The National T20 Cup concluded on Sunday with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) taking home the well-deserved trophy.
The double-league tournament allowed teams to test their bench strength and provide sufficient chances to everyone. Consequently, several junior players rose to the occasion and proved their mettle. Azam Khan, Abdullah Shafiq, Zahid Mahmood, Ali Imran, Danish Aziz and Mohammad Haris were some of the new names who impressed the fans.
While it was heartening to see youngsters doing well in the National T20 Cup, it was very disappointing to see how big names utterly let down their teams and while not allowing youngsters to fill their shoes.
Based on their performances in the National T20 Cup, the following international players don’t deserve to be part of the Firs XI teams:
Once a regular in Pakistan’s limited-overs team due to his all-round performances, Anwar Ali has long been out of the national side. However, he has constantly played for Sindh in the domestic tournaments and Quetta Gladiators in the PSL.
The all-rounder failed to capitalize on his experience in the National T20 Cup both with the bat and the ball. The 13 wickets he took in 11 games came at an economy rate of 10.16 and an average of 29.69. With the bat, he scored 133 runs in 9 innings at an average of 19, and a strike rate of just over 146.
Sharjeel is one of the few players to have received maximum chances in the domestic circuit despite being involved in the spot-fixing scandal.
He remained off-color during the PSL 2020 and put up a similar show during the National T20 Cup. Despite his inconsistent performance, Sharjeel played all 11 games for Sindh and accumulated 233 runs, at an average of 21.3, and a strike rate of 122.63 which is rather poor for someone like him.
From the fitness point of view, he also looked lazy in the field, refraining from diving and chasing the ball at times. Overall, he needs to work much harder to make a comeback to the national side.
Despite his numbers from the tournament, Manzoor is on the list because of his selfishness and the ‘Me-First’ approach. Having established an identity as a hard-hitting opener, his tournament performances don’t depict his true self.
Even in the semi-final, when Sindh required him to score at a quick pace, he kept nudging the ball here and there to get to his fifty. Manzoor ended up second-highest run-getter in the tournament with 408 runs at an average of 37 and a strike rate of 135. He is nothing more than a second XI player, let alone being picked in the national side.
Asad, an accomplished Test batsman, hasn’t had many outings in the shortest format. This is probably why he failed to perform big in the recently-concluded T20 cup. With 134 runs in 6 games at an average of 22.33 and a strike rate of 118.58, Asad’s numbers prove why he is not a limited-overs player.
Once a spearhead of Pakistan bowling attack in all formats, Irfan has been a sub-par bowler in the domestic circuit. Even in the National T20 Cup, he could not get more than four games for Southern Punjab. Even though he was thought to lead the attack, Irfan bagged only three wickets at an average of 47 and an economy of 8.81.
Umar Amin was once touted as one of the most talented individuals in the circuit and was a permanent member of the side until 2018. Since then, his performances have gone down drastically. In the National T20 Cup, Umar represented Northern for 9 matches and scored 176 runs at an average of 25.14 and a strike rate of 123.07. With these stats, he doesn’t justify his selection in the First XI.
Many of you will be surprised to see him on the list, but his stats were poor. Amir- Pakistan’s premier fast bowler was thrashed all over the park during the tournament. Amir failed to make an impact and took only 6 wickets in the 7 games for Northern. His average remained 38.83 and the economy was at 8.74 which are very trifling stats for a bowler of his caliber.