Pakistan announces ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 squad

The Pakistan Cricket Board today unveiled its 15-player squad for next month’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 in the USA and Caribbean from 1-29 June. The side will be led by Babar Azam.

Squad (in alphabetical order):-Babar Azam (captain),Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf

Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Usman Khan

No reserves have been announced.

Player support personnel: Wahab Riaz (senior team manager), Mansoor Rana (team manager), Gary Kirsten (head coach), Azhar Mahmood (assistant coach), Simon Helmot (fielding coach), David Reid (mental performance coach), Aftab Khan (high performance coach), Cliffe Deacon (physiotherapist), Irtaza Komail (chief security officer), Mohammad Imran (masseur), Mohammad Khurram Sarwar (team doctor), Talha Ijaz (analyst), Raza Kitchlew (media and digital manager) and Drikus Saaiman (strength and conditioning coach).

The side was confirmed on Friday afternoon (UK time) following a two-hour selection committee meeting, which was attended by Abdul Razzaq, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Bilal Afzal, Gary Kirsten, Mohammad Yousuf and Wahab Riaz.

Of the 15 players, Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Saim Ayub and Usman Khan have been picked for their maiden T20 World Cup, while Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim last appeared in the 2016 and 2021 tournaments, respectively. The other eight players participated in the 2022 event in Australia.

“This is an extremely talented and balanced side that has a mixture of youth and experience. These players have been playing together for some time and look well prepared and settled for next month’s event.

“Haris Rauf is fully fit and bowling well in the nets. It would have been nice if he had gotten an outing at Headingley, but we remain confident that he will continue to maintain an upward trajectory in the upcoming matches, as he will have an important role to play along with other strike bowlers in the T20 World Cup.”

Pakistan has one of the most impressive records in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup since its inception in 2007 in South Africa. It won the 2009 event under Younis Khan and twice reached the finals under Shoaib Malik (2007) and Babar Azam (2022). In 2010, 2012, and 2021, it reached the last-four stage.

Pakistan’s schedule of matches:

6 June – vs USA, Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium, Dallas

9 June – vs India, Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York

11 June – vs Canada, Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York

16 June – vs Ireland, Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium, Lauderhill, Florida

Pakistan has been seeded A2 in the first round and if they qualify for the second round, then their Super Eight matches will be as follows:

19 June – vs D1, Antigua

21 June – vs C2, Barbados

23 June – vs B1, Barbados

For more information, please click the ICC’s event website.

Pakistan men’s team meets women cricketers in Leeds

Pakistan men’s cricket team on Sunday held a casual meeting with national women cricketers in a meet and greet event organised at a hotel in Leeds, England.

Pakistan’s men’s white-ball captain Babar Azam, along with senior manager Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Afridi, and other players, wished the women’s cricketers well for their remainder matches part of the England tour.

Pakistan women’s team is set to play the last T20I of the three-match series against England later today at Headingley. England have already attained an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

The national women’s team will then take on England in a three-match ODI series, part of the ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25, scheduled to be played from 23 to 29 May in Derby, Taunton and Chelmsford.

Meanwhile, Pakistan men’s cricket team will play their first match of the four match T20I series against England at the Headingley Cricket Ground on May 22.

The national men’s cricket team reached here on Wednesday, following their 2-1 series victory over Ireland in the three-match series.

After the conclusion of the England series, the Pakistan team will depart for the United States of America (USA) to participate in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024.

The 2009 champions will start their campaign against co-host USA on June 4 before taking on arch-rivals India on June 9.

Pakistan: Gull Feroza, Sidra Ameen, Sadaf Shamas, Muneeba Ali (wk), Nida Dar (c), Aliya Riaz, Fatima Sana, Diana Baig, Waheeda Akhtar, Nashra Sandhu, Sadia Iqbal

England: Maia Bouchier, Danielle Wyatt, Alice Capsey, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Heather Knight (c), Amy Jones (wk), Danielle Gibson, Sophie Ecclestone, Charlie Dean, Sarah Glenn, Lauren Bell

Shaheen Afridi features in 50th edition of PCB Podcast

Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi was a special guest on the 50th edition of the PCB Podcast, which marks a significant milestone as the podcast was launched in September 2019.

In this latest episode, which is available here for viewing and free downloading for editorial purposes, the lanky left-arm speedster candidly discusses his cricket journey, including:

His early days as the youngest of seven brothers and his family’s survival through terrorism. Transition from being a youngster in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2018 to becoming one of the fiercest present-day fast bowlers.

The impact of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 on his career, including his outstanding performance against Bangladesh with a six-fer at Lord’s.

His current fitness and form following a career-threatening injury in 2022

Player of the match performances against India (three for 31 in Dubai) and Bangladesh (four for 22) in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 and 2022, respectively, and the subsequent heartbreaks.

Chances in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 and the team environment, emphasising playing for the star and logo on the chest rather than the name and number at the back of the shirt.

Bowling with Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf, and the importance of collective performances. Expectations from fans and supporters in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 and beyond.

Shaheen had a stellar series against Ireland, finishing as the standout bowler with seven wickets. During the second T20I on Sunday, Shaheen reached a milestone of 300 wickets in international cricket, becoming the 12th Pakistan bowler to achieve this feat. The other 11 are: Wasim Akram (916), Waqar Younis (789), Imran Khan (544), Shahid Afridi (538), Saqlain Mushtaq (496), Saeed Ajmal (447), Shoaib Akhtar (438), Umar Gul (427), Abdul Razzaq (388), Abdul Qadir (368), and Mushtaq Ahmed (346).

The 24-year-old, who has represented Pakistan in 146 international matches since his debut in April 2018, is now focused on the upcoming four-T20I series against England, scheduled from May 22-30, and the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, set to be held in the United States and Caribbean countries from June 1-29

SC bans carrying mobile phones after Imran’s picture leakage

The Supreme Court on Friday banned carrying of mobile phones inside the court following leakage of a picture of PTI founder and former prime minister Imran Khan.

The apex court staff also barred lawyers and clerks from carrying the phones inside the court. The journalists had already been banned from taking their mobile phone cameras inside the court.

The development comes after Imran Khan had appeared via video link in the Supreme Court during hearing of NAB amendments case but did not get a chance to speak as a petitioner in the case,

The PTI founder remained present on the video link for about two hours and 27 minutes. Somehow his picture leaked and was uploaded on social media.

Kirsten to join Pakistan team ahead of England series

Gary Kirsten will join the national men’s side in Leeds on 19 May to commence his two-year tenure as the white-ball head coach, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced today.

Kirsten’s arrival will be three days prior to the start of the four-match T20I series against England at Headingley on Wednesday, 22 May. The series will be followed by the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 in the United States and Caribbean, with Pakistan taking on the hosts in its opener in Dallas on 6 June.

The 56-year-old South African was confirmed as the white-ball head coach along with Jason Gillespie as red-ball head coach last month. The Australian will arrive in Pakistan in July for August’s ICC World Test Championship fixtures against Bangladesh to start his journey.

Apart from next month’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 and other bilateral white-ball series, Kirsten will be the head coach for the ICC Champions Trophy 2025 in Pakistan, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2026 in India and Sri Lanka, and the ACC T20 Asia Cup 2025.

Gary Kirsten:

“I’m truly excited to embark on this new journey with the Pakistan men’s cricket team. It’s an honor to coach such a talented and dynamic team, and I’m eager to contribute to their success on the international stage.

“These are indeed thrilling times for Pakistan cricket, with a new administration and players who are driven to deliver solid results. The upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 presents a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our skills and uphold Pakistan’s legacy as a formidable force in cricket.

“However, success will require collective effort, meticulous planning and unwavering support for one another. With 19 other teams vying for the title, we must consistently outperform our rivals to realise our aspirations.

“On a personal level, I’ve missed the experience of coaching at the international level and nurturing talented players to reach their full potential. I’m committed to working closely with the team to elevate their game and bring joy to fans around the world.”

Meanwhile, the PCB, on the recommendation of the team management, has added Simon Helmot (fielding coach) and David Reid (mental performance coach) to the player support personnel.

Reid will join the side on 20 May and will continue till the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, while Helmot will team up with the national side on 31 May for the USA and Caribbean event. Aftab Khan, who is presently serving the side as the fielding coach, will assume responsibilities of High-Performance Coach for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup following the arrival of Helmot.

On the appointment of mental performance coach David Reid, PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi said: “Ensuring the mental health and well-being of our elite cricketers is not just a priority, but a fundamental commitment. Recognising that their performance on the field is intricately linked to their mental state, we have taken decisive action to provide them with the best support possible.

“That’s why we’ve brought on board David Reid, a seasoned expert with nearly two decades of experience as a Qualified Mental Health Clinician.

“His track record speaks volumes, having successfully worked with world-record holders, Olympians and top-tier sports franchises like Chennai Super Kings, the Melbourne Stars and the Essendon Football Club in the AFL.

“With his expertise in enhancing both functioning and performance, we are confident that our players will receive the comprehensive care they need to thrive both on and off the field.”

PCB Chief Naqvi meets Pakistan cricket team in Dublin

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Mohsin Naqvi met the cricket team in Dublin to boost their morale after losing the first T20I against Ireland.

Addressing the squad in Dublin, Ireland, Mohsin Naqvi, accompanied by Wahab Riaz from the selection committee, stressed the refusal to concede defeat against Ireland in the series opener.

The PCB chairman urged the national cricket team to elevate their fielding standards and exhibit unwavering determination.

Naqvi conducted an extensive two-hour session with the national team, highlighting the upcoming series against Ireland and England preceding the T20 World Cup.

Encouraging a professional and passionate approach, Mohsin Naqvi emphasized the distinctiveness of T20 cricket, urging for an assertive demeanor on the field. While acknowledging the players’ skill and professionalism, he underscored the need for enhanced focus on fielding.

Expressing confidence in the team’s potential and its capacity to meet national expectations, Naqvi stressed the significance of collective effort, stating that unity among the eleven players would pave Pakistan’s path to triumph.

Naqvi concluded by urging the players to persevere until the final ball, showcasing a spirited competitive edge. He highlighted that the ultimate challenge lies ahead in the impending World Cup, following the fixtures against Ireland and England.

In a historic victory, Ireland secured their maiden win in men’s T20Is against Pakistan in the series’ inaugural clash, largely attributed to former Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie’s commanding 77 at the crease. The visitors’ lackluster fielding performance was deemed pivotal by many observers.

Lahore win National Women’s One-Day Tournament

Lahore Women beat Karachi Women by eight wickets to win the National One-Day Tournament at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad on Saturday.

In a match reduced to 27 overs per side due to overnight rain, Karachi Women lost all 10 wickets for 65 runs to be bowled out for 108 in 23.4 overs after being 43 for no loss at one stage. Lahore bowlers Anam Amin and Ayesha Bilal grabbed three wickets each, conceding 12 and 18 runs, respectively, while Quratulain snapped up two for 23.

For Karachi, openers Laiba Fatima and Yusra Amir scored 30 and 24 runs, respectively. In reply, Lahore romped to victory for the loss of two wickets in 22.2 overs after Iram Javed and Kaynat Hafeez put on 63 runs for the unfinished third wicket. Iram remained unbeaten on a 67-ball 55 with five fours and two sixes, while Kaynat scored a 34-ball 22 with three fours.

Scores in brief:

Karachi Women 108 all out, 23.4 overs (Laiba Fatima 30, Yusra Amir 24; Anam Amin 3-12, Ayesha Bilal 3-18, Quratulain 2-23)

Lahore Women 114-2, 22.2 overs (Iram Javed 55 not out, Kaynat Hafeez 22 not out)

Player of the final – Iram Javed (Lahore Women)

Best batter – Iram Javed (400 runs)

Best bowler – Quratulain (23 wickets)

Best wicketkeeper – Soha Fatima (15 dismissals)

Player of the Tournament – Omaima Sohail (384 runs and 20 wickets)