Hasan Ali and Naseem Shah pose for a photo after a practice match in Lahore. File
Chief Selector Inzamam-ul Haq on Friday announced the 15-member Pakistan squad for the ICC World Cup 2023 on Friday, which notably includes inexperienced paceman Hasan Ali, and excludes star pacer Naseem Shah, who was injured in the Asia Cup.
Hasan, 29, was player of the tournament when Pakistan won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017, but lost his place as Naseem, Haris Rauf and Shaheen Shah Afridi formed the main pace attack.
Inzamam said Hasan was the best choice to replace Naseem in the 15-man squad for the World Cup, which begins Oct.5 in India.
"The way Naseem got injured... we faced a problem, and that is why we chose Hasan -- who although has not played much recently, is experienced," said Inzamam.
Pakistan axed all-rounder Faheem Ashraf and Mohammad Haris were axed from the squad that crashed out of the Asia Cup this month at the Super Four stage after defeats to India and Sri Lanka.
Opener Fakhar Zaman scored 65 runs in four innings in the Asia Cup, but kept his place in the World Cup squad.
There were questions about leg-spinning allrounder Shadab Khan as well, after he managed six wickets in his last five ODIs. However, he also made the cut and retained the vice-captaincy of the team.
Babar Azam will again captain Pakistan, who begin their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands in Hyderabad on October 6.
Four days, later they play Sri Lanka at the same venue, followed by a high-voltage clash against arch-rivals India in Ahmedabad on October 14.
"The World Cup is the biggest event in cricket, so we have selected the best 15 players and we hope they win us the trophy," said Inzamam, a member of the side that won Pakistan's only ODI World Cup in 1992.
Naseem Shah took to his X account to confirm that he would not represent Pakistan in the World Cup. “With a heavy heart, I’m sharing that I will not be part of this amazing team that will be representing our beloved country,” Naseem said. “While I’m disappointed, I believe everything is in Allah’s hands. Inshallah will be on the field very soon,” he added.
Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim
Travelling reserves: Zaman Khan, Abrar Ahmed, Mohammad Haris
Azam's team won eight of the nine one-day internationals last year, including a 2-1 series win over a formidable Australia at home.
The 30-year-old, dropped following Pakistan's opener against the West Indies, made up for lost time as he demolished South Africa's beleaguered bowlers.
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