Pakistan taking the unretired Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim to T20 World Cup

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ISLAMABAD (AP) — Coming out of retirement paid off for fast bowler Mohammad Amir and allrounder Imad Wasim when they were named in Pakistan’s 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup on Friday.

Both players have rich experience of playing in the Caribbean Premier League and the selectors backed them.

Fast bowler Haris Rauf was also chosen despite not playing competitive cricket since late February when he dislocated his shoulder during the Pakistan Super League. Rauf was expected to play against England at Headingley last Wednesday but Pakistan’s first T20 of the four-match series was washed out.

The team management was satisfied with the fitness of Rauf, who has been bowling in the nets without any discomfort. The selectors believed his express pace will play an important role in the T20 World Cup which starts on June 1 in the Caribbean and the United States.

Pakistan was the last team of 20 to announce its squad. The Pakistan Cricket Board also announced there will be no travelling reserves.

Pakistan opens against the host U.S. on June 6 in Dallas, and also has group games against India, Canada and Ireland. The top two teams advance to the second round.

It will be the first T20 World Cup for leg-spinner Abrar Ahmed, wicketkeeper-batter Azam Khan, fast bowler Abbas Afridi, opening batter Saim Ayub and middle-order batter Usman Khan.

Usman Khan, who was banned by the Emirates Cricket Board for five years for playing for his country of birth, had a below-par first T20 series against New Zealand last month.

Pakistan has an impressive record at the T20 World Cup. It reached the inaugural final in 2007 and triumphed in 2009. Under Babar Azam’s captaincy, Pakistan played in the 2021 semifinals and lost the 2022 final against England.

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

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AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket

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