Selectors talk about Pakistan opening pair, vice-captain, Kirsten’s arrival

Gary Kirsten is currently the mentor of Gujarat Titans in the IPL

Selectors talk about Pakistan opening pair, vice-captain, Kirsten’s arrival PHOTO: FILE

The Pakistan selectors have been deliberating over the upcoming T20 World Cup squad and the structure of the team, focusing on the roles of key players and the opening pair. 

Speaking in a presser on Thursday in Lahore, selector Wahab Riaz spoke about the importance of a strong opening pair.

"When you form a team, you identify your key players or those the team can rely on, and right now, that is undoubtedly Babar and Rizwan. That's why we need someone at the start, with Babar or Rizwan, and that we have in Saim's form. He's a more attacking player who can be aggressive at the top," Wahab said.

"Then, in the middle overs where we face problems, we need a player who can lead the team. So, I think this is all part of the planning. If we realize that we need to make changes moving forward, we will make them. We are working in the best interest of the team, and we will do whatever is the best," he further added.

Regarding the selection of the playing XI, Wahab clarified that it is primarily the responsibility of the coach and the captain. 

“The playing XI has to come from the coach and the captain. If they want our advice, we will certainly provide our input but selecting the playing XI is not in our domain,” Wahab said.

Furthermore, selector Mohammad Yousuf stated that Gary Kirsten, who was appointed as the head coach of Pakistan's white-ball cricket team, will join the squad for the England series. 

“Gary [Kirsten] will join us in England series. Azhar Mehmood will be head coach for Ireland series. Azhar is regularly in touch with Gary,” Yousuf said.

“We will announce the vice-captain soon,” Yousuf added.
It is worth noting that Pakistan selection committee on Thursday announced an 18-member squad for the upcoming Ireland and England T20I series.

The squad will be trimmed to 15 players for next month’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 after the first T20I against England on May 22 at Leeds.