Saturday, September 16, 2023
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Is Pakistan squad expected to see major changes ahead of World Cup?

Some senior players are expected to lose their positions; Pakistan selectors worried about injuries to pacers

Pakistan´s captain Babar Azam (L) with teammates walks back to the pavilion after Sri Lanka won by 2 wickets during the Asia Cup 2023 Super Four one-day international (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo early September 15, 2023. — AFP
Pakistan´s captain Babar Azam (L) with teammates walks back to the pavilion after Sri Lanka won by 2 wickets during the Asia Cup 2023 Super Four one-day international (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo early September 15, 2023. — AFP

  • Some senior players may lose positions ahead of World Cup.
  • Inzamam-ul-Haq, Misbah-ul-Haq to meet selectors.
  • Officials worried about injuries faced by major players.


KARACHI: Some senior players in the Pakistan cricket team are expected to lose their positions following the team's poor performance in the ongoing Asia Cup 2023. 

The Green Shirts are set to participate in the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023 next month, however, the current situation has raised some concerns including the constant injuries faced by some major players. 

Pakistan were ousted from the Asia Cup after their defeat to India and Sri Lanka in the Super 4 matches of the tournament. 

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, Director Mickey Arthur, Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq and head coach Grant Bradburn are pondering over the constant fitness issues of players.

Meanwhile, the selectors are considering other players for the team and some senior players are also expected to lose their positions.

According to sources, the selectors had already made a team for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023 with the help of the management. They had also informed the players whether they would participate in the tournament or not without making an official announcement.

However, the situation is different now after the Men in Green could not reach the finals of the Asia Cup.

Inzamam is also worried about the team's loss and the injuries faced by major players — Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah.

Recently, Babar raised the possibility that pacer Naseem may miss some of the matches during the World Cup. The pacer Naseem was ruled out of the Asia Cup after he injured his right shoulder during the Super 4 match against India. He has been advised by the medical panel to rest before the World Cup.

Moreover, vice-captain Shadab Khan and batter Fakhar Zaman are also out of form.

Recently, Babar blamed the Asia Cup's defeat on the bowlers, saying that the team should have played better on that pitch.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Zaka Ashraf also visited the players at their hotel to boost their morale, however, this only made them more stressed out.

Head of Integration and Technical Committee Misbah-ul-Haq and Inzamam have decided to meet the local selectors. The chief selector will also make a few changes by taking Babar, Arthur and Bradburn into confidence.

It must be noted that 10 teams will fight for the elusive World Cup title across 10 venues from October 5 to November 19, with the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad hosting the tournament opener and the final.

The Cricket World Cup will be played in a round-robin format with all teams playing against each other for a total of 45 league matches.

The top four teams will qualify for the semifinals, which will be held in Mumbai on November 15 and in Kolkata on November 16. The semi-finals and the final will have reserve days.

Pakistan have not yet announced the squad for the mega event.

Pakistan's schedule for the ICC World Cup 2023

October 6 - vs Netherlands in Hyderabad

October 10 - vs Sri Lanka in Hyderabad

October 14 - vs India in Ahmedabad

October 20 - vs Australia in Bengaluru

October 23 - vs Afghanistan in Chennai

October 27 - vs South Africa in Chennai

October 31 - vs Bangladesh in Kolkata

November 4 - vs New Zealand Bengaluru (Day match)

November 11 - vs England in Kolkata

The day matches will start at 10:00am Pakistan Standard Time (PST) while all other matches will be day-night fixtures starting at 01:30pm (PST).