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Speculation Swirls: Kamran Akmal’s Potential Return to Pakistan Squad for ICC World Cup Raises Eyebrows

SportsSpeculation Swirls: Kamran Akmal's Potential Return to Pakistan Squad for ICC World Cup Raises Eyebrows

Kamran Akmal’s Predictions for Pakistan’s ICC T20 World Cup 2024 Squad

Kamran Akmal’s Insights on Current Players and Squad Composition

Former wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal, currently serving as a consultant to Chief Selector Wahab Riaz, recently shared his predictions for Pakistan’s squad in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024, scheduled to take place in the United States and the West Indies.

Player Evaluation and Selection Criteria

Akmal expressed his belief that the current players have had ample opportunities to prove themselves, emphasizing the importance of performance in domestic and first-class cricket. He indicated that Pakistan’s T20 World Cup squad would likely mirror the team that participated in the four-match T20I series in England.

Notable Players and Potential Changes

Regarding key players like Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Fakhar Zaman, Akmal asserted that these individuals are indispensable and unlikely to be replaced. However, he suggested the possibility of making adjustments in the middle order to optimize team performance.

Overview of Pakistan’s T20 World Cup Campaign

Group Stage and Opponents

Pakistan finds itself placed in Group A alongside traditional rivals India, as well as co-hosts United States, Ireland, and Canada. The top two teams from the group stage will advance to the Super 8 stage of the tournament.

Fixture Highlights

Shaheen Afridi’s side is set to commence its campaign on June 6 against the United States, followed by a highly anticipated encounter with India on June 9 in New York. This match holds significance as it marks the first ICC event meeting between the two teams since their clash at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.

Previous Performances and Expectations

Despite facing challenges, including the loss to India in the 2023 World Cup, former player Michael Vaughan has expressed optimism about Pakistan’s prospects. Vaughan’s predictions align with Pakistan’s strong track record in T20 cricket, having qualified for the final in the last two editions of the T20 World Cup.

Potential Surprise Inclusion: Kamran Akmal’s Comeback

Notable Performance and Consideration

Kamran Akmal’s impressive batting form during the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Gold league final at the National Stadium has sparked discussions about his potential inclusion in Pakistan’s final World Cup squad. Despite being out of favor in the one-day format since the Champions Trophy in England, Akmal’s unbeaten 131-run innings has caught the attention of selectors.

Evaluation and Positioning

Sources close to the national selection committee suggest that Akmal is being considered as a specialist batsman rather than a wicketkeeper. While acknowledging the talent of another contender, Muhammad Rizwan, selectors are drawn to Akmal’s international experience and previous World Cup participation.

Selection Process and Final Decision

The final decision regarding Akmal’s inclusion will depend on his performance in the Pentangular one-day Cup, scheduled to begin on December 31. With selectors closely monitoring player performance, the final World Cup squad is expected to be announced on January 7.

In conclusion, Kamran Akmal’s insights offer valuable perspectives on Pakistan’s squad composition and potential surprises, setting the stage for an exciting and competitive ICC T20 World Cup 2024 campaign.

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