Image courtesy of: Pakistan Super League
Former Pakistan seamer Aaqib Javed said the national team had to compromise on their fitness standards in order to pick wicketkeeper-batsman Azam Khan.
The 23-year-old, who is the son of former Pakistan captain Moin Khan, has been included in Pakistan’s T20 World Cup squad despite only having played three T20 Internationals, where he scored six runs at an average of six.
In the Kashmir Premier League (KPL), the big-hitting youngster amassed 123 runs in six games for the Overseas Warriors, which included a top score of 51, at an average of 20.50 and a strike-rate of 136.66.
Most recently, he played for the Barbados Royals in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and accumulated 178 runs in eight matches, which included a top score of 50, at an average of 22.25 and a strike-rate of 124.47.
Aaqib noted that Pakistan shouldn’t be making compromises when it comes to fitness levels in order to accommodate certain players. Instead, he believes they should be raising the standards in order to compete with the top-ranked sides in the world.
“They had to compromise in fitness as far as Azam Khan’s selection is concerned,” Aaqib was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
“If Pakistan wants to win against top teams then they have to raise their fitness levels and standards. If they keep compromising then the fitness culture in the team will fade away.”
Pakistan will kick off their T20 World Cup campaign against India on October 24 in Dubai.
Pakistan T20 World Cup Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan (vice-capt), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Asif Ali, Sohaib Maqsood, Azam Khan (wk), Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hasnain.
Pakistan T20 World Cup Reserves: Usman Qadir, Shanawaz Dahani, Fakhar Zaman