Another nation which gets included in the list of team announcements, Pakistan have also named a 15-member provisional squad for the upcoming 2019 World Cup. The all-important 50-overs quadrennial event will be kicking off with the opening game between hosts England and South Africa on May 30 in London. While, the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy winners will be starting their campaign against Windies on 31st May in Nottingham.
Amir and Asif fail to make the cut; Abid gets dream call-up
The biggest headlining point from the squad announcement is the exclusion of premier fast bowler Mohammad Amir. The left-arm speedster, however, will get the final probable chance to present his case during the upcoming limited-overs games against England. Amir along with Asif Ali has been named as reserves for the England T20I and ODIs that precede Pakistan's World Cup campaign. Mohammad Rizwan, who scored two remarkable hundreds in the recent series against Australia, has also failed to make the cut in the 15-member side.
However, there is also somebody who has received a great news. Abid Ali, who impressed everyone and also recorded the highest score for Pakistan on debut, has earned the dream opportunity. He is one of the three openers alongside Fakhar Zaman and Imam Ul Haq. Young speedster Mohammad Hasnain, who has the ability to click 150kph, has been included ahead of experienced Amir and Usman Khan Shinwari. The latter was ignored despite being Pakistan's best bowler average-wise since the 2017 Champions Trophy.
Hafeez struggling with finger injury
In the middle-order department, the experienced likes of Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik will join Haris Sohail and captain Sarfaraz Ahmed. Hafeez's participation is subject to the recovery time period of his finger injury. The trio of Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf and Shadab Khan are the three all-rounders in the World Cup team.
"This is more or less the side we have been playing since the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. I have absolute trust that this side has grown further in experience and stature since 2017. Supported by the flare, skill, talent and killing-instinct, this side has the capability and potential to rise to the occasion and produce strong performances," said Inzamam ul Haq, the Pakistan chief selector.
Inzamam also cleared the fact that in case of injuries, the two reserve players will come into consideration. “That's something which is granted to every team, not only us. I hope that none of our players get unfit, but if some untoward incident happen, we can always go to our bench strength," Inzamam added.
Pakistan are scheduled to arrive in England on April 23 in order to play the hosts in a T20I and five ODIs before the mega event.
Pakistan’s 15-member provisional squad for the 2019 World Cup
Sarfaraz Ahmed (c), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez (subject to fitness), Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hasnain.