Lahore, Sep 22 (Ajit Weekly News) Fast bowler Hasan Ali has been included in Pakistan’s 15-member squad for the upcoming Men’s ODI World Cup squad. In the squad announced by chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq on Friday, Hasan will be replacing injured pacer Naseem Shah.
Hasan, who last played an ODI in June 2022, will now be joining Pakistan’s fast-bowling line-up for the mega event featuring Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and Mohammad Wasim Jnr. Naseem is missing the tournament after suffering a shoulder injury during the Asia Cup in the Super Four match against India.
He was subsequently ruled out of the tournament and as per the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), following thorough medical examinations and consultations with leading medical experts, he has been advised to undergo surgery, with the expected recovery time being three to four months.
“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,” said Inzamam in a PCB statement.
Pakistan have also included leg-spinner Usama Mir in the spin attack comprising vice-captain Shadab Khan and left-arm spin all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz, with no room for pace all-rounder Faheem Ashraf.
The side has also named three traveling reserves in wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Haris, mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed and fast bowler Zaman Khan. Pakistan enters the ODI World Cup as the number one ranked side, though it finished at the bottom of Super Four stage in the Asia Cup.
The Babar Azam-led side enjoys the best win/loss ratio of 2.400 in the ongoing World Cup cycle for any side in the 50-over format. “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. 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,” added Inzamam.
Pakistan will play two warm-ups matches – against New Zealand on September 29 and Australia on October 3 – before their tournament opener takes place against the Netherlands on October 6 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
Pakistan were the champions of the 1992 edition when they lifted the trophy at the MCG after defeating England. They were the runners-up in the 1999 edition while reaching semi-finals in 1979, 1983, 1987, and 2011 editions.
Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Salman Ali Agha, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Usama Mir.
Traveling reserves: Mohammad Haris, Abrar Ahmed and Zaman Khan.
–Ajit Weekly News
News Credits – I A N S