In preparation for the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, scheduled for October and November in India, Pakistan has officially announced its squad of 15 players. The selection process emphasized consistency and confidence in the current group, as the national men’s selection committee, led by Inzamam-ul-Haq, made just one change, which was necessitated by an injury, from the squad that competed in the recent Men’s ODI Asia Cup 2023.
The alteration involved the replacement of fast bowler Naseem Shah with Hasan Ali. Naseem Shah sustained a shoulder injury during a match against India on September 11 in the Asia Cup and was subsequently sidelined for the tournament. Following thorough medical evaluations and consultations with leading medical experts, Naseem has been advised to undergo surgery, with an expected recovery period of three to four months.
Pakistan squad for the World Cup 2023
The finalized Pakistan squad for the World Cup comprises the following players:
- Babar Azam (captain)
- Shadab Khan (vice-captain)
- Abdullah Shafique
- Fakhar Zaman
- Haris Rauf
- Hasan Ali
- Iftikhar Ahmed
- Mohammad Nawaz
- Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper)
- Mohammad Wasim Jnr
- Salman Ali Agha
- Saud Shakeel
- Shaheen Shah Afridi
- Usama Mir
Additionally, the selection committee has designated three traveling reserves, including wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Haris, mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed, and fast bowler Zaman Khan.
Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq expressed his sentiments, stating, “The World Cup is the most significant event in any cricketer’s career, and I want to extend my congratulations to all the players who earned their spots in the squad through their outstanding performances. This team has consistently delivered exceptional results over the past few years, which is why we have opted to maintain faith in this group.”
He added, “Unfortunately, we were compelled to make a single change due to Naseem Shah’s unfortunate injury. While we faced some injury concerns during the recent Asia Cup, I’m pleased to report that all players are fully fit and eager to represent their country in this crucial tournament. I’ve received positive updates from our medical panel regarding Haris Rauf, who has begun shadow bowling at the National Cricket Academy and will be available for selection.”
Inzamam-ul-Haq concluded with optimism, saying, “I firmly believe that this squad has the potential to bring the World Cup trophy back to Pakistan and make the entire nation proud with their remarkable performances. It is time for us to rally behind our team and provide them with the unwavering support they need.”
Pakistan’s World Cup journey will commence with two warm-up matches, one against New Zealand on September 29 and the other against Australia on October 3. Their official tournament opener will be against the Netherlands on October 6.
Babar Azam’s team enters the mega-event as the top-ranked side and boasts the best win/loss ratio of 2.400 in this World Cup cycle among all One-Day International format teams.
Reflecting on their World Cup history, Pakistan narrowly missed a semi-final spot in the 2019 edition due to a lower net run-rate compared to New Zealand, who went on to become runners-up. Pakistan’s most significant achievement came in the 1992 edition when they clinched the trophy at the MCG by defeating England. The team also reached the final in 1999 and reached the semi-finals in 1979, 1983, 1987, and 2011.
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