National team faces shake-up post T20 World Cup, key players at risk

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is planning significant changes to the national cricket team following the T20 World Cup, it was revealed on Tuesday.

This extensive overhaul will see some players and members of the national selection committee dismissed based on their performances in the T20 World Cup and previous series.

Former Test fast bowler Wahab Riaz is among those likely to be dropped, with the National Selection Committee recommending his removal.

Speaking to the media in New York earlier on Monday, Mohsin Naqvi stated that the national team needs “major surgery, not minor surgery.”

Sources indicate that changes will be based on reports from captain Babar Azam, head coach Gary Kirsten, senior manager Wahab Riaz, and stunt coach Azhar Mehmood, as well as a report from former director Muhammad Hafeez. Hafeez has criticised players for prioritising money over teamwork and performance.

Hafeez’s report, which gained significance after the tours of Australia and New Zealand, suggests that Azam Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Usman Khan, Mohammad Amir, and Imad Wasim are at risk of being dropped after the World Cup.

Additionally, sources reveal that a group of three senior players in the Pakistan team have been blackmailing PCB officials with their agent also in the picture.

A few months ago, these players pressured the PCB for higher central contract remunerations, which were subsequently increased. It is notable that all three players share the same manager.

Shadab Khan, closely associated with these three players, might also be released unless he performs exceptionally well in the World Cup, which could secure his place in the team.

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