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By Syed Ahmad

Pakistan batter Babar Azam has been named captain of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Team of the Tournament for the recently-concluded T20 World Cup 2021.

Babar, the lone Pakistani in the playing-eleven, was the highest scorer in the T20 World Cup with 303 runs at an average of 60.60, and hit four half-centuries in six matches. His team was knocked out in the semi-final.

Left-arm fast-bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi was named the 12th player.

Surprisingly, the 12-man squad excludes Pakistan’s second-highest scorer Mohammad Rizwan.

The selection panel, led by West Indian great Ian Bishop, said they had an unenviable task of narrowing it down to just 11 players after so many performances across 45 matches. On Rizwan’s absence, Bishop said:

“The top three in the order were so outstanding that we could not leave any of them out. Notable absentees include Mohammed Rizwan who was simply outstanding and courageous in his performance. However, we could not fit him into the team too far outside of the opening position where he is most suited and successful, nor ahead of those selected.”

Players who made it to the XI are:

David Warner

Jos Buttler (wicket-keeper)

Babar Azam (captain)

Charith Asalanka

Aiden Markram

Moeen Ali

Wanindu Hasaranga

Adam Zampa

Josh Hazlewood

Trent Boult

Anrich Nortje

Shaheen Afridi (12th man)

This article was first published in Business Recorder on Nov. 15, 2021