Cricket World Cup: Pakistan announce squad; Hasan Ali replaces Naseem Shah

Pakistan also added an extra spinner to their World Cup squad, bringing in Usama Mir, who made his ODI debut against New Zealand early this year

Hasan Ali

Hasan Ali

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Pakistan Cricket Board announced the country squad for ICC Cricket World Cup in India on Friday. With pacer Naseem Shah ruled out of the 50-over tournament, fast bowler Hasan Ali was named Shah's replacement.

Pakistan also added an extra spinner to their World Cup squad, bringing in Usama Mir, who made his ODI debut against New Zealand early this year. Mir was not part of the Pakistan squad during the Asia Cup 2023.

Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and Mohammad Wasim Jnr were three pacers other than Hasan Ali. Meanwhile, Mohammad Haris was kept in as a reserve.

Naseem Shah injury
Naseem, 20, had suffered a shoulder injury during their match against India in the Asia Cup. He has been advised to undergo surgery and is expected to recover in three to four months.

Giving a breakdown on the fitness of Naseem, Inzamam said: "The doctors are looking after him but what we are learning is that he might be out for a long time, not only the World Cup."

The Chief Selector said that Naseem is also doubtful to make the tour of Australia after the World Cup.
Travelling reserves in Pakistan squad

PCB's chief selector Inzamam-ul-haq also announced three travelling reserves -- wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Haris, mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed and fast bowler Zaman Khan for the World Cup who would be considered if there were any injuries in the squad.
"I have not tried to tinker or make too many changes in the squad because this is a World Cup and we have to remember these same players have been playing together for a while now. We have opted for continuity in the team," Inzamam told the media in Lahore on Friday.
"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."

Inzamam on Hasan Ali's selection
Inzamam also defended the decision to call up Hasan Ali, who has been out with a finger injury for a while now and last played for Pakistan in any format in January this year against New Zealand in a Test match.
Hasan, who fractured his finger while playing in the Lanka Premier League a few months back, last played a ODI for Pakistan in June, 2022.
"The only reason we have picked Hasan is because he is an experienced bowler who has played and bowled well before in big tournaments and matches and that is why we have gone for Hasan. He was only picked after the doctors cleared his fitness," he said.

Haris Rauf injury update
There were concerns about fast bowler Haris Rauf's fitness after he missed the last Super four game against Sri Lanka following an injury during the India game.
"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," Inzamam said.
"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."

Inzamam raises concerns over spinners' form

Inzamam, however, said the recent form of the spinners has been a source of concern and they need to improve their performance in India.
"It is a fact that our spinners are not performing as we expect them to do. And unless they take wickets in the middle overs it will be a problem in India," he said.
"Shadab, Nawaz and Osama Mir have been playing together so I am confident they will start performing in the mega event.
"In India if you want to win matches not only do you need wicket taking spinners but also proper pace bowlers."

Pakistan will play two warm-up matches against New Zealand on September 29 and Australia on October 3 before their tournament opener against the Netherlands on October 6.
The showpiece will be held in October and November in India.
Pakistan squad for World Cup: Babar Azam (Caps), Shadab Khan (V.Capt), Muhammad Rizwan, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Saud Shakeel, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Muhammad Nawaz, Muhammad Wasim Junior, Agha Salman, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Osama Mir.

Travelling Reserves: Muhammad Haris, Abrar Ahmed, Zaman Khan.

First Published: Sep 22 2023 | 12:44 PM IST

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