LAHORE: In a highly anticipated announcement, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has at last announced the 15-member squad that will represent the nation in the forthcoming ICC World Cup 2023.
The revelation of Pakistan’s squad encountered unforeseen delays as the team’s management engaged in extensive consultations following their ignominious exit from the Asia Cup. Additionally, the team had to grapple with injuries to key bowlers sustained during the tournament.
Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq officially introduced the squad at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.
Babar Azam has been designated as the team’s captain, with Shadab Khan retaining his role as vice-captain. A noteworthy change in the squad saw the inclusion of Hasan Ali, who was summoned to replace the fast bowler Naseem Shah. Naseem Shah was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to a shoulder injury. Remarkably, Hasan Ali is set to make his return to one-day international (ODI) cricket after a year-long absence, the last being his appearance against West Indies in Multan in 2022.
Inzamam-ul-Haq stated during a press conference, “We were compelled to make this alteration due to the unfortunate injury to Naseem Shah. While we had some concerns about injuries during the recent Asia Cup, I am pleased to report that all the players are in peak physical condition and are eager to deliver outstanding performances for their country in this crucial tournament. Our medical panel has given promising updates on Haris Rauf, who has commenced shadow bowling at the National Cricket Academy and will be available for selection.”
He further expressed his confidence in the squad, saying, “I firmly believe that this squad has the potential to secure the World Cup trophy for Pakistan and make the entire nation proud with their remarkable performances. It is now imperative that we rally behind our team and provide them with the support and encouragement they need.”
The ICC World Cup 2023 is scheduled to take place in India, featuring 10 teams vying for the coveted title across 10 venues from October 5 to November 19. The tournament opener and the final will be held at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Playing Squad: Babar Azam (Captain), Shadab Khan (Vice-Captain), Abdullah Shafiq, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (Wicketkeeper), M Wasim Jnr, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usama Mir
Reserve Players: Mohammad Haris, Zaman Khan, Abrar Ahmed