Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has included opener Sharjeel Khan and fast bowler Mohammad Sami in the squad for the upcoming Asia Cup 2016 and ICC World T20 2016 tournaments after injuries to Babar Azam and Ruman Raees.
The expected announcement came late last night through a press release from the PCB, which said that the changes were necessitated due to injuries that batsman Azam and pace bowler Raees had picked during the Pakistan Super League ((PSL) in Dubai. The PCB said Babar and Raees were unavailable for both events. Both the youngsters are yet to play in a T20 international for Pakistan.
According to the PCB, Azam suffered a fracture on his left forearm during a practice session with Islamabad United and he has been advised around three to four weeks rest. Left arm pacer Raees suffered a grade one hamstring strain and is working to regain his fitness.
"After having looked at the performance of the players in the PSL, the selection committee along with captain Shahid Afridi and head coach Waqar Younis decided to include Sharjeel Khan and Mohammad Sami as replacements for injured Babar Azam and Ruman Raees respectively for both Asia Cup and World Cup," Pakistan chief selector Haroon Rasheed said in a statement.
"Since we have options available to bring in changes in our World T20 squad before the support period starting from 8 March, 2016, it has also been decided to use this option and include Khalid Latif, who showed tremendous display of power hitting in the PSL matches.
Meanwhile, another batsman Khalid Latif, who hit form recently and has piled 190 runs in eight PSL matches so far, has been picked up for World T20 in India.
"Khalid Latif could not be made part of the Asia Cup squad due to some technical reasons but would join the squad for the World Cup," Rasheed said. The Asia Cup and World T20 kick off on 24 February and 16 March, respectively.