Pakistani pace bowler Mohammad Amir has ruled himself out of the series between hosts Pakistan and World XI as he attends to his pregnant wife in London.
Speedster Amir, who helped Pakistan win the 2017 Champions Trophy final, was earlier named in the Pakistan squad to take on the World XI in the three-match series starting on September 12. He has now been replaced by Sohail Khan, confirmed captain Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Speaking to the media on the eve of the Pakistan-World XI encounter, Sarfaraz said:
“There is no change of plan as we had already named a 16-man squad with Sohail Khan as an extra bowler with Amir expecting his first baby. Unfortunately he isn’t available, but we have full options available.”
What that means is not only do Pakistan not get the services of their best bowler but Amir also misses out on the opportunity to feature in his first ever game in his country.
And while Sarfaraz will rue the chance to play Amir in this series, he knows that the matches mean a lot. Not just from the point of view of getting cricket back to the country but also because it’s a chance to improve upon Pakistan’s T20I rankings – they are currently third in the world behind New Zealand and England.
Sarfaraz said playing a series at home came with its own pressures but he will be looking to win every game in the series.
“I think the burden of responsibility has been increased because we are playing at home but we take every series seriously.”
“This might be a series for a great cause to revive cricket but we have to watch out for our T20 ranking as well. Our ranking is quite high (No. 3) and we want to maintain it so the series is equally important.”
“We will try to win every game one-sidedly. But obviously, they are a strong team on paper and we will have to fight to win.”
The two teams have been practicing hard at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore and will look to come out all guns blazing come the night of September 12.
More information on how to get the tickets for the Pakistan v World XI game here.