Pakistan’s Chief Selector, Inzamam-ul-Haq, conducted a press conference on Friday to officially unveil Pakistan’s squad for the 2023 World Cup. The most significant announcement was the inclusion of senior fast bowler Hasan Ali, who was named as a replacement for the injured Naseem Shah.

Inzamam-ul-Haq’s selection decisions involved the exclusion of all-rounder Faheem Ashraf, batsman Mohammad Haris, and pacer Zaman Khan from the squad. Nevertheless, Mohammad Haris was designated as a reserve player, primarily serving as the backup wicket-keeper. Additionally, the squad welcomed young leg-spinner Usama Mir.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq faced increased scrutiny following Pakistan’s underwhelming performance in the Asia Cup 2023. In the tournament, Babar Azam’s team finished fourth in the Super 4 round, suffering a substantial loss to India and a heart-wrenching defeat to Sri Lanka in the final ball of the match. The injury to Naseem Shah further exacerbated their concerns, leading to the selection of the seasoned Hasan Ali, who had last participated in an ODI in January 2023.

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During the press conference, a journalist made a comparison between Kuldeep Yadav and left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz. Inzamam-ul-Haq responded with humor, stating, “You’ve presented some intriguing statistics on both bowlers, but let me clarify that I cannot select Kuldeep Yadav… that’s an issue because he belongs to another team,” prompting laughter from the attending journalists.

Pakistan is scheduled to engage in two warm-up matches against New Zealand and Australia in Hyderabad before commencing their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands on October 6.

Pakistan World Cup 2023 Squad:
Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali