The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced Pakistan’s squad for the World Cup starting from next month in England, with ace pacer Mohammad Amir the most glaring omission from the side.
Sarfaraz Ahmed leads the line, with the Inzamam-ul-Haq-led selection committee opting for a mixture of experience and youth for the Men in Green.
Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam complete a strong top three that boasts ODI averages of over 50 each. Abid Ali, who has played just two ODIs, is also included for his century on debut against Australia.
Shoaib Malik, Haris Sohail and Mohammad Hafeez are part of an experienced middle-order alongside Sarfaraz. There was no place, however, for either Umar Akmal or Asif Ali, with neither specialist ‘finishers’ included in the side. Mohammad Rizwan, who scored two centuries against Australia, also misses out.
Amir’s omission is set to raise several eyebrows despite his poor form, especially considering his performance in the Champions Trophy that also took place in England two years ago. Another pacer who might consider himself unlucky is Usman Shinwari, who has impressed in ODIs and was arguably the team’s best bowler against Australia.
Young pacer Mohammad Hasnain, who has just two international wickets to his name in his three ODIs, joins fellow teenage fast-bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi in a raw pace attack that will be led by right-arm pacer Hasan Ali.
Junaid Khan and Faheem Ashraf are also available to Sarfaraz in the pace department, while Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim make up the spin options for Pakistan.
Sarfaraz Ahmed (c), Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shoaib Malik.