Ahmed She­hzad re­turns to Pak­istan’s World T20 squad

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

In a dra­matic turn of events opener Ahmed She­hzad re­turned to the Pak­istan squad for the up­com­ing World T20 on Mon­day af­ter be­ing dropped for in­con­sis­tency less than a month ago. Khur­ram Man­zoor re­placed She­hzad when the Pak­istan Cricket Board (PCB) an­nounced the squads for the re­cently con­cluded Asia Cup and World T20 on Fe­bru­ary 10.

"The in­clu­sion of Khur­ram back­fired and as a chief selec­tor I take full re­spon­si­bil­ity," Ha­roon Rasheed told ESPNcricinfo af­ter tweak­ing the World T20 squad for the third time.

"Call it an er­ror of judge­ment or what­ever, but we all have seen him scor­ing runs in do­mes­tic cricket and we gave him a chance. He didn't grab it, it's up to the player to jus­tify his se­lec­tion and in his case he didn't. We gam­bled on (Shoaib) Malik last year and it paid off," he added. She­hzad, af­ter be­ing dropped from the na­tional squad, im­pressed in the in­au­gu­ral sea­son of the Pak­istan Su­per League (PSL), be­com­ing the fourth high­est scorer with 290 runs in 10 matches. The right-han­der was ig­nored again when Shar­jeel Khan and Mo­ham­mad Sami were in­cluded in the Pak­istan ros­ter on Fe­bru­ary 22 af­ter in­juries forced Rum­man Raees and Babar Azam to face an axe. This was the se­cond oc­ca­sion the se­lec­tors shuf­fled the squad.

Man­zoor, in con­trast to She­hzad's PSL per­for­mances, failed mis­er­ably dur­ing Pak­istan's dis­as­trous Asia Cup cam­paign, strength­en­ing the case for the lat­ter's come­back.

"Now when we look around for who is go­ing to re­place Khur­ram, we don't re­ally have a se­ri­ous con­tender, but Ahmed at least has some ex­pe­ri­ence un­der his belt. He did show some form in PSL too, oth­er­wise we haven't seen any other [im­pres­sive] open­ing bats­man," said Rasheed. The Karachi-born opener scored 11 runs in the three matches he played in the con­ti­nen­tal com­pe­ti­tion.

Khalid Latif also joined the na­tional side for the World T20 in place of Iftikhar Ahmed. Pak­istan kick-off their World T20 cam­paign on March 16 at Kolkata be­fore the travel to Dharam­sala for they high-volt­age en­counter against arch-ri­vals In­dia for their se­cond Su­per 10 fix­ture.

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