Mystery spinner, Abrar Ahmed, is likely to find a place in Pakistan’s 15-member squad for upcoming ICC World Cup 2023, set to take place in India next month.
Abrar has come into contention as Shadab’s poor ODI form has been a cause of concern for Pakistan. While Shadab is certain to be included in the World Cup squad, there is a looming possibility that Shaheen Afridi might take over as the vice-captain.
A meeting took place between the team captain, Babar Azam, and the selection committee on Sunday, to give final shape to the squad.
The team’s leadership, along with the selection committee, has reached a consensus to keep changes to a minimum, largely mirroring the squad from the recently-concluded Asia Cup.
Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq and skipper Babar is scheduled to hold a crucial meeting with Zaka Ashraf, the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) management committee on Monday in Lahore. The ultimate decision regarding the team composition will be contingent upon Ashraf’s approval.
The official announcement of the squad is anticipated to occur in coming week on Wednesday or Thusday. The selection committee have also taken into account the fitness status of several players who have been nursing injuries.
Naseem Shah’s shoulder injury is expected to rule him out of the entire World Cup, prompting consideration of alternatives such as Zaman Khan and Hassan Ali for the pacer’s spot in the squad.
Meanwhile, Haris Rauf, who suffered a side strain during the Asia Cup, is expected to regain fitness in time for the tournament. Agha Salman, who had bruising under the eye, and Imam-ul-Haq, who experienced back spasms prior to the Super 4 clash, are both on the path to recovery and should be fully fit well before the World Cup begins.