Finally the Pakistan Cricket Board announced the squad for the ICC World Cup to be held in India from October-November this year in Lahore on Friday. Keeping in mind these players have been performing well, but for the Asia Cup match against Sri Lanka in the so called semifinal (the last league match) they were performing well together for an extended period.
PCB were forced to bring in one change as their pacer Naseem Shah, who was injured during the Asia Cup was replaced by Hasan Ali. The Men in Green enter the championship as the World No 1 team should be a morale booster for the side, which looks a well balanced one.
The Pakistan think tank will keep their fingers crossed after Haris Rauf’s injury during the Asia Cup against India and will hope he remains injury free throughout the tournament.
The squad was unveiled at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium by chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq.
Babar Azam and Shadab Khan retain their role as captain and vice-captain:
The prolific batter Babar Azam will lead the team, while Shadab Khan will serve as his deputy. Hasan Ali has been called in to replace pacer injured Naseem Shah who has been ruled out due to shoulder injury.
Ali, on the other hand, will return to one-day international (ODI) cricket after a year off following his last appearance against the West Indies in Multan in 2022.
Clarifying the inclusion of a player (Ali) who has not played international cricket for some time, Inzamam stated that the bowler was picked because of his experience with a new ball.
“Since Naseem is out, we needed a bowler who could bowl and I think Hasan Ali is a very good option in that regard,” stated Inzamam.
And went on to add, Ali was a team man and his inclusion in the side would bring energy to the team.
“I have not made any such changes. The team has been playing with this combination for the last two years and if I tried to disrupt the team within three weeks of my appointment that would not be okay,” Inzamam stated.
Pakistan squad for 2023 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 Jr.