Sethi clarifies decision of resting key players including captain Babar

LAHORE: The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) management committee Najam Sethi on Monday, clarified the national team’s selectors’ decision of resting key players for the upcoming T20I series against Afghanistan in Sharjah.

The chairman of the PCB management committee Sethi, who held a press conference alongside chief selector Haroon Rasheed at Gaddafi Stadium here, refuted the rumours surfacing regarding a change in the team’s leadership and categorically stated that Babar will remain the national team’s all-format captain as long as he is willing to keep the role.

“There is no threat to our established captain Babar Azam. He remains the national captain of our Pakistan squad,” clarified Sethi.

“Whenever Babar tells me that he wants to relinquish the role in one format or in all formats, it is going to be his decision. I respect him a lot. He’s our top star and I’m glad that he supported our initiative,” he maintained.

Sethi then disclosed that he took all key players – Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Fakhar Zaman and Haris Rauf – in confidence before finalizing the squad and there is no threat to their place in the national team.

“I have discussed the matter with Babar, Rizwan, Shaheen and Fakhar and we are resting them. And all of them are happy. No problem,” stated Sethi.

“So, whoever is being rested, is on board. Their place is confirmed in the national team. There is no threat to them. They are our assets and they are genuinely being rested,” he added.

“We thought that some of our players were dealing with minor niggles and should rest. Also, some of our in-form and senior players, who played a lot of cricket in the last two years still have a hectic schedule ahead of them. So, we decided to rest those senior players as well in order to help them recover or avoid injuries,” he reasoned.

It is worth mentioning that chief selector Haroon named a fresh-look 15-member squad for the T20I series against Afghanistan under the leadership of all-rounder Shadab Khan.

Shadab will lead the side that includes four uncapped players – Ihsanullah, Saim Ayub, Tayyab Tahir and Zaman Khan – while Abdullah Shafique, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim have been recalled.

READ: PCB names new captain, fresh-look squad for Afghanistan T20Is

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