The injured Fakhar Zaman misses the T20 World Cup

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The injured Fakhar Zaman missed Pakistan’s squad for the T20 World Cup and was replaced by uncapped Shan Masood on Thursday.

Fakhar injured his knee in last Sunday’s Asian Cup final against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates and will also miss the seven-game T20 home series against England from next week.

Masood, who has played 25 Test matches and five one-day internationals, has been consistent and prolific in domestic white ball cricket after being demoted in the batting order from his usual opening spot.

“Shan has proven he can play in the middle division and we are confident he will maintain his form at the T20 World Cup,” said Chief Selector Mohammad Wasim.

Fakhar, fast bowler Shahnawaz Dahani and wicketkeeper Mohammad Haris have been named as traveling reserves for next month’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

Fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi was expected to recover in time for the T20 World Championship and was called up to the 15-man roster. Afridi injured his knee during the test series in Sri Lanka and was rehabilitated in England.

“We are receiving encouraging reports of Shaheen Shah Afridi, who is expected to return to bowling early next month,” Wasim said.

Pace bowler Mohammad Wasim Jr. has recovered from a lateral strain that forced him to miss the Asian Cup and is back in the squad.

The selectors continued to believe in the middle class who lost the 23-round Asian Cup final to Sri Lanka: Khushdil Shah, Iftikhar Ahmed and Asif Ali.

“We’ve won nine of our last 13 T20s,” said Wasim. “We have invested in these cricketers and it is fair for them to be given the opportunity to show their skills at the World Cup, an event they have prepared and trained hard for.”

Two domestic cricket performers, all-rounder Aamir Jamal and mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed, were included in the squad for the home series against England after Fakhar and Afridi were sidelined by injuries.

Pakistan is playing a T20 tri-series in New Zealand with Bangladesh ahead of the T20 World Cup.

Pakistan is grouped with India, South Africa, Bangladesh and two qualifiers at the T20 World Cup. Pakistan meets India in the opening game on October 23 in Melbourne.

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Pakistan: Babar Azam (Captain), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jr., Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Usman Qadir. Travel Reserves: Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Haris, Shahnawaz Dahani.

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