Pakistan have announced their much-awaited 15-member squad for the upcoming World Cup. Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq made the announcement in the press conference in Lahore today. The review of the team's performance in the Asia Cup was done yesterday (September 21) after which Inzamam met PCB chief Zaka Ashraf to finalise the unit for the mega event in India.
Meanwhile, key fast bowler Naseem Shah was ruled out of the World Cup due to the injury in the Asia Cup and he has been replaced by Hasan Ali in the squad. This is a huge blow for Pakistan as the trio of Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and Naseem used to give little or no breathing space for the opposition batters. Apart from this, Shadab Khan continues to be the vice-captain after immense criticism for not being able to pick a wicket in the middle overs in the Asia Cup.
Faheem Ashraf who made a comeback to the ODI side for the Asian tournament has missed out. Leg-spinner Usama Mir, 27, who has played only eight ODIs in his career has been called up. Many reckoned Imad Wasim would make a comeback given how Pakistan struggled to strike in the middle overs with the ball. But that hasn't happened while Mohammad Amir's rumoured comeback has also been put to rest.
Pakistan will be facing New Zealand and Australia on September 29 and October 3 in the warm-up matches leading to the World Cup. Their first match of the mega event is scheduled on October 6 against the Netherlands in Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
Pakistan World Cup squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan (vc), Fakhar Zaman, Imam Ul Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Agha Salman, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Usama Mir, Mohammad Wasim Jr
Traveling reserves: Abrar Ahmed, Zaman Khan, Mohammad Haris