Naseem may miss start of World Cup, skipper hints

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Naseem Shah might not be able to recuperate in time to play in Pakistan’s opening World Cup games, according to Babar Azam. Although Naseem has a right shoulder injury, the PCB has not released a schedule for his rehabilitation. Babar was dubious as to whether Naseem would be ready to play at the start of the tournament next month.

There is more certainty that Haris Rauf, who is dealing with a side ailment, will be ready for the start of the World Cup because Pakistan did not even formally exclude him from the Asia Cup or add Shahnawaz Dahani as his substitute to the team. After Pakistan’s last-ball loss to Sri Lanka and elimination from the Asia Cup, Babar expressed similar confidence in Rauf’s prospects while appearing to be unsure about Naseem’s complete World Cup availability.

When asked what backup plans Pakistan had in case Naseem and Rauf were unable to participate, Babar was vague about them but elaborated on both of their chances.

He said, “I’ll tell you later.” I’m not going to tell you about our backup plan right now. But Haris Rauf is actually rather good. He only has a little side injury, but he is recuperating in time for the World Cup. Likewise, Naseem Shah has missed a few games; I’m not sure how long the rehabilitation will take, but in my view, Naseem Shah will participate in the World Cup in the future. However, let’s see.

The extent of Naseem’s injury has not yet been specified by the PCB. His muscular issue, which he looked to incur when bowling at the end against India on Monday, is presently being examined by scans while he is in Dubai. He was removed from the competition shortly after he was removed in the middle of the over. Rauf was unable to bowl that day due to a problem in his side, and Pakistan rested him in an effort to be extra cautious given the impending World Cup.

Early on in his career, Naseem Shah struggled with injuries. He missed 14 months of cricket due to a back ailment he suffered one year into his international career when he was 17 years old. He was forced to miss a month of play six weeks after his comeback due to a shoulder injury he sustained when making his County Championship debut with Gloucestershire.

Since then, his workload has greatly grown (18 months). Naseem, who was once solely a red-ball player, has developed into a vital bowler for Pakistan in all three forms. With 32 wickets in 14 games while still under the age of 17, he is their most effective bowler since making his ODI debut.

In their crucial match against Sri Lanka without their two fast bowlers, Pakistan started Mohammad Wasim Jr. and Zaman Khan. Both failed to make an impact, their combined nine overs going for 64 runs as Sri Lanka snuck home at the end of their chase because of problems with wicket-taking.

On Friday, the Pakistani team will travel through Dubai to return home from Sri Lanka.


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