Star Pakistani fast bowler, Naseem Shah, is expected to sit out the initial matches of the eagerly anticipated ODI World Cup 2023, set to commence on October 5th in India. Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, has provided updates on the injuries to Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf, expressing optimism that Naseem Shah may return later in the tournament.
Babar Azam mentioned that while he couldn’t determine the exact duration of Naseem Shah’s recovery, there is hope for his participation in the later stages of the World Cup. However, he didn’t rule out the possibility and emphasized that they would have to wait and see.
Regarding Haris Rauf’s injury, Babar Azam remained hopeful about his availability. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has not replaced Rauf with Shahnawaz Dahani in the Asia Cup squad, indicating that Rauf’s condition is improving. Babar Azam did not disclose their backup plan but mentioned that Rauf is on the path to recovery from a side strain before the World Cup.
Both Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf sustained their injuries during a rain-affected match in the Super 4s stage of the Asia Cup against India at R. Premadasa Stadium. This injury setback came as a significant challenge for the Pakistani team ahead of a crucial do-or-die game against Sri Lanka, which they ultimately lost by two wickets in a thrilling encounter.
Pakistan’s cricket board has taken a precautionary step by adding Shahnawaz Dahani and Zaman Khan to their squad as backup bowlers. This decision came after star pacers Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah sustained minor injuries during a match against India.
Haris Rauf was ruled out of the game against India due to discomfort in his oblique muscle, as revealed by Pakistan’s bowling coach, Morne Morkel. A scan showed inflammation, prompting the team to take a cautious approach to protect his fitness for the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.