Asia Cup 2023: Zaman Khan replaces Naseem Shah in Pakistan squad

Naseem Shah has been advised by medical panel to rest before the World Cup

By Web Desk
September 13, 2023
Zaman Khan and Naseem Shah during practice - AFP

Pakistan have been hit with a major blow as ace pacer Naseem Shah has been ruled out of the remaining match of Asia Cup 2023.

Uncapped pacer Zaman Khan has replaced Naseem, who suffered a right shoulder injury in the match against India.

Naseem Shah, 20, has been advised by medical panel to rest before the World Cup scheduled in India from next month. The medical panel will continue to examine Naseem Shah.

Meanwhile, Haris Rauf was not allowed to bowl against India as a precaution on the reserve day. The right-arm pacer has a side strain and is rapidly improving.

Zaman Khan reached Colombo earlier today and joined the team for the remainder of the tournament.

Zaman’s fellow speedster Shahnawaz Dahani is currently awaiting visa before departing for Sri Lanka.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) called up Zaman and Dahani as backups for Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf, who picked up injuries during the Green Shirts' Super Four clash against India on Monday.

The decision was taken as a precautionary measure keeping in mind that the World Cup 2023 is just around the corner.

"Pakistan have called up Shahnawaz Dahani and Zaman Khan as backups," the PCB said in a brief statement.

"The two have been called up after Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah picked up niggles in the match against India.

"This is only a precautionary measure keeping in mind the fitness and well-being of the players ahead of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup next month.

The World Cup 2023 begins in October and Pakistan don't want to take any kind of risks with their primary pacers.

Pakistan's next and last match of the Super Four will be against Sri Lanka, with the winner qualifying for the final against India on September 17.

However, rain is likely to play spoilsport during the Pakistan- Sri Lanka and the other remaining matches of the event.

According to The Weather Channel, there are 86 percent chances of rain on September 14 in Colombo which would affect the Pakistan-Sri Lanka match.

What happens if rain washes out remaining matches?

India have already qualified for the final so rain will have no effect on their position. Meanwhile, Bangladesh are already out of the race for the final.

On the other hand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan will both get one point but the Lankan Tigers will book their ticket to the final due to their better net run-rate (NRR).

After Pakistan's 228-run defeat against India, their NRR fell to -1.892. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka have an NRR of -0.2.

Asia Cup schedule of remaining matches

Sept 14 - Sri Lanka vs Pakistan in Colombo at 2:30 pm (PST)

Sept 15 - Bangladesh vs India Colombo at 2:30 pm (PST)

Sept 17 - Final in Colombo at 2:30 pm (PST)