Thursday, September 21, 2023
LAHORE: The announcement of Pakistan's squad for the ICC World Cup 2023 is facing unexpected delays with the team management holding consultations following a humiliating exit from the Asia Cup.
The performance of senior Pakistan players including Fakhar Zaman and Shadab Khan is under the scanner after the team suffered a massive loss against arch-rivals India.
The Green Shirts also failed to qualify for the final after Sri Lanka defeated them. Injuries to players Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf and Imam-ul-Haq added to their woes and made team selection for the upcoming event a headache.
According to Geo News sources, in a review session chaired by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Zaka Ashraf, skipper Babar Azam and Director Cricket Mickey Arthur admitted that they suffered a loss in the regional tournament due to "flawed strategy".
Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq was conspicuous by his absence.
Azam maintained that continuous travelling and weather affected the team's preparations. He asked not to be changed from the position of captain and also requested to retain Shadan Khan as vice-captain.
The skipper said that the team was on a winning course before the Asia Cup, the sources said.
"Arthur conceded that there are issues pertaining to fitness and the middle order but the duo could not share a plan for the World Cup. They wished to play the Word Cup with planning."
During the meeting, the sources confided, fast bowling coach Morne Morkel suggested hiring a separate coach for spinners.
It is important to note that under the ICC rules all boards have to finalise their teams by September 28 for the mega event.