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PCB says Babar Azam ‘fully behind’ team selection, reports to the contrary ‘factually incorrect’

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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) CEO Wasim Khan has rejected circulating reports that national team captain Babar Azam is unhappy with the squad picked for next month’s T20 World Cup.

On Monday, chief selector Mohammad Wasim announced the squad for the upcoming home series against New Zealand and England as well as the World Cup. The 15-man squad had raised plenty of eyebrows, with critics slamming it for what they called unmerited selection of non-performers and snubbing of experienced players.

In the aftermath of the announcement, several news organisations, citing unnamed sources, claimed that Azam was “unhappy” at not being taken into confidence for the composition of the squad.

The PCB chief executive today rebuffed the reports, calling them “factually incorrect” and stressing that the team skipper was “fully behind” the team named.

“It has come to our notice that factually incorrect reports are circulating about the Pakistan national squad environment,” Wasim is quoted in a press release issued on the PCB website.

“The squad for the upcoming international assignments has been announced and our captain Babar Azam is fully behind the direction that is being taken.

“On Tuesday afternoon, some of the players had a healthy and positive meeting with former Pakistan captain and member of the PCB Board of Governors, Mr Ramiz Raja, in which there was a consensus on the brand of cricket that needs to be played in the upcoming series and beyond.

“It is important that collectively we get firmly behind the squad so that they have the stability, backing and focus they need prior to going into the ICC T20 World Cup next month.”

The World T20 starts September 17. Pakistan are currently without a full-time coaching team, with their head coach Misbahul Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis having abruptly resigned hours after the squad was named on Monday.

In their absence, Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq have been given the charge on interim basis.


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