The Pakistan squad for the 2023 World Cup is out after a much-anticipated wait, with the absence of Naseem Shah the major news.
While most of its 15-member squad for the 2023 Cricket World Cup was fairly straightforward, the team misses out on young fast bowler, who is out injured, and replaced by Hasan Ali.
Led by Babar Azam, the squad reflects a well-thought-out approach to tackle the challenges of the tournament and is eagerly awaited by cricket enthusiasts around the world.
However, the initial excitement was met with disappointment as the talented young pacer, Naseem, was ruled out of the World Cup due to a shoulder injury sustained during the Asia Cup clash against India.
Naseem's absence is a significant setback for Pakistan, given his impactful bowling, both with the new ball and at the death. Reports suggest that Naseem may be sidelined even after the World Cup, hinting at an extended recovery period.
Naseem Shah replaced by Hasan Ali
In the absence of Naseem Shah, Pakistan has turned to the experienced right-arm pacer, Hasan Ali, to fill the void. Hasan, who has played 60 ODIs was a key figure in Pakistan's triumph at the 2017 Champions Trophy and also played in the previous World Cup.
His inclusion is seen as a strategic addition to bolster the team's pace attack, particularly in the middle overs where taking crucial wickets is paramount.
PCB chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq stressed the importance of having seasoned players who can handle the pressure of major tournaments and deliver when needed.
The final squad, which aims to clinch Pakistan's second Cricket World Cup title, includes consistent performers like Fakhar Zaman, Imam ul Haq, and Mohammad Rizwan. Haris Rauf, despite recovering from an injury sustained during the Asia Cup, has retained his place, demonstrating the team's confidence in his abilities.
One of the surprising omissions from the squad was Faheem Ashraf, a decision made with a focus on the need for bowlers who can make breakthroughs in the middle overs, a critical aspect of winning matches in India.
The blend of experienced campaigners and promising youngsters is expected to bring dynamism and resilience to Pakistan's gameplay. The return of Hasan Ali has been met with approval from many fans, and his role in the team will be closely monitored, especially during the crucial middle overs.
Pakistan's strategy and squad composition reflect a calculated effort to excel in the upcoming tournament.
Pakistan unveil squad for the World Cup campaign 🇵🇰💪
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) September 22, 2023
Pakistan squad for 2023 World Cup
Pak WC Squad: Fakhar Zaman, Imam ul Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Agha Salman, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim, Hasan Ali
With Pakistan's journey in the World Cup on the horizon, cricket fans worldwide are eagerly awaiting a stellar performance from this squad. The team's mix of seasoned veterans and emerging talents provides hope for an exciting and competitive campaign.
As Pakistan plays two warm-up matches against New Zealand and Australia, they prepare to kick off their World Cup journey on October 6th against the Netherlands in Hyderabad. All eyes will be on the men in green as they strive for cricketing glory in this prestigious tournament.