Pakistan has announced its 15-player squad for the upcoming 2023 World Cup, scheduled to take place in India. The squad features the inclusion of Hasan Ali, who has been drafted in as a replacement for the injured Naseem Shah following his injury during the Asia Cup. The 29-year-old pacer will be a crucial addition to Pakistan’s bowling arsenal as they prepare to compete on the world stage.
Hasan Ali’s ODI Journey
Hasan Ali, a seasoned campaigner in the ODI format, has represented Pakistan in 60 matches since making his debut in 2017. Over the course of his international career, he has claimed an impressive 91 wickets at an average of 30.36. However, Hasan’s last ODI appearance dates back to January 2023, during the home series against New Zealand in Karachi. His return to the national side comes at a critical juncture, and Pakistan will rely on his experience and skillset during the World Cup campaign.
Naseem Shah’s Injury and Surgery
Naseem Shah, originally part of the squad, suffered a shoulder injury during the Super 4 contest against India in the Asia Cup, which ultimately led to his exclusion from the World Cup squad. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced that, following comprehensive medical assessments and consultations with experts, Naseem would undergo surgery. The recovery process is expected to take approximately three to four months, ruling him out of the tournament.
In the World Cup squad, led by captain Babar Azam, Pakistan has made several changes compared to the lineup that participated in the Asia Cup. All-rounder Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Haris, and Zaman Khan have been omitted from the squad. Instead, Mohammad Haris and Zaman Khan have been named as traveling reserves, along with mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed. Meanwhile, Shadab Khan will continue to serve as the deputy to captain Babar Azam during the tournament.
The squad boasts a well-rounded bowling unit, featuring three spinners—Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, and Mohammad Nawaz—alongside a formidable four-man pace attack consisting of Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, and Mohammad Wasim Jr. This combination provides Pakistan with versatility and depth in their bowling department.
Upcoming Fixtures and Tournament Opener
Pakistan will engage in two warm-up matches against New Zealand and Australia as part of their preparations for the World Cup. Their World Cup campaign commences on October 5th with a match against the Netherlands, set to take place in Hyderabad.
Commenting on the squad, Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq expressed his confidence in the selected players, citing their impressive performances over the past couple of years. He emphasized the importance of unwavering support from fans as the team aims to bring the World Cup trophy home. Inzamam-ul-Haq also mentioned that Haris Rauf, who had injury concerns, has shown positive progress in his recovery.
Inzamam-ul-Haq stated, “It is time to get behind our team and provide them with the backing and support that they need.” The chief selector believes that this squad has the potential to make Pakistan proud with their performances on the global stage.