Thursday, October 26, 2023

World Cup 2023: Most of Pakistani squad skip training session ahead of South Africa clash

Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, others opted to rest to avoid any fatigue before crunch game

Pakistan national side players during a match. — AFP/File
Pakistan national side players during a match. — AFP/File
  • Rizwan, Nawaz, Mir and Shafiq also opted to take rest.   
  • Pakistan can't afford to lose any more games.   
  • Pakistan play South Africa next in a must-win game.

CHENNAI: Several Pakistan cricketers on Thursday opted to skip the optional training session and have some rest before a crucial World Cup game against South Africa.

Only 8 out of 15 members of the World Cup playing squad along with three reserve squad members participated in the training session at Chidambaram Stadium, while 7 others, including the fast-bowling trio of Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Hasan Ali, opted to have rest to avoid any fatigue before the crunch game.

Pakistan play South Africa on Friday in a must-win game after losing three consecutive games. They currently have 4 points from 5 games and are in a position where they can’t afford to lose any more games.

Wicket-keeper batter Mohammad Rizwan, all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz, spinner Usama Mir, and opener Abdullah Shafiq were also among the players who opted for rest.

However, captain Babar Azam along with his deputy Shadab Khan came to nets and practiced for around two hours. 

Imam ul Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Saud Shakeel, Iftekhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, and Wasim Jnr along with Zaman Khan, Abrar Ahmed, and Mohammad Haris were also among the players who were present at the optional practice session.

The players looked focused on practicing hard hitting aiming to take some advantage of powerplay overs.

Meanwhile, the sources have said that the Pakistan team’s director Mickey Arthur gave a pep talk to the players to motivate them ahead of the important game.