(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Fri 22 Sep 2023, 11:02 AM
Last updated: Fri 22 Sep 2023, 11:21 AM Pakistan have named their 15-player squad for the ODI Cricket World Cup, which will be held in October and November in India. Consistency and confidence in the current bunch were the keys to the selection as the Inzamam
Haq-led national men's selection committee made only one change – that was also forced – from the squad that played the recent Asia Cup.
Fast bowler Naseem Shah has been replaced with Hasan Ali. He had suffered a shoulder injury during Asia Cup in a match against India on September 11 and was ruled out of the tournament. Following thorough medical examinations and consultations with leading medical experts, Naseem has been advised to undergo surgery. He is expected to recover in three to four months.
The selectors have also named three travelling reserves in wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Haris, mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed and fast bowler Zaman Khan. Chief selector Inzamam
Haq said:“World Cup is the most important event in any cricketer's life and I want to congratulate all the cricketers who have made it to the squad through their impressive performances. This team has performed wonderfully well over the last couple of years and that is why we have shown faith in the same bunch.
“We were forced to make one change because of an unfortunate injury to Naseem Shah. We had a few injury scares in the recent Asia Cup, but I am glad to share that all the players are fully fit and are eager to perform for their country in the all-important tournament. I have received encouraging reports from our medical panel about Haris Rauf. He has started to (shadow) bowl at the National Cricket Academy and will be available for selection.
“I have a firm belief that this squad can bring the World Cup trophy to Pakistan and make the whole nation proud with their incredible performances. It is time to get behind our team and provide them with the backing and support that they need.”
Pakistan will play two warm-ups - against New Zealand on 29 September and Australia on 3 October – before their tournament opener against the Netherlands on 6 October.
Babar Azam's side enters the mega-event as the number one ranked side and enjoys the best win/loss ratio of 2.400 in this World Cup cycle for any side that has played the One-Day International format.
Pakistan missed out on a semifinal spot in the 2019 iteration of the event because of a lower net run-rate to New Zealand, who ended up as runners-up. The team's best performance came in the 1992 edition when they lifted the trophy at the MCG after defeating England. Pakistan featured in the final of the 1999 edition and reached semi-finals in 1979, 1983, 1987, and 2011. Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam
Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Salman Ali Agha, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Usama Mir.
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