'I would never let him get anywhere near the team': Shahid Afridi Blasts Pakistan Youngster Over Selection for T20 World Cup 2024

Pakistan announced its squad for the T20 World Cup 2024 just hours before the ICC's final deadline. Babar Azam will lead the team which is a good mix of youth and experience.

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Former Pakistan allrounder Shahid Afridi has always put his heart out on the selection matters of Pakistan's cricket team. Recently, Pakistan announced its squad for the T20 World Cup 2024, just hours before the ICC's deadline to announce the squad.

The team will be led by Babar Azam, who also led the team in the previous two editions of the tournament. The squad is a good mix of youth and experience, but a few names have been questioned by various experts. One of those names is of the wicketkeeper Azam Khan.

'I would never let Azam Khan get anywhere near the team': Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi criticized Azam Khan's selection for Pakistan's T20 World Cup squad. While speaking to a local TV channel, Afridi insisted that fitness of a player cannot be compromized while selecting a national team.

"Fitness is the main thing. If you are fit, your body language gives it away on the ground, be it while batting, bowling, or fielding. You can’t compromise on fitness. I would never let Azam Khan get anywhere near the team as far as fitness is concerned," he said.

The 47-year-old also raised questions over Azam Khan's ability to keep wickets in West Indies, as the ball tends to stay low there.

"In England, the ball carries behind the stumps (while keeping). But when they’ll go to the West Indies, the ball won’t carry as much there, it will keep low. I hope he doesn’t struggle, but I am worried about his keeping against spinners in West Indian conditions with this fitness, because the ball stays low there and you have to keep your body low as well," Afridi added.

Azam Khan is one of the two wicketkeepers selected in Pakistan's squad for the T20 World Cup 2024. Mohammad Rizwan is the other wicketkeeper in the squad.

The 25-year-old youngster has played just 12 T20Is so far, having scored just 88 runs at an average of 11. His selection for a big tournament like T20 World Cup despite poor numbers in international cricket raises a lot of questions but he has the experience of playing in Caribbean Premier League (CPL), which could be beneficial.

Also read: Huge announcement from Jay Shah after IPL 2024 comes to a conclusion

Azam Khan is known for his big-hitting abilities in the middle order. In Pakistan's recent series against Ireland, Azam Khan scored 48 runs in 3 matches while being dismissed just once at a strike rate of 266.66. He smashed 6 sixes and 2 fours during the 18 balls he faced in the series.

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