Rashid Latif Lambasts PCB’s Squad Selection for Afghanistan Series

Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) surprising team selection for the T20I series against Afghanistan has, quite understandably, surprised many. PCB decided to rest some big names like skipper Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Afridi for the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan.

Needless to say, PCB’s audacious decision to omit such high-profile names triggered a massive row. Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has lashed out at PCB management for disrupting the team’s combination. “Babar and Shaheen won ICC awards. They [PCB] couldn’t digest it. They said we won’t let it happen and now we are here and will take decisions. Those who never took rest and are 70 or 80 years old and need to rest are now deciding the fate of Pakistan cricket. You can say rest in peace Pakistan team. When you bring new players, you break a team combination,” Latif was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.

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In the absence of several senior cricketers, the Pakistan team will be led by Shadab Khan in the T20I series against Afghanistan. Shadab has proved his mettle as a captain after successfully leading Islamabad United to the playoffs of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2023 season. The 24-year-old had served as Babar Azam’s deputy in the 2022 T20 World Cup. In T20Is, Shadab has till now played 84 matches for Pakistan.

Pakistan named a 15-member squad for the T20I series against Afghanistan scheduled to start on March 24. PCB chief Najam Sethi announced the highly-contentious squad in a press conference earlier this week. Sethi also named Mohammad Yousuf as the interim head coach and batting coach of the Pakistan cricket team.

While Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Afridi have been rested, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Mohammad Hasnain and Khushdil Shah seem to have been dropped by the Pakistan team management. All these nine cricketers had featured in the Pakistan squad which reached the finals of the T20 World Cup in Australia last year.

Pakistan squad:

Shadab Khan (captain), Abdullah Shafique, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shan Masood, Tayyab Tahir, Zaman Khan

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