, but the batter last played for Pakistan in August 2021. In the National T20 Cup, where he also recently made an undefeated century (107*) against Balochistan, Sharjeel has been among the highest run scorers.
Before the World cup, Pakistan will play a seven-match T20I series against England at home. They will also travel to New Zealand to compete in a tri-series with Bangladesh. Pakistan’s T20 World Cup campaign is slated to begin on October 23rd against India.