Plagued by injuries, the Pakistan cricket team is left with no choice but to look for replacements following Naseem Shah's shoulder injury which has raised questions over the right-arm pacer's availability for the upcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup 2023. The right-arm pacer suffered a shoulder injury during Green Shirts' match against India in the 2023 Asia Cup. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in a statement on Saturday, provided an update on Shah's health that read: "The PCB's medical team has been monitoring the status of Naseem Shah’s shoulder injury sustained during the Asia Cup 2023. Medical consultations with the experts are underway to provide the best possible care to Naseem." "The PCB medical panel will decide on the fast bowler's return to cricket based on further assessments," the statement added. The injury has raised doubts over the 20-year-old's availability for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023.
Plagued by injuries, the Pakistan cricket team is facing a tough situation as they prepare for the upcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup 2023. One of their key players, Naseem Shah, suffered a shoulder injury during a match against India in the 2023 Asia Cup, casting doubt on his availability for the World Cup.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has provided an update on Shah's health, stating that their medical team is closely monitoring his shoulder injury. They are consulting with experts to ensure he receives the best possible care, and his return to cricket will be determined based on further assessments.
Shah's injury is not the only concern for Pakistan's fast-bowling department. Haris Rauf was also ruled out of the same match against India as a precautionary measure due to discomfort in his oblique muscle. Additionally, fast bowler Ihsanullah is dealing with an elbow injury and will be unavailable for the next two months. Mohammad Hasnain is also undergoing rehabilitation for an injury in England.
In light of these injuries, the team management is exploring replacement options for Naseem Shah in the 15-man squad for the ICC World Cup 2023. Here are a few contenders:
Zaman Khan: The 22-year-old made his debut against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2023. While he didn't take any wickets in his six-over spell, he impressed with his death bowling skills. Known for his slingy action, Zaman's List A record includes six wickets in eight games.
Shahnawaz Dahani: This 25-year-old fast bowler was called up as a backup for the Asia Cup but didn't officially join the squad. He bowls at over 140 kph and has represented Pakistan twice in ODIs, taking a wicket in his debut game against the West Indies. His List A record is also promising, with 56 wickets in 31 matches.
Hassan Ali: With extensive international experience, the 29-year-old Hassan Ali is a strong candidate for a replacement. He has taken 91 wickets in 60 ODIs and was named the Player of the Tournament in Pakistan's 2017 Champions Trophy victory. Hassan Ali's batting skills could also give him an edge over other contenders.
While Pakistan has several options to consider, they will undoubtedly miss Naseem Shah, who has been a crucial part of the team across formats since his comeback last year. The ICC World Cup 2023 is scheduled to take place in India, featuring 10 teams competing across 10 venues from October 5 to November 19. The tournament will follow a round-robin format with all teams playing against each other in 45 league matches. The top four teams will qualify for the semifinals, with reserve days set for the knockout matches. Teams must finalize their 15-player squads before September 28, with any replacements requiring approval from the ICC after this date.
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