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Wahab Riaz reveals reason behind removing Shaheen Afridi as Pakistan captain

Pakistan cricket continues to hog the limelight and this time, it is due to the squad that has been announced for the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand. The five-match series is set to be played from April 18 to 27 with New Zealand team arriving on April 14.

Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Published on: April 09, 2024 17:47 IST
PAK vs NZ
Image Source : PTI Selection committee announced Pakistan's squad for T20I series vs New Zealand

Pakistan Cricket has been in the news in recent times for ousting Shaheen Afridi as Pakistan's captain in T20Is. The fast bowler led his country in the shortest format in only one series and won only one out of five matches before being replaced by Babar Azam again who had stepped down after ODI World Cup last year. Reportedly, Shaheen wasn't pleased with the decision but Wahab Riaz who is part of the selection committee has cleared the main reason for the same.

He has stated that the management wants Shaheen to play with freedom and his workload management is one of the main reasons behind removing as captain. Shaheen is an all-format bowler for Pakistan and is prone to injuries. "Shaheen Afridi was removed as captain because of workload management, and we wanted him to play with freedom without any captaincy pressure. Even Babar Azam can sit out as part of rotation policy. We have still not decided about the vice-captain for T20 team," Wahab said in the press conference.

Pakistan also announced the squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series against New Zealand starting from April 18. Interestingly, the selectors haven't named any vice-captain and have handed maiden call-ups to Usman Khan and Muhammad Irfan Khan. The former was playing for the UAE but recently switched sides to Pakistan after which the Emirates Cricket Board banned him for five years.

"Being chosen to represent one’s country is the ultimate dream and goal for any athlete. Today, I am absolutely thrilled and filled with joy as the selectors have granted me the opportunity to be part of the upcoming series against New Zealand. This selection validates the relentless effort and dedication I have poured into my craft, and I am fully committed to upholding the high standards I have set for myself," Usman said of his selection.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim are back in the squad as well having reversed their retirements to play for the country in the upcoming T20 World Cup. Amir will be making his international comeback after a long gap of four years having last played in 2020. With Amir, Shaheen and Naseem part of the bowling attack and Haris Rauf to join after gaining full fitness, Pakistan's bowling attack will be the one to watch out for in the World Cup.

Pakistan squad for New Zealand T20Is: Babar Azam (captain), Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohmmad Amir, Muhammad Irfan Niazi, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usama Mir, Usman Khan, Zaman Khan

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