Hasan Ali replaces Naseem Shah, Usama Mir drafted in Pakistan World Cup squad

Hasan Ali was called in as a replacement for Naseem Shah, who was ruled out of the tournament with a shoulder injury.

Pakistan have called up Hasan Ali to their 15-member squad for the upcoming ODI World Cup in India. He comes in place of Naseem Shah, who is set to be out of action for a lengthy period due to an injury. 

Hasan Ali will join Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and Mohammad Wasim Jr to form Pakistan’s pace attack for the tournament. Rauf also had an injury scare during the Asia Cup and had missed the final Super 4 fixture against Sri Lanka but is expected to be fully fit for their opening world cup game. 

Pakistan have opted to go in with an extra spin option in leg-spinner Usama Mir, which meant there was no place for the seam-bowling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf. Mir made his ODI debut earlier this year but was not part of the Asia Cup squad. He joins spin-bowling all-rounders Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz in the squad. Not to forget Iftikhar Ahmed and Agha Salman can both bowl a few overs, giving them plenty of spin options in Indian conditions. 

Naseem out, Hasan named in Pakistan World Cup squad

Naseem’s absence is a huge blow for Pakistan as the 20-year old has been their best bowler in recent times. The shoulder injury he sustained during the Asia Cup turned out to be much worse than suspected and will keep him out of action for several months.

Speaking about the fast bowling situation, Pakistan’s chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq informed Naseem will be out beyond the world cup. He also revealed that a couple of other pace options also have injuries and could not be picked. 

READ: Bangladesh vs New Zealand prediction

“Naseem will be out for a longer time than just the World Cup. At this time, he was the world’s best bowler in my view. It’s a loss for Pakistan and we hope he’s fit soon. [Mohammad] Hasnain has an ankle injury and is out injured and so is Ihsanullah. If you see how Hasan Ali performed in the LPL, or other performances, he has performed better than most. He is an experienced bowler who has played big mega events for Pakistan and performed well in them,” said Inzamam. 

Naseem Shah out of Pakistan WC squad
Photo by Icon Sport

Hasan last represented Pakistan in any format in the second Test versus New Zealand in January this year. He last played an ODI in June 2022. Hasan has 91 wickets from 60 ODIs at an average of 30.36. 

Pakistan’s World Cup squad announcement was delayed by a few days as the PCB reviewed their disappointing Asia Cup campaign. Pakistan finished bottom of the Super Four group below Bangladesh after losing to India and Sri Lanka. 

Pakistan are currently ranked No. 1 in ODIs but their build-up to the World Cup has been pretty shaky. They were obliterated by India by 228 runs and then suffered a two-wicket defeat against Sri Lanka to get themselves knocked out of the Asia Cup. Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf missed matches due to injuries, while Shaheen Afridi, Agha Salman and Imam-ul-Haq have also had to deal with niggles.

Pakistan will face New Zealand in the first warm-up game on September 29, before meeting Australia in the second on October 3. They will kick off their World Cup campaign with a clash against Netherlands on October 6 in Hyderabad.

Pakistan squad for the World Cup: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Agha Salman, Usama Mir, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Hasan Ali

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