Pakistan’s ICC T20 World Cup 2024 squad: Babar to captain pace-packed side

Pakistan have named five pace bowlers in their 15-man squad for the tournament in the US and West Indies.

babar haris shaheen pakistan australia
Pakistan's captain Babar Azam will lead a pace-heavy squad which includes Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah and Mohammad Amir [Aijaz Rahi/AP]

Babar Azam will continue to lead Pakistan at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 as the South Asian side named their pace-heavy squad for the tournament.

Babar, who stepped down as captain after the 50-over Cricket World Cup in November, was reinstated earlier this year and will lead the 2009 champions at the tournament in the United States and West Indies next month.

Pakistan have also retained fast bowler Haris Rauf when announcing their 15-man squad on Friday, despite doubts about his fitness and lack of match practice.

The 30-year-old injured his shoulder during Pakistan Super League in February and is expected to play in the second Twenty20 international in Birmingham on Saturday – his first outing since recovery.

Pakistan Cricket Board’s selection committee said Rauf is fit and raring to go.

“Rauf is full fit and bowling well in the nets,” said a PCB release.

“It would have been nice if he had gotten an outing in the first match at Headingley, but we remain confident that he will continue to maintain an upward trajectory in the coming matches.”

The Headingley match between Pakistan and England was abandoned due to rain.

Pakistan is the 20th and the last team to announce the squad as they continued to search for combinations since their 2-2 series draw at home against New Zealand last month.

The tournament will run from June 1 to June 29.

Teams are divided into four groups of five with the top two teams qualifying for the Super Eight Stage in which all matches will be played in the West Indies.

Pakistan’s Group A includes arch-rivals India, as well as Canada and Ireland.

Pakistan will face USA in their first match in Dallas on June 6.

Fast bowler Hasan Ali, as well as batters Agha Salman and Muhammad Irfan Khan were left off the squad.

Fast bowler Mohammad Amir – the only survivor of Pakistan’s 2009 Twenty20 World Cup triumph – is staging a comeback after coming out of retirement two months ago.

He is part of a strong pace attack spearheaded by Shaheen Shah Afridi, Rauf, Naseem Shah and Abbas Afridi.

Pakistan lost in the semifinal of the 2021 Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and in the final in Australia in 2022.

Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Saim Ayub, Fakhar Zaman, Usman Khan, Azam Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, Abbas Afridi, Haris Rauf, Abrar Ahmed.

Source: News Agencies