Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has openly criticized the team management for their decision to include Shadab Khan in the T20 World Cup 2024 squad despite his limited bowling contributions. Butt’s frustration comes in the wake of Pakistan’s early exit from the tournament, a blow that has fans and analysts questioning several team choices.

Shadab Khan a “Complete Package”?

Butt highlighted that Shadab Khan had bowled his full quota of 4 overs only twice in 2024, yet was still considered indispensable. This decision, Butt argued, overlooked the impressive performances of other leg-spinners in the domestic circuit, like Usman Qadir and Usama Mir.

Responding to Pakistan’s assistant coach Azhar Mahmood’s defence of Shadab as a “complete package,” Butt didn’t hold back.


“I am concerned about Pakistan lacking common sense. Shadab had just bowled 4 overs twice in 2024 before the World Cup. We keep calling him a package without defining his role,” Butt remarked.

The Importance of Specialists

Butt emphasized the need for specialist bowlers in T20 cricket, pointing to successful examples like Kuldeep Yadav, Adam Zampa, Adil Rashid, Keshav Maharaj, and Tabraiz Shamsi.

“We kept searching for packages and kept compromising with bits and pieces cricketers. Specialists are important in T20s,” he added.


“Look at Kuldeep, Zampa, Adil Rashid, Keshav Maharaj, and Shamsi. They don’t bat a lot but they are match-winners with the ball. We don’t use our brains,” he concluded.

Shadab Khan’s Performance in 2024

Shadab Khan’s stats for 2024 don’t paint a promising picture. In 12 T20I matches, he scored 110 runs at an average of 13.75.

With the ball, he bowled a total of 23 overs, taking just three wickets at an average of 73.66 and an economy rate of 9.60. These numbers raise questions about the rationale behind his selection over more specialized bowlers.

Butt’s critique underscores a broader issue within the team management’s approach to selection. As Pakistan cricket looks to rebuild and learn from this T20 World Cup debacle, the focus must shift towards valuing specialist players who can deliver match-winning performances.

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