Mohammad Amir, Asif Ali miss out on World Cup selection but given England series lifeline
Chief Selector Inzamam ul Haq announced the 15 member squad for the World Cup. Mohammad Amir and Asif Ali were not included in the squad however will be part of the team that faces England. It is expected that solid performances in the series could lend either player a place in the World Cup squad. As per ICC rules, changes can be made to the squad before the cut-off date of 23 May. The final ODI against England will be played on the 19th of May.
Mohammad Rizwan, Usman Shinwari, Mohammad Nawz and Shan Masood also missed out selection. However, the two big winners were Mohammad Hasnain and Abid Ali. The pacer from Hyderabad has been selected on the backing of captain Sarfraz, who has on numerous occasions talked about the lack of a genuine speedster. Junaid Khan, also made the squad despite concerns over his fitness. Abid Ali, was preferred over Shan Masood, who failed in the Australia series.
Similarly, Mohammad Hafeez has also made the cut, after recovering from the thumb injury.
“Hafeez has not played any cricket for the past 10-odd weeks, but he has always featured in our plans. Although his inclusion in the World Cup squad is subject to fitness, yesterday we got a boost when he started playing with tennis ball with his doctor confirming he will be available for selection for the series against England. Our World Cup opener is on 31 May against the Windies, which is still six weeks away, and we are confident he will be fully fit and ready to display his vast international experience,” said Inzamam about the all-rounder.
Similarly, on the chances of Asif Ali and Mohammad Amir making it to the final squad, the selector laid the duo a challenge.
“For the T20I and ODIs against England, we have added Asif Ali and Mohammad Amir as additional players. Asif is probably the best power-hitter in Pakistan, while Amir has the experience and a good record in England. These two will provide cover to the World Cup squad and can be drafted into the side by 23 May, if required,” he said.
Like Pakistan, England have also named additional players for the series before making a final call on squad selection.
Pakistan series against England begins on 5th May, 2019 with a T20I.
World Cup squad: Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper, captain), Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, & Shoaib Malik
Two additional for the England series: Asif Ali & Mohammad Amir