Uncertainty shrouds Naseem Shah's availability for Pakistan's World Cup opening matches

Initially identified as a red-ball specialist, Naseem Shah has evolved as a key bowler for Pakistan across all three formats of the game.

Published: 15th September 2023 10:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th September 2023 10:53 AM   |  A+A-

Pakistan's Naseem Shah. (Photo | AP)


COLOMBO: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has cast doubts on the possibility of pacer Naseem Shah's timely recovery for their initial matches in the upcoming World Cup in India.

However, their ace pacer Haris Rauf is "recovering well" from a side strain and will be fit in time for their opening match against the Netherlands at Hyderabad on October 6, the skipper has said.

The duo picked up niggling injuries during Pakistan's Super Four clash against India in the Asia Cup and were sitting on the sidelines when the team crashed out of the tournament after losing to Sri Lanka in Colombo on Thursday.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has not yet released any official timeline regarding Naseem's rehabilitation process following a right shoulder injury.

In light of this, Babar Azam expressed uncertainty regarding Naseem's fitness for the start of the tournament.

He said, "I'll tell you later. Not telling you our Plan B now. But, yes, Haris Rauf is not bad. He's just got a little bit of a side strain, but he's recovering before the World Cup."

"Naseem Shah also. They have a couple of missed matches, I don't know (how long) the recovery (is), but in my opinion, Naseem Shah also (will also be) in the World Cup later on. But let's see," he added.

The 20-year-old injury-prone Naseem had a back problem when he was 17 years old and it kept him out for 14 months.

Six weeks following his comeback, a shoulder injury occurred during his debut appearance in the County Championship with Gloucestershire, which kept him out of action for another month.

Initially identified as a red-ball specialist, he has evolved as a key bowler for Pakistan across all three formats of the game.

In ODIs, he has emerged as Pakistan's most formidable bowler, amassing 32 wickets in just 14 matches, all at an average of below 17.

Teams have until September 28 to submit their squads to the ICC for the six-week tournament and they may only alter their 15-player groups after that date with permission from the event organisers.

Pakistan have no official 50-over matches prior to the start of the World Cup, although they do have two warm-up games scheduled against New Zealand (September 29) and Australia (October 3) that do not hold official ODI status.

Follow The New Indian Express channel on WhatsApp


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp