What could be Pakistan’s World Cup 2023 squad?

Pakistan national side players during a match. — AFP/File
Pakistan national side players during a match. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Pakistan may include Hassan Ali and Abrar Ahmed in the World Cup 2023 squad as the selectors face a Catch-22 situation over Shadab Khan.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is in the process of finalising the 15-member squad for the ICC tournament which will be played in India next month.

The early exit from the Asia Cup 2023 forced the relevant authorities to conduct an in-depth analysis of team combinations.

The team management including chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq and skipper Babar Azam are now considering making changes to the 15-member squad for the mega event.

Sources say that in light of the team’s recent performance, the chances of Mohammad Haris, Usama Mir, Mohammad Wasim Jnr and Faheem Asraf making the World Cup squad look bleak.

Meanwhile, Hassan Ali and right-arm leg-break spinner Abrar Ahmed are likely to be included in the 15-member squad.

Furthermore, despite the concerns over the selection of out-of-form opener Fakhar Zaman and vice-captain Shadab Khan, the duo are likely to make the team for the mega event.

Pakistan’s prospective 15-member-squad for the World Cup might look like this; Babar Azam (c), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Abdulla Shafiq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Hassan Ali, Zaman Khan.

Pakistan’s schedule for the ICC World Cup 2023:

October 6 – vs Netherlands in Hyderabad

October 10 – vs Sri Lanka in Hyderabad

October 14 – vs India in Ahmedabad

October 20 – vs Australia in Bengaluru

October 23 – vs Afghanistan in Chennai

October 27 – vs South Africa in Chennai

October 31 – vs Bangladesh in Kolkata

November 4 – vs New Zealand Bengaluru (Day match)

November 11 – vs England in Kolkata

The day matches will start at 10:00am Pakistan Standard Time (PST) while all other matches will be day-night fixtures starting at 01:30pm (PST).

If Pakistan qualify for the semi-finals, they will play in Kolkata.

If India qualify for the semi-finals, they will play in Mumbai unless playing against Pakistan, in which case they will play in Kolkata.

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