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ICC World Cup 2019 | Mohammad Amir Left Out of Pakistan Squad

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: April 18, 2019, 9:14 PM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | Mohammad Amir Left Out of Pakistan Squad

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Mohammad Amir found no place while Mohammad Hafeez was picked subject to fitness as Pakistan named a 15-man squad for the World Cup 2019 on Thursday (April 18).

Amir was in Pakistan's squad during their last ODI assignment, against Australia in UAE. However, he played only one of the five ODIs and has generally been poor since the Champions Trophy final against India in 2017. From that game, where he picked three wickets to lead Pakistan to title victory, he has played 14 matches picking up only five wickets at an average of 92.6.

However, the door is not completely shut as Amir has been picked in the side for the series against England prior to the World Cup.

“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," said chief selector Inzamam ul Haq.

Hafeez sustained a finger injury which forced him out of the Pakistan Super League, but Inzamam said the experienced batsman 'was always in the plans'.

“Hafeez has not played any cricket for the past 10-odd weeks, but he has always featured in our plans," said Inzamam.

"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."

Abid Ali, who scored a century on debut against Australia recently, has been picked as the third opener, backing up Fakhar Zaman and Imam-Ul-Haq. Left-arm pacer Usman Shinwari missed out, while 19-year-old Mohammad Hasnain was "selected due to his sheer pace and speed". Hasnain has played only three ODIs, and will join the pace attack that has Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Junaid Khan.

Overall, 11 of the 15 players featured in the Champions Trophy in England in 2017.

“This is more or less the side we have been playing since the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. I have absolute trust that this side has grown further in experience and stature since 2017. Supported by the flare, skill, talent and killing-instinct, this side has the capability and potential to rise to the occasion and produce strong performances," said Inzamam.

“Shoaib Malik and Hafeez have played in World Cups before (Malik 2007, Hafeez 2007 and 2011), which makes them experienced and qualified to provide the required stability to the middle-order. The exuberance of Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam make them the most exciting, talented and entertaining top-three in the world. Sarfaraz is a proven-performer with the bat who has played a number of crucial knocks for Pakistan and his presence further strengthens the middle-order.

“In Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Junaid Khan and Mohammad Hasnain, Pakistan has probably the most attacking and lethal bowling unit, which has variation and variety to take wickets and keep the opponents under pressure."

Pakistan begin their campaign against Windies on May 31 in Nottingham.

Pakistan squad: Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-Ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Hassan Ali, Abid Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Sohail.
First Published: April 18, 2019, 6:28 PM IST

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