Two-time champions West Indies will kickstart their ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup campaign against Papua New Guinea, as the fixtures for the ninth edition of the tournament was revealed on Friday.

The event to be co-hosted by West Indies and the United States of America is scheduled to run from June 1-29.

West Indies, having won the title in 2012 and 2016, will begin their hunt for a third title against Papa New Guinea at the Guyana National Stadium on Sunday, June 2.

This tournament will see a record 20 teams divided into four groups competing across 55 games for the right to be crowned T20 World Cup Champions 2024. Along with the co-hosts, the list also includes Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, England, India, Ireland, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Uganda.

These 20 teams have been divided into four groups of five, with the top two teams progressing to the Super Eights:

Group A: India, Pakistan, Ireland, Canada and the USA

Group B: England, Australia, Namibia, Scotland and Oman

Group C: New Zealand, West Indies, Afghanistan, Uganda and Papua New Guinea

Group D: South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Netherlands and Nepal

ICC's Chief Executive, Geoff Allardice said the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 marks an exciting expansion of our sport with more teams than ever before set to compete in this event.

"It’s going to be an incredible spectacle bringing together 20 international teams from Africa, the Americas, Asia, East-Asia Pacific and Europe. The release of the fixtures is made even more exciting for fans as we enter a new frontier, with the USA hosting a major ICC event for the first time. With 16 matches being played across three venues in the USA, it allows us to make a statement in the world’s biggest sports market. It will also be great to have an ICC event back in the West Indies, which has such a rich history of the game. It has hosted World Cups with great success in the past and this tournament will certainly provide a boost to the game there, especially with the final being played in Barbados," he said.

The event commences with the two co-hosts starting their campaigns on the first two days of June. United States of America will take on Canada in the tournament opener at the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium in Dallas on Saturday, June 1.

One of cricket’s biggest rivalries will take place in one of the world’s most iconic cities, with New York to host India and Pakistan on Sunday, June 9. The fixture will be played in a cutting-edge 34,000-seat modular stadium just 30 miles east of downtown Manhattan in Nassau County, New York. Eight matches will be played at the venue.

Defending champions England will begin their title defence on Tuesday, June 4, in Barbados against Scotland, and 2022 finalists, Pakistan, will get their challenge going on Thursday, June 6, when they play the United States in Dallas.

Among the plethora of blockbuster matchups scheduled in the group stage, fans can look forward to Sri Lanka taking on South Africa in New York on Monday, June 3, while England will go up against archrivals Australia in Barbados on Saturday, June 8. Another highly anticipated fixture will see the West Indies taking on New Zealand on Wednesday, June 12, at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad and Tobago.

First-time qualifiers Uganda will play their first ever ICC Men’s T20 World Cup fixture in Guyana against Afghanistan on Monday, June 3. Nepal, who qualified for the T20 World Cup for the first time since 2014, will open their campaign against Sri Lanka in one of four matches to be played at Broward County Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida.

Upon completion of the group stage, the top two teams from each of the four groups will move into the Super Eight stage of the competition. Teams seeded first and second in their groups in the first round, will retain that seeding in the Super Eight, provided they qualify. Super Eight matches are scheduled to be played in popular Caribbean tourist destinations Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The two top teams from each group in the Super Eight will progress to the semi-finals, which will be held in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago on June 26 and 27 respectively. The final will be held at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Saturday, June 29.

Johnny Grave, CWI's Chief Executive echoed similar sentiments.

“The announcement of the match schedule for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 marks a significant milestone in our preparations for this year’s tournament.  We know that teams, fans and cricket enthusiasts worldwide have been eagerly awaiting this announcement, and now that it is available, it provides a roadmap for the thrilling journey that lies ahead. In addition to the match fixtures, the announcement also highlights the host countries and iconic venues that will set the stage for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

“Each host country and city will bring its own unique flavour to the tournament, and fans from every corner of the globe can expect an exciting blend of T20 cricketing entertainment, local culture and warm hospitality. From classic rivalries to history making upsets and continental showdowns, fans can start looking forward to an action-packed month of games at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup next June, and we encourage everyone to get tickets as soon as they go on sale as we expect the demand to be high," he noted.

Meanwhile, Peter Hutton, chair of T20 World Cup Incorporated, the entity established in the USA to deliver the event, is excited at the opportunity.

“The USA is already one of cricket’s biggest audiences for ICC events and bringing the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup to New York City, Dallas and Florida is a massive opportunity to exponentially grow the sport. We’ve got three fantastic venues to host matches and we strongly encourage fans in the USA and around the world to start planning to secure their tickets for what will be a unique cricket spectacle featuring the best players in the world," said Hutton.

 

David Warner has said he is “relieved” to be reunited with his baggy green Australian cricket cap midway through his final Test match.

The opener issued a public plea for the cap’s return on Tuesday after it went missing in transit from Melbourne ahead of Australia’s third Test against Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The search for Warner’s “baggy green” has made headline news in Australia, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese joining the calls for its return.

The 37-year-old revealed it had been found in an Instagram post on Friday.

He said: “I’m pleased and relieved that I have got my baggy back in my hands.

“Any cricketer knows how special their cap is and I’ll cherish this for the rest of my life.

“Very grateful to all those involved in locating it: the Qantas team, the freight company, the hotel and our own team management.

“It’s a load off my shoulders going into the last couple of days; I really appreciate it, so thank you all.”

Cricket Australia said it was uncertain about the circumstances in which Warner’s cap, along with a back-up, were returned.

In his initial appeal, Warner described the cap as “sentimental to me” and that the backpack which it was in had been taken from his luggage.

Warner was out for 34 in the first innings of the Sydney Test, his 112th and final red ball appearance for his country.

At a press conference on Monday, Warner announced he was also retiring from one-day cricket, but would still be available for the T20 format.

David Warner has pleaded for the return of his baggy green Australian cricket cap after it went missing from his bag on the eve of his final Test match.

In a video on Instagram, the veteran batsman said the cap was taken from his backpack during transit to Sydney ahead of Australia’s third Test against Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

“This is my last resort to do this,” Warner said.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by David Warner (@davidwarner31)

 

“A couple of days ago, our bags got freighted via Qantas. We’ve gone through CCTV footage, they’ve got some blind spots apparently, we spoke to the Quay West Hotel who we absolutely trust and have gone through their cameras, no one’s come into our rooms.

“But unfortunately, someone has taken my backpack out of my actual luggage, which had my backpack and my girls’ presents in there, inside this backpack was my baggy green.

“It’s sentimental to me, it’s something I would love to have back in my hands walking out there come this week. If it is the backpack you really wanted, I have a spare one here, you won’t get into trouble.

“Please reach out to Cricket Australia or myself via my social media and I’m happy to give this to you if you return my baggy greens.”

The Sydney Test, which starts on Wednesday, marks the 37-year-old’s final red ball appearance for his country after more than a decade as Australia’s linchpin opener.

At a press conference on Monday, Warner announced he was also retiring from one-day cricket, but would still be available for the T20 format.

He said Australia’s upset victory over India in the World Cup final in November was his last 50-over match on the international stage.

He told reporters: “That was something that I had said through the World Cup, get through that, and winning it in India, I think that’s a massive achievement.

“So I’ll make that decision today, to retire from those forms, which does allow me to go and play some other leagues around the world and sort of get the one-day team moving forward a little bit.”

David Warner has pleaded for the return of his baggy green Australian cricket caps after they went missing from his bag on the eve of his final Test match.

In a video on Instagram, the veteran batsman said the caps were taken from his backpack during transit to Sydney ahead of Australia’s third Test against Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

“This is my last resort to do this,” Warner said.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by David Warner (@davidwarner31)

 

“A couple of days ago, our bags got freighted via Qantas. We’ve gone through CCTV footage, they’ve got some blind spots apparently, we spoke to the Quay West Hotel who we absolutely trust and have gone through their cameras, no one’s come into our rooms.

“But unfortunately, someone has taken my backpack out of my actual luggage, which had my backpack and my girls’ presents in there, inside this backpack was my baggy greens.

“It’s sentimental to me, it’s something I would love to have back in my hands walking out there come this week. If it is the backpack you really wanted, I have a spare one here, you won’t get into trouble.

“Please reach out to Cricket Australia or myself via my social media and I’m happy to give this to you if you return my baggy greens.”

The Sydney Test, which starts on Wednesday, marks the 37-year-old’s final red ball appearance for his country after more than a decade as Australia’s linchpin opener.

At a press conference on Monday, Warner announced he was also retiring from one-day cricket, but would still be available for the T20 format.

West Indian cricket and broadcasting icon Michael Holding has blasted the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) decision to charge Australian opener Usman Khawaja for wearing a black armband during the Perth Test against Pakistan.

Khawaja has been told by the ICC to keep his humanitarian appeal for the people of Palestine away from the cricket field. He was officially warned for wearing a black armband during the first Test between Australia and Pakistan in Perth.

He wanted to sport a black dove on his shoe and bat in the upcoming Boxing Day Test but even that was rejected by the ICC, and Holding says he is not “surprised” by their stance of “hypocrisy”.

“The ICC regulations say re messaging ‘approval shall not be granted for messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes,” Holding explained.

“So how the f*** people were allowed to take a knee for BLM (Black Lives Matter), and stumps were covered with LGBTQ colors?” Holding questioned while speaking to The Weekend Australian.

Holding argued that the ICC has not made their stance clear.

“If it would have been some other organisation with a consistent track record, I would have been surprised, but not the ICC," he declared.

The fast-bowling legend accused the ICC of being “hypocrite” and have shown again that “they lack spine as a governing body”.

Like Holding, other observers believe that by banning Khawaja's move, as well as his subsequent request to adorn his bat with the peace symbol of a dove holding an olive branch, the ICC has inadvertently boosted his message, while revealing its own hypocrisy.

Former Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt has been appointed to a first official role since he was jailed for spot-fixing.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has named Butt as one of three consultants to new chief selector Wahab Riaz.

In 2011, Butt was jailed for 30 months for his part in a conspiracy to bowl deliberate no-balls during the Test against England at Lord’s the previous summer.

Butt, 39, was also handed a 10-year ban by the International Cricket Council, with five years suspended, for his role in the controversy, which also involved team-mates Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir.

Along with former Pakistan internationals Kamran Akmal and Rao Iftikhar, Butt, who returned to play domestic cricket in 2016, will take up his role on the selection panel with immediate effect ahead of the T20 series against New Zealand in January, which follows the conclusion of the Test tour to Australia.

All three players were part of Pakistan’s successful T20 World Cup in 2009 and look set to bring some of their experience to the current squad.

The PCB added in a statement: “When not engaged in selection duties, the consultant members may be assigned additional tasks such as conducting skills camps.”

The move follows an overhaul of Pakistan’s set-up following an early exit from the 2023 World Cup in India.

As well as new chief selector, Mohammad Hafeez has come in as team director.

Babar Azam stepped down as captain, with Shan Masood confirmed as Pakistan’s new Test skipper and Shaheen Afridi set to lead the T20 side.

Pakistan are targeting a late push for the Cricket World Cup semi-finals after a convincing seven-wicket win over Bangladesh.

Faced with a target of 205 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Pakistan made light work of knocking it off, thanks in large part to opener Fakhar Zaman's 74-ball 81, which included seven sixes.

That victory moved Pakistan onto six points, with two pool matches - against third-placed New Zealand and lowly England - remaining.

Should they win both, then Babar Azam's side stand a strong chance of qualifying, though they will also rely on both the Black Caps and Australia, who both have a match in hand, slipping up.

 

"Credit to the boys, the way they played in all three departments," said captain Babar at the post-match presentation.

"We know how well Fakhar plays when he's going and it was good to see him do it.

"We are trying to win our remaining matches and see where we stand. This win hopefully gives confidence in the coming matches."

Bangladesh, meanwhile, have been eliminated, with their captain Shakib Al Hasan saying: "Not enough runs.

"We lost an early wicket, then we had partnerships but not big ones that would allow us to go big in the last ten overs."

Shakib put on 43 to complement a 45 from Litton Das and Mahmudullah's 56, but Bangladesh were bowled out for 204 after only 45.1 overs.

Fakhar's superb knock and Abdullah Shafique's 68 swiftly paved the way for Mohammad Rizwan (26 not out) and Iftikhar Ahmed (17no) to seal victory for Pakistan in the 33rd over.

It was just the fourth time Pakistan had defeated a team with at least 100 balls remaining in an ODI, having last done so against West Indies in 2011. The big win boosted their net run rate, which may still prove decisive in the battle to reach the semis.

 

"I practiced a lot after the Asia Cup," said Fakhar, who after hitting three successive ODI centuries earlier this year, had failed to score above 33 in his 11 innings since the start of May and lost his place in the side.

"Thankfully, I was feeling very good in the camp. I was looking forward to scoring for my team, but it's cricket, Today I got a chance. I had worked hard for this and it paid off.

"It doesn’t matter how the wicket will play, I know I can hit sixes, so I was just looking to play out the first four overs.

"My role is always to make it easy for my partner. I know my role, it was to see off the first four overs and then go for the ball. We were just looking to finish the game before the 30 overs.

"After too many failures I was always looking just to score the first 30 runs and I was struggling to get that. I’m very happy – hopefully I'll make it big in the next games."

Shaheen Afridi, meanwhile, joined Australia spinner Adam Zampa at the top of the wicket-taking charts for the tournament with figures of 3-23.

India could welcome back Shubman Gill as they bid to continue their World Cup stranglehold over Pakistan in front of more than 100,000 fans and an audience of up to one billion viewers worldwide.

Fraught relations between the neighbouring countries mean their only showdowns in the last decade have been at multi-team events, with India winning seven out of seven contests at the 50-over World Cup.

They are favourites to extend that record at the 132,000-capacity Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, which will be a sea of blue as thousands of Pakistan fans have been unable to secure Indian visas.

Gill, the leading run-scorer in ODIs this year, may return for the tournament’s marquee fixture, having sat out India’s wins over Australia and Afghanistan after being laid low by a bout of dengue fever.

He batted in the nets on Thursday and India captain Rohit Sharma, a centurion against Afghanistan on Wednesday, said of his fellow opener: “99 per cent he is available. We’ll see.”

If Gill, who possesses an incredible average of 66.1 and 102.84 strike-rate from 35 ODIs, is selected then Ishan Kishan will almost certainly make way as the hosts look to make it three wins from three.

Rohit, though, refused to divulge whether India will restore Ravichandran Ashwin to the line-up and go with a three-prong spin attack also including left-armers Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.

“I don’t know, honestly,” he said. “We are ready for whatever combination we want to play. If the requirement is there for us to play three spinners, we will play three spinners.”

Rohit also rejected the notion home advantage could count against India, adding: “You feel nice about playing in front of your home crowd. They get behind you no matter what the situation of the game is.

“My overall experience playing, not just in India, even outside India, we get massive support. I look at this as a good advantage, big advantage. But you’ve got to play good cricket to win the game.”

Pakistan captain Babar Azam needed no reminding of the one-sided nature of the rivalry, with India winning by 89 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method in their last fixture in Manchester in 2019.

But Babar insisted Pakistan can take comfort from their 2017 Champions Trophy final win over their adversaries as well as a stunning 10-wicket triumph at the 2021 T20 World Cup in Dubai.

“I don’t focus on the past, I try to focus on the future,” Babar said. “Such records are made to be broken and I try to break them.

“We were not able to execute in the past, but we changed it in 2021 and 2017. We won against India in the World Cup. We hadn’t done that before, but we did it.

“We believe that we can do it and we will go with full confidence.”

Babar is the top-ranked ODI batter in the world but has had a modest start to the tournament with innings of five and 10 in Pakistan’s wins over the Netherlands and Sri Lanka.

“My World Cup till right now has not been as it should have been,” he added. “But hopefully you will see some difference in the next matches.”

Former West Indies batsmen Lendl Simmons and Dwayne Smith, both produced much-needed cameos but their efforts were in vain, as Atlanta Riders suffered a seven-wicket loss to New York Warriors in the US Masters T10 competition on Monday.

Smith led the way with a 24-ball 36, while Simmons contributed 21 off 11 balls, which assisted Riders to 97 for four off their allotment, at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium.

Simmons, 38, put on 29 for the first wicket with captain Robin Uthappa (24), and added another 28 in a second-wicket partnership Smith, who had four boundaries in his knock.

Former Pakistan seamer Sohail Khan was the chief destroyer for the Warriors, as he claimed three for 21, with former West Indies seamer Jerome Taylor taking the other wicket.

Meanwhile, Kamran Akmal struck a brisk 34 off 11 balls, including three fours and three sixes, in a 63-run opening stand with Tillakaratne Dilshan, who struck 28 from 14 balls.

Though former Bangladesh left-arm spinner Elias Sunny slowed their progress, snaring two of the three wickets that fell in quick succession, former West Indies all-rounder Jonathan Carter and Shahid Afridi took the game away from the Riders, with an unbroken 40-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Carter struck one boundary and a maximum in his 17, while Afridi was unbeaten on 22.

Sunny ended with two wickets for 11 runs.

Another former West Indies player Chris Barnwell struck an unbeaten 28 off a mere 10 deliveries to lead New Jersey Tritons to victory over the Warriors on Sunday.

Barnwell’s knock, which included four sixes saw the Tritons chased down 85 in a contest reduced to five overs per side due to rain.

England will warm up for the defence of their men’s T20 World Cup crown with a four-match series against Pakistan in May next year.

The series will run concurrently with a women’s T20 series and three one-day internationals between the same two countries.

Jos Buttler’s side beat Pakistan to clinch the world title in Melbourne last November and will reprise the rivalry in matches from May 22-30 before flying out to the Caribbean and United States.

Heather Knight’s England will start their summer with T20 matches at Edgbaston, Northampton and Headingley from May 11-19, before the three one-day internationals which conclude on May 29.

England’s women will also play a three-match ODI series against New Zealand in June and July, followed by a five-match T20 series at a number of high-capacity venues.

Following the T20 World Cup, the men’s team will engage in back-to-back, three-match Test series against the West Indies and Sri Lanka in July and August/September respectively, followed by T20 and ODI series against Australia later in September.

Mickey Arthur has agreed to return for a second spell with Pakistan as director of cricket.

The South African will continue in his role as Derbyshire head of cricket and work with Pakistan outside the county season.

Arthur wil be part of the Pakistan coaching staff for the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India, a tour of Australia, a home series against West Indies and the Asia Cup contests with India.

During his tenure as Pakistan head coach from 2016 to 2019, the 54-year-old mastermind an ICC Champions Trophy success six years ago, while he also took the Test and T20I sides to the top of the rankings.

The former Australia and South Africa coach said: "I am absolutely thrilled to be rejoining the Pakistan cricket team and look forward to working with the group.

"Since moving on, I have kept a track of the players and their collective performances.

"This is a talented bunch with the potential to be number one across all formats and my endeavour is to put in place strategies and create an environment that can contribute in further enhancing their performances so that we can extract the best out of them."

The Pakistan Cricket Board had revealed in January that they held talks with Arthur with a view to making him Saqlain Mushtaq's successor as head coach, but could not reach an agreement.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi has sought to calm speculation over Babar Azam's future as captain without assuring the batter of his place.

Babar currently captains Pakistan in red-and-white-ball formats, and led the side that reached last year's T20 World Cup final against England.

But a disappointing home season, combined with a stand-off over the PCB's appointment of Shan Masood as his ODI vice-captain, has cast doubt over his position.

Taking to Twitter on Monday, Sethi acknowledged discussions have taken place about Babar's captaincy, but says he remains secure for the moment.

"For months, media and cricketing circles have been discussing [the] pros and cons of retaining Babar Azam as captain in all formats of the game," he wrote. 

"Since this decision is ultimately [the] chairman's, I have sought views of selection committees headed by Shahid Afridi, and now Haroon Rashid.

"Both committees thought [the] matter merited discussion, but both later came to the conclusion that the status quo should be retained.

"I have subsequently publicly stated this position. In the final analysis, my decision will be subject to the success or failure of [the] status quo.

"I will also be guided by what the selectors and director [of] cricket [operations] and head coach have to say going forward.

"I expect they will be in the best position to advise me. Therefore, we should support Babar and not make [the] matter controversial in [the] interests of [the] national team."

Newly appointed West Indies One-Day International Captain Shai Hope led the Lahore Qalandars to a dominant 63-run win over the Quetta Gladiators in their Pakistan Super League at the Karachi National Stadium on Tuesday.

The Qalandars made 198-6 off their 20 overs after being put in to bat by the Gladiators.

Hope led the way with a 32-ball 47 including five fours and a six. Zimbabwean all-rounder Sikandar Raza provided good support with a rapid 16-ball 32 and Mirza Baig was also in a destructive mood with 31 off just 15 balls.

Afghan leg-spinner Qais Ahmad took 2-36 from his four overs. West Indian Odean Smith also took a pair of wickets in his four overs and went for 41 runs.

The Gladiators reply never really got off the ground with only Jason Roy providing some tense moments for the Qalandars with a brisk 48 off 30 balls including five sixes.

Pakistani speedster Shaheen Shah Afridi was chief destroyer for the Qalandars with 3-22 from his four overs while South African all-rounder David Wiese, who now represents Namibia in international cricket, took 3-23 from his four overs.

On the back of their win against Ireland that broke a streak of 15 consecutive losses in T20 Internationals, the West Indies Women pulled off a thrilling three-run win against Pakistan Women at Paarl on Sunday.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, the West Indies scored 116-6 from their 20 overs. Needing 117 for victory, Pakistan feel short scoring 113-5.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, the West Indies Women got off to a solid start scoring 33 runs but lost their captain Hayley Matthews for 20 in the six over.

Rashada Williams and Shemaine Campbell added 40 for the second wicket but then Williams was dismissed by Sadia Iqbal for 30.

Chinelle Henry, who joined Campbell at the crease, scored a quick 10 from 11 balls but was soon dismissed, out leg before to Nida Dal with the score at 86.

Campbell was next to go for 22 and the West Indies Women had lost their way, scoring 26 from the final 26 balls with Shabika Gajnabi scoring 13 and Aaliyah Alleyne nine.

Having bowled Alleyne at the death, Dar finished with 2-13 with Iqbal taking 1-18.

Pakistan Women made hard work of the chase losing their first two wickets with only 15 runs on the board during the Powerplay.

Captain Bismah Maroof and Dar put on 44 for the third wicket but then Dar was dismissed by Afy Fletcher for 27. Maroof was next to go for 26 after she and Aliya Riaz had put on 30 for the fourth wicket.

Riaz threatened to take the game away from the West Indies in the final over with her team needing 17 for victory.

After Fatima Sana hit Shamilia Connell for four off the first ball, she took a single to leave Pakistan nine runs short of the target with three balls remaining.

She hit Connell for consecutive fours but then chopped the fifth onto her stumps to be out for 29.

Matthews, who the wickets of opener Muneeba Ali for five and Maroof ended with 2-14.

Karishma Ramharack took 1-18 while Connell returned figures of 1-31.

 

 

Mohammad Rizwan asked to be dropped for Pakistan's two-match Test series against New Zealand as he felt he "didn't deserve to play" on his form.

The wicket-keeper-batter was a surprise omission from the hosts' squad for their pair of games over the new year period with the Black Caps.

Rizwan was replaced by former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, who returned to the red-ball fold for the first time since 2019, and was named player of the series with 335 runs.

Reflecting on his absence, the 30-year-old has disclosed that it was at his own instigation he was left out, as he felt his performances had not been up to the level required.

"You can ask the head coach Saqlain Mushtaq what I told him after the end of the England Test series," Rizwan told Cricket Pakistan in an interview.

"I personally thought that since I wasn't able to perform, I didn't deserve to play in the next series."

Following a score of 104 not out against Australia in March last year, Rizwan failed to make a half-century in his following six Test appearances.

When that run culminated with a rough series against England shortly before Christmas, he acknowledged he was not matching his own standards, and was delighted to see his replacement flourish.

"I was happy to see Sarfaraz perform because that is what I wanted," he added.

"Sarfaraz has been performing in domestic cricket and deserves his chance now.

"I asked for his inclusion. Whoever performs best for Pakistan deserves to play. Some players said that every player goes through this phase, and you can't sit on the bench based on few failures.

"But I went to the coach and captain myself and told them that you can drop me because I haven't performed.

"Two players are witnesses to this conversation."

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