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Do we have a replacement for Babar, Rizwan? Afridi answers team replacement rumors

Following the disappointing exit from the T20 World Cup 2024, former captain Shahid Afridi addressed the rumors about potential changes in the national team lineup and emphasized the need for a more measured approach.

“We’ve heard rumors about dropping eight to nine players from the team, but that’s not practical. Such changes are only possible if there are capable replacements ready. Do we have anyone who can match Babar or Rizwan? These discussions require a strong bench,” Afridi remarked.

The former skipper urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to respect domestic cricket performers and suggested that underperforming players should return to domestic cricket to regain form. He highlighted the contributions of Salman Agha, Saud Shakeel, Sahibzada Farhan, and Mohammad Ali, emphasizing the importance of considering year-round performances over short-term results.

“You need to give respect to your domestic players; they play all year and give great performances. If we ignore their performances and bring a player based on the performance of just three matches, then we are doing injustice,” he stated.

Stressing the importance of consistency and fitness, the former captain stated “The players from this team, be it Azam Khan or Saim Ayub, should be told to play domestic cricket for two straight years and maintain their fitness. The selection committee should ensure that if you want to play for Pakistan, you have to meet the required standards,”

Meanwhile, no cricket was played at a rain-soaked Lauderhill in Florida, resulting in the US and Ireland being awarded one point each. This advanced the US to the Super 8 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup from Group A, marking a historic achievement in their debut World Cup appearance.

With this result, the US secured a spot alongside India in the top two of their group, ending Ireland’s chances of progressing and confirming Pakistan’s exit from the tournament at the group stage.

 

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