Injury sidelines young pace sensation as Pakistan unveil World Cup squad

Cricket World Cup 2023

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Pakistan were dealt a significant setback as fast bowler Naseem Shah’s injury forced his omission from their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup squad, announced on Friday 22 September.

Pakistan will be aiming aim for their second Cricket World Cup title, but will now head into the tournament without the services of the talented speedster.

Hasan Ali has been named in the side in his stead. Shah injured himself during his team’s Super Four encounter against India in the Asia Cup, and is set to miss plenty of action in the upcoming months.

His loss is a major blow to the Pakistan side, given his capability to get the ball to zip around. He also has an exceptional ODI record, with 32 wickets at an average of 16.96 with two five-fors in ODI cricket.

However, there are enough experienced names in the Pakistan roster to boost their title chances.

Supporting Babar on the batting front are Fakhar Zaman, Imam-Ul-Haq, Mohammed Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed, and Salman Agha. Also in the mix are the young duo of Mohammed Haris and middle-order batter Saud Shakeel.

Haris led Pakistan ‘Shaheens’ in their successful Emerging Asia Cup 2023 campaign, while Shakeel has shown his calibre in Test cricket.

Pakistan are also equipped with two spin-bowling all-rounders in Shadab Khan and Mohammed Nawaz. Salman Agha and Iftikhar Ahmed are also available as spin-bowling all-rounders. Usama Mir is another leg-spin option available to the Pakistan side should the need arise.

Pakistan’s renowned pace attack will be led by Shaheen Shah Afridi. Backing him will be Haris Rauf, Mohammed Waseem and Hasan Ali.

Pakistan squad for the upcoming World Cup: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim

Pakistan recently featured in the Asia Cup but couldn’t make it to the final.

Pakistan will play two warm-up games, against New Zealand and Australia respectively, in the lead up to the Cricket World Cup. They begin their tournament journey against Netherlands on 6 October in Hyderabad.