ODI World Cup 2023: Hasan Ali replaces Naseem Shah in Pakistan's squad; Usama Mir's surprise inclusion
Pakistan makes crucial squad adjustments ahead of the World Cup, as Hasan Ali steps in for the injured Naseem Shah, while legspinner Usama Mir earns a place.
Hasan Ali steps in to replace Naseem Shah in Pakistan's World Cup squad, while legspinner Usama Mir earns a call-up. Unfortunately, Faheem Ashraf misses out on selection. Hasan Ali's inclusion comes as Naseem Shah faces a prolonged period of recovery due to injury. The Pakistan squad now includes an additional legspinner in Usama Mir, who previously made his ODI debut against New Zealand earlier this year but was not part of the Asia Cup squad. Pakistan's pace attack comprises Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Mohammad Wasim Jr, with Mohammad Haris named among the reserves. Spin-bowling all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz retains his place in the side, while Faheem Ashraf does not make the cut.
Commenting on Naseem's injury, Inzamam stated, "Naseem was injured, he was our main bowler and it was unfortunate. Hasan Ali has been performing exceptionally well, and his experience in major events for Pakistan is invaluable. His ability to bowl effectively with both the new and old ball is a significant asset."
Hasan Ali's last ODI appearance was in June 2022, and he last represented Pakistan in a Test against New Zealand in January this year.
The announcement of Pakistan's World Cup squad was delayed due to an assessment of their disappointing Asia Cup performance, where they finished at the bottom of the Super Four group after losses to India and Sri Lanka. The PCB also awaited a second opinion on Naseem's injury prognosis, but no positive news emerged. There were extensive discussions among key figures, including captain Babar Azam, vice-captain Shadab Khan, and coaches Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Grant Bradburn, and Morne Morkel, regarding the squad composition. Notably, Hafeez resigned from the technical committee on the eve of the squad's release.
Despite currently holding the No. 1 ODI ranking, Pakistan's World Cup preparations have faced challenges, with losses to India and Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup and a series of injuries to key players. The team will begin its World Cup campaign with warm-up matches against New Zealand and Australia before their opening game against the Netherlands on October 6 in Hyderabad.
Pakistan World Cup Squad: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Hasan Ali