Pakistan pick Hasan Ali in ODI World Cup squad after Naseem Shah is ruled out

Fast bowler Shah ruled out for several months due to shoulder injury

Pakistan's Hasan Ali has returned to the team for the ODI World Cup. AFP
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Pakistan named experienced seamer Hasan Ali as the replacement for injured fast bowler Naseem Shah for the ODI World Cup which starts next month in India.

Babar Azam's team had delayed announcing its World Cup squad as the management awaited the medical report on Shah's shoulder injury he picked up during the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka. He has now been ruled out for several months and is expected to be back only early next year. He has been advised to undergo surgery.

Shah has been Pakistan's best fast bowler this year and his absence has left a big void in their pace attack. The selectors had very few back-up options, with Mohammad Hasnain and Ihsanullah both nursing injuries. The name of retired seamer Mohammad Amir also cropped up, but Pakistan went with Ali, who offers experience.

"Naseem Shah is a key bowler for us, but he's injured," former captain and chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq told reporters. "I did not make too many changes in the team. It's more or less the same team you have seen play in the last one year.

"Unfortunately, the report we have from our doctors, we hear 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. We hope he's fit soon.

"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 events for Pakistan and performed well in them."

In other team news, all-rounder Faheem Ashraf lost his place with spin bowling all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz retaining his spot.

Pakistan's pace attack will be led by Shaheen Afridi and he will be supported by the fit-again Haris Rauf, Mohammed Waseem and Ali in a largely unchanged side.

Opener Fakhar Zaman scored 65 runs in four innings in the Asia Cup, but kept his place in the 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.

Pakistan 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.

Pakistan 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

Updated: October 04, 2023, 9:07 AM