By Moniba Ali
(Pakdestiny.com) Chief Selector Haroon Rashid has to bite the dust by dropping his blue-eyed Khurram Manzoor and include opener Ahmed Shehzad for T20 Squad. The World Cup kicks off at Kolkata India on March 16.
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. He surprised everyone by including Manzoor in the squad which turned out to be a big gamble. He should have offered his resignation.
Now justifying his earlier move, Rashid said: “The inclusion of Khurram backfired and as a chief selector I take full responsibility.”
Talking to ESPNcricinfo he said: “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.
ARY’s report : Ahmed Shehzad inducted in T20 squad for T20 World cup
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.
Shahid Afridi (capt.), Ahmed Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Khalid Latif, Umer Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan
CRICINFO : Shehzad replaces Manzoor in Pakistan World T20 squad