ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021
Misbah, Waqar step down after Pakistan name Cup squad
Pakistan need a new head coach and bowling coach after Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis stood down from their posts in the wake of the country's T20 World Cup squad selection
7 September 2021, 07:36 AM AEST
Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis have stepped down from their respective roles after the nation's T20 World Cup squad was named.
Middle order power-hitters Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah the surprise inclusions in a 15-member squad that will also play a five-match home series against New Zealand later this month and a two-match series against England before flying out to the United Arab Emirates for the T20 World Cup.
Pakistan dropped allrounder Faheem Ashraf, former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, opening batsman Sharjeel Khan and fast bowler Arshad Iqbal, who were part of Pakistan's squads in the last series against England and the West Indies.
"We have tried to cover all our bases by catering for the modern-day brand of T20 cricket that will be required to perform strongly in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup," chief selector Muhammad Wasim said in a statement.
The selectors have kept confidence in Asif, who played the last of his 29 Twenty20 internationals against Zimbabwe in April.
The middle-order batter averages 25.4 with a strike rate of 121.65 but has been struggling for runs lately.
He is competing in the Caribbean Premier League but has scored just 32 runs in five matches.
Left-handed batsman Khushdil averages 21 in nine Twenty20s and has not played for Pakistan since an outing against South Africa at Lahore in February.
While acknowledging the fact that both batsmen do not have outstanding numbers, Wasim said that they were the best available for selection.
Leg-spinner Usman Qadir, opening batter Fakhar Zaman and fast bowler Shahnawaz Dahani will travel with the team to the UAE as reserve players.
The Pakistan Cricket Board appointed former off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq and allrounder Abdul Razzaq as interim coaches for the upcoming home series against New Zealand.
A decision on the team management for this year's T20 World Cup will be taken closer to the tournament.
"The quarantine in Jamaica post the West Indies series provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the past 24 months as well as the schedule for international cricket ahead," Misbah said in a statement.
"Considering that I would have had to continue to spend considerable time away from my family and that too in a bio-secure environment, I have decided to step down from the role."
Both Misbah and Waqar were assigned their roles in September 2019 and had a year left on their contracts.
Pakistan take on New Zealand in three one-day internationals and five T20s in what will be the Black Caps' first tour to the country in 18 years, with the first ODI in Rawalpindi on September 17.
At the World Cup they have been placed in Group 2 along with arch-rivals India, New Zealand, Afghanistan and two qualifiers and begin their campaign on October 24 against India.
Pakistan T20 World Cup squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Azam Khan, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, Shaheen Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood. Travelling reserves: Fakhar Zaman, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir.
2021 Men's T20 World Cup key info
Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins (vc), Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa. Travelling reserves: Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis, Daniel Sams
How teams are grouped
Group A: Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Namibia
Group B: Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, Oman
Group 1: England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, A1, B2
Group 2: India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, B1, A2