Wasim ruled out of Asia Cup, Hasan named as re-placement

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Fast bowler Mohammad Wasim Jr has been ruled out of the T20 Asia Cup due to a left side strain, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed.

He had picked up the injury while bowling in Pakistan’s practice session on Wednesday. The bowler was assessed by the team medical staff, and MRI scan in Dubai confirmed the diagnosis.

“The findings were discussed with the PCB Medical Advisory Committee, while an independent review by a specialist physiotherapist was also sought,” the cricket board said in a brief statement.

The medical team will closely monitor Wasim’s rehabilitation and his return to competitive cricket will be reassessed before the England tour to Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Hasan Ali has been named as Wasim’s replacement, which is subject to the Event Technical Committee’s approval. As soon as the ETC approves Hasan as a replacement player, the bowler will depart for the UAE.

Hasan was sought as a replacement player by the team management and the request was accepted by the chief selector.

He had been working on his bowling in the Na-tional High-Performance Centre for the past three weeks and is presently in Rawalpindi, preparing for the National T20, which commences on August 30.

Matches between India and Pakistan tend to be high-voltage contests, where emotions come out in their purest form, but for Pakistan head coach Saqlain Mushtaq games between the arch-rivals are about spreading the message of love and kindness.

The images that came out of the ICC Academy in Dubai on Wednesday — one of which showed Paki-stan skipper Babar Azam and Indian batting superstar Virat Kohli shake hands with broad smiles on their faces — heartened Saqlain.

The two teams, who don’t play bilateral cricket against each other because of tense diplomatic rela-tions between the neighbouring countries, meet for the first time in more than ten months on Sunday for their Asia Cup opener.

Indian and Pakistani players meeting each other reminded Saqlain of his experience during the Cricket All-Stars event in the United States seven years ago where fans stitched the countries’ flags together.

“Few years ago I went to play the Cricket All-Stars and world cricket’s 25 big names were present there,” Saqlain said during a media talk on Thursday.

“However, only Pakistani and Indian fans were there [to watch the matches]. The fans had stitched both [the countries’] flags. It showed that cricket is not just sports or entertainment; it is something that unites the humanity.”

The former Pakistan skipper said it was natural to be emotional while playing India, but it was also an opportunity to send out a bigger message.

“We do have emotions for our country when we play a match but the pictures that came out yesterday portrayed a positive image,” said Saqlain. “We try our best to give the message of kindness and love and that is why our players go to meet the Indian players and its vice-versa.”

1Pakistan squad for Asia Cup

Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Has-nain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Hassan Ali, Naseem Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani, and Usman Qadir—APP

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