Pakistan have named their 15-player squad for the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, which is scheduled to start from October 5, 2023, in India. Consistency and confidence in the current bunch were the keys to the selection as the Inzamam-ul-Haq-led national men’s selection committee made only one change – that was also forced – from the squad that played the recent Men’s ODI Asia Cup 2023, stated the Pakistan Cricket Board.
Fast bowler Naseem Shah has been replaced with Hasan Ali. He had suffered a shoulder injury during Asia Cup in a match against India on 11 September and was ruled out of the tournament. Following thorough medical examinations and consultations with leading medical experts, Naseem has been advised to undergo surgery. He is expected to recover in three to four months.
Pakistan Squad for World Cup 2023:
Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Salman Ali Agha, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Usama Mir.
The selectors have also named three traveling reserves in wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Haris, mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed and fast bowler Zaman Khan.
Pakistan will play two warm-ups – against New Zealand on 29 September and Australia on 3 October – before their tournament opener against the Netherlands on 6 October.
Babar Azam’s side enters the mega-event as the number one ranked side and enjoys the best win/loss ratio of 2.400 in this World Cup cycle for any side that has played the One-Day International format.
Pakistan missed out on a semi-final spot in the 2019 iteration of the event because of a lower net run-rate to New Zealand, who ended up as runners-up. The team’s best performance came in the 1992 edition when they lifted the trophy at the MCG after defeating England. Pakistan featured in the final of the 1999 edition and reached semi-finals in 1979, 1983, 1987, and 2011.