New Delhi [India], Apr 19 (ANI): Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced its national 15-man squad for the ICC Men's World Cup. However, the inclusion and exclusion of some players turned out to be a talking point among critics and fans.
Mohammad AmirThe left-arm fast bowler has experienced ups and down to be named in the World Cup squad. Amir's exclusion is a turnaround for a player who was adjudged Player of the Match when Pakistan claimed the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017. Since then, he could not pick wickets in nine out of 14 ODIs he has played, averaging 92.60.
However, Amir has been given a chance to prove himself in series against England ahead of the World Cup squad finalisation. Pakistan will play five-match ODI series and one-off T20I against England.
Mohammad RizwanRizwan was handed gloves in place of Sarfaraz Ahmed in the recent series against Australia. The wicket-keeper batsman scored two centuries in the five-match series, which Pakistan lost 0-5. With the omission of Rizwan from the World Cup squad, Pakistan have no full-fledged wicket-keeper backup.
Shoaib Malik and Mohammad HafeezShoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez, each of whom played in the 2007 World Cup, have been named in this edition's Pakistan squad. The 37-year-old Malik and 38-year-old Hafeez are, however, vital to the team as they have seen the lows and been through pressure. So, they can offer guidance to young stars in the team.
Following is Pakistan squad for the World Cup: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c, wk), Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shoaib Malik.
Pakistan will play against Afghanistan and Bangladesh in the warm-ups before opening its World Cup campaign against West Indies on May 31 at the Trent Bridge, Nottingham. (ANI)