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The Door to 2019 World Cup is Still Open For Hafeez, Says Inzamam

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: September 5, 2018, 1:05 PM IST
The Door to 2019 World Cup is Still Open For Hafeez, Says Inzamam

Mohammad Hafeez. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

He might have been left out of the squad for the Asia Cup but Mohammad Hafeez very much remains to be a part of Pakistan's plans for the 2019 World Cup, confirmed chairman of selectors Inzamam-ul-Haq.

All-rounders Hafeez and Imad Wasim were the two players dropped from the preliminary 18-member squad for the Asia Cup. Hafeez, 37, was with the team when Pakistan won the triangular Twenty20 International and One-Day International series in Zimbabwe. However, he didn't feature in the playing XI of any of the five ODIs.

"Hafeez is a part of the 20-22 players that we are considering for the World Cup," said Inzamam. Hafeez is a good player and now he can bowl as well. But we have other options now. There is much more cricket after the Asia Cup. At this moment, we are trying other options.

"We select players and we don't have any right to claim that anybody's career has come to an end."

Shan Masood, who has already featured in 12 Tests, alongside 18-year-old pacer Shaheen Afridi are the two players in the squad who are yet to make their ODI debut. Talking about Masood's selection, Inzamam said it was the batsman's recent List A record that impressed him. "Yes, you are right (that he has not played in 50-over format for Pakistan before). But, if his List-A record is to be seen over the past year, he has scored more than 1300 runs (1288) which contain world-record performances. So, we thought of providing him an opportunity before the next year's World Cup," explained Inzamam.

Meanwhile, Imad, who last played for Pakistan in October 2018, was the only player from the preliminary squad to have failed his fitness test. "We have a clear stance that only those players who pass the fitness tests should be selected," Inzamam said. "Those who are unable to do so are provided two to three chances. Imad was also provided those chances, but he failed. He has performed for Pakistan when he has played and he would have been a good addition to the side. But, we are not going to compromise on our stance related to the fitness."

Pakistan have included six pacers in their line-up for the two-week-long tournament that will be played in United Arab Emirates (UAE) from September 15, and Inzamam said the decision was taken keeping UAE's weather in mind.

"The Asian Cricket Council has allowed 16-member squads to the sides because of the excessive heat in the UAE. So, by having more fast-bowlers in the side, we are trying to ensure that our fast-bowlers don't have to bear the brunt," he said.

The Sarfraz Ahmed-led side, who are placed in Group B with India and a qualifier, will commence their campaign on September 16.
First Published: September 5, 2018, 1:05 PM IST

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