PCB receives flak for dropping Haris from NZ T20I tour

Fans were expecting to see right-handed batter in action in New Zealand’s conditions

An undated image of Mohammad Haris playing a shot — AFP

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Tuesday earned large-scale criticism online after one of the Green Shirts’ finest T20 batters Mohammad Haris was dropped from the national squad for the five-match T20I series against New Zealand.

Earlier today, Pakistan’s squad for the T20I series against the Kiwis was announced by PCB Chief Selector Wahab Riaz and his consultant Kamran Akmal during a press conference in Lahore.

Haris emerged as one of the finest T20 batters in a very short period and showcased his prowess in leagues all over the world.

The 22-year-old’s exclusion from the squad came as a surprise to the fans as they were expecting to see the right-handed fearless batter in action in New Zealand’s conditions.

“We have rested Mohammad Haris for this series. We know his capability and he is part of our plans going forward. There were some domestic performers in First Class cricket who we wanted to give a chance and increase our pool of players, so we rested Haris from this tour,” Wahab said.

Here is how fans on X, formerly Twitter, reacted:

Pakistan’s squad:

Shaheen Afridi (c), Aamir Jamal, Abbas Afridi, Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan (wk), Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haseebullah (wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mojammad Wasim Jnr, Sahibzada Farhan, Saim Ayub, Usama Mir, Zaman Khan.

Remember, the Pakistan cricket team is currently in Australia to play a three-match Test series in the ongoing World Test Championship (WTC) 2023-25 cycle which will conclude on January 7.

Just five days after the conclusion of the Test series, Pakistan is scheduled to play their first T20I match against New Zealand on January 12.

After skipper Babar Azam stepped down as the captain of all formats, Shaheen Shah Afridi was named the skipper of the shorter format by the PCB.

Shaheen — who is considered one of the finest bowlers in the world, especially with the new ball — will have his first assignment as the captain against the runner-ups of the 2021 T20 World Cup.

Schedule of Pakistan’s 2024 tour to New Zealand

  • First match: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 12 January, Auckland
  • Second match: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 14 January, Hamilton
  • Third match: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 17 January, Dunedin
  • Fourth match: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 19 January, Christchurch
  • Fifth match: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 21 January, Christchurch.

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