Pakistan World Cup 2023 squad – Hasan Ali replaces Naseem Shah, Usama Mir in

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Pakistan have also brought in an extra legspinner in Usama Mir, who made his ODI debut earlier this year against New Zealand but was not part of the Asia Cup squad. Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and Mohammad Wasim make up the remainder of Pakistan’s pace attack, while Mohammad Haris is among the reserves. Spin-bowling allrounder Mohammad Nawaz also keeps his place in the side, while Faheem Ashraf misses out.
“Naseem was injured, he was our main bowler and it was unfortunate. [Mohammad] Hasnain has an ankle injury and is out injured and so is Ihsanullah,” Inzamam-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s chief selector, said on the situation with the fast bowlers. “If you see how Hasan Ali performed in the LPL, or other performances, he has performed better than most. He is an experienced bowler who has played big mega events for Pakistan and performed well in them.

“And when Naseem was ruled out, we needed someone who could bowl with the new ball. He bowls well with both old and new ball, and is a team man. His presence lends energy to the team.”

As reported by ESPNcricinfo earlier, the shoulder injury, picked up during the Asia Cup, will keep Naseem out of action for several months, with Inzamam confirming his term of absence would not be confined to just the World Cup.

“Unfortunately, the report we have from our doctors, we hear Naseem will be out for a longer time than just the World Cup,” Inzamam said. “At this time, he was the world’s best bowler in my view. It’s a loss for Pakistan and we hope he’s fit soon.”

Hasan last played an ODI in June 2022 and last played for Pakistan in any format in the second Test against New Zealand in Karachi in January this year.

Pakistan’s World Cup squad announcement was delayed by several days as the PCB took stock of a disappointing Asia Cup campaign where they finished bottom of the Super Four group following defeats to India and Sri Lanka. The board also waited on a second opinion on Naseem’s injury, though positive news on that front has not been forthcoming.

The PCB released a statement on Thursday saying chairman Zaka Ashraf had met the captain Babar Azam, vice-captain Shadab Khan, technical committee members Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohammad Hafeez, as well as head coach Grant Bradburn and bowling coach Morne Morkel. While the details of the discussions were left vague, it took place amid intense speculation around both the timing and nature of Pakistan’s squad announcement. As a further point of intrigue, Hafeez resigned from the technical committee on the eve of the squad release.

Despite currently being ranked No. 1 ODIs, Pakistan’s lead-up to the World Cup has been rocky. A heavy loss to India and an agonising one against Sri Lanka got them eliminated from an Asia Cup where multiple trips between Pakistan and Sri Lanka took their toll. Injuries also began to mount, with Naseem and Haris both missing games, while Afridi, Agha Salman and Imam-ul-Haq also had niggles and bruises to contend with.
Pakistan begin their World Cup with a warm-up match behind closed doors against New Zealand on September 29, followed by another against Australia on October 3. Their first game of the tournament is against Netherlands on October 6 in Hyderabad.

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

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