Pakistan cricket selectors, in consultation with the captain and coach, on Monday announced their 15-player composition for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, which will be played in England and Wales from 30 May to 14 July.
Pakistan had the flexibility to finalise their line-up until 22 May, but decided to lock their make-up on Monday following the conclusion of the One-Day International series against England in Leeds.
From the 15-player provisional squad, which was announced on 18 April, the selectors have replaced Abid Ali and Junaid Khan with Asif Ali and Mohammad Amir, respectively (both were named as additional players), while Wahab Riaz has been recalled to replace Faheem Ashraf. Yasir Shah is the fourth player to be released from the side after he was named as Shadab Khan’s replacement for the series against England.
Amir, who is presently in London and has fully recovered from chicken pox, and Wahab is expected to join the squad in Bristol on 22 May. Both the players will be available for selection for the 24 and 26 May warm-up matches before Pakistan launches their World Cup campaign against the Windies on 31 May at Trent Bridge. The final make-up of the squad is: Openers – Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq Middle-order batsmen – Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarafraz Ahmed (captain, wicketkeeper) and Shoaib Malik Spinners – Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan Fast bowlers – Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Wahab Riaz. Chair of Pakistan men’s selection committee, Inzamam-ul-Haq told a news conference here that the team combination has been revised after taking into account the fast bowlers’ performance against England as well as considering the nature of wickets that are likely to be presented in the World Cup.
‘Junaid and Faheem had been originally preferred over a few other bowlers based on their recent performances and the investment we had made on them since 2017. They had the opportunity to cement their Word Cup spots, but they were well below-par in the series against England even though they were up against the difficult challenge of bowling on placid and batsmen-friendly wickets,’ he said. ‘After it became obvious that the bat is likely to dominate the ball in the World Cup, we revisited our strategy and reverted to the pace of Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz. —APP