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If my Country needs me, I will be available: Imad Wasim

CricketIf my Country needs me, I will be available: Imad Wasim

Srinagar: Out of nowhere in the backdrop of recent PSL performances, there is huge talk surrounding bringing Imad Wasim back into Pakistan cricket team for the T20 World Cup 2024.

The all rounder has been urged to reconsider his retirement from International cricket and return for this year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

Imad played a starring role in helping Islamabad United to a third Pakistan Super League (PSL) title on Monday, with the 35-year-old picking up a five-wicket haul to help restrict Multan Sultans to 159/9 and then returning later in the match to guide the run chase home with an unbeaten 19*.

It was the third match on the trot that Imad has made a telling contribution at the tournament, with the southpaw collecting three valuable wickets against Quetta Gladiators in Eliminator 1 and then again producing the goods in Eliminator 2 against Peshawar Zalmi when he blasted an unbeaten 59*.

Performances like that would be highly sought for Pakistan during June’s T20 World Cup, although at this stage Imad remains retired from international cricket with the talented all-rounder having called time on his career at the highest level in November last year.

But Pakistan Test captain and Islamabad United teammate Shadab Khan has already reached out to Imad in the hope that he will make himself available for this year’s 20-over showcase, believing conditions teams will face in the USA and Caribbean will suit his style of bowling.

“I want to, in fact, when Imad made the decision, I had also talked to him that I didn’t want him to leave,” Shadab said.

“Because Pakistan needs players like him. God willing, if there is a discussion with him, hopefully he will come back because the World Cup is approaching and the way he is performing and his experience in CPL (Caribbean Premier League), Pakistan definitely needs him.”

Imad took four wickets from six matches at the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup with a best haul of 2/25 coming against Afghanistan in Dubai, but was overlooked for the most recent tournament in Australia when selectors opted to use Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab as their premier spinning options.

While Imad has not played a T20I for Pakistan since he took two wickets against New Zealand in Rawalpindi in April last year, he did leave the door slightly ajar for a potential recall if skipper Shaheen Afridi does request his return.

“I made a name for myself while playing for Pakistan and if my country needs me, I will be available. If not, I have no issues with that,” Imad said.

“Shaheen called me after I retired but I told him that we will talk after PSL.”

Courtesy ICC

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