Hassan Ali Returns In National Squad for World Cup 2023
On Friday, Cricket Chief Selector Inzamamul Haq revealed the 18-member Pakistan squad for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023. Notably, this squad includes bowler Hasan Ali while excluding star bowler Naseem Shah, who sustained an injury during the Asia Cup.
The ICC World Cup 2023, hosted by arch-rivals India, is set to commence on October 5, with Pakistan’s first match scheduled for October 6 against Netherlands at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad, India.
Pakistan faced disappointment in the Asia Cup, suffering defeats against India and Sri Lanka, with India eventually winning the tournament. Hasan Ali was brought into the squad to replace Naseem Shah, who injured his shoulder during the Asia Cup clash with India. Haris Rauf, also injured in the same match, is part of the World Cup squad, while Shaheen Afridi, the pace spearhead of the team, retains his place.
Notable exclusions from the squad are bowlers Faheem Ashraf, who was part of the Asia Cup squad, and Mohammad Hasnain. Inzamam justified Ali’s selection, despite not playing an ODI since June 2022, by citing his proficiency with the new ball and his reputation as a team player, expected to bring energy to the squad.
Regarding Naseem Shah’s injury, the chief selector explained that the reports received by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) indicated that Shah would remain sidelined even after the World Cup, making him ineligible for selection.
Inzamam emphasized that the team’s composition remains largely unchanged, as any disruption to the existing combination within three weeks of his appointment would not be ideal. The selection committee aimed to pick experienced players capable of handling the immense pressure of the event.
Inzamam clarified that the selection doors are not closed for any player, and performance in the domestic circuit remains the primary criterion for selection. He also raised questions about the prolonged exposure of players to challenging conditions, such as Test series, the Lankan Premier League, a series against Afghanistan, and Asia Cup matches, which might have contributed to injuries among bowlers and batters.
Inzamam concluded by expressing trust in the players, highlighting Pakistan’s previous status as the number one ODI team before the World Cup.
The selected squad consists of:
- Babar Azam (captain)
- Shadab Khan (vice-captain)
- Abdullah Shafique
- Fakhar Zaman
- Haris Rauf
- Hasan Ali
- Iftikhar Ahmed
- Imamul Haq
- Mohammad Nawaz
- Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper)
- Mohammad Wasim
- Agha Salman
- Saud Shakeel
- Shaheen Shah Afridi
- Usama Mir
- Mohammad Haris
- Abrar Ahmed
- Zaman Khan