A report stating that Pakistani pacer Naseem Shah is likely to miss the entire ICC World Cup 2023, due to a shoulder injury he picked in the Asia Cup 2023, emerged on Saturday and left the fans — who were already disheartened due to Pakistan's poor performance in the Asian event — devastated.
A news outlet named ESPNcricinfo reported that the 20-year-old's injury may not only force him to miss the World Cup but also the upcoming edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) next year.
“Pakistan fast bowler Naseem Shah is likely to miss the entire World Cup after scans revealed an injury to his right shoulder that is worse than was initially suspected. The PCB is understood to be seeking a second opinion, but scans from tests in Dubai appear to show the injury could rule him out for the rest of year,” the report stated.
“Should secondary results back up the initial ones, Naseem, 20, is looking at a layoff spanning several months which means his participation in the Test series in Australia at the turn of the year is in doubt, as well as the next Pakistan Super League also in grave doubt,” it added.
The news has left fans despondent and considering Shah's importance in the Pakistani team, the news is likely to trouble the team's management.
While some fans are questioning the way the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) manage players' workload, others are already discussing the 20-year-old's replacement — with one of the names being left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir.
Amir last played an ODI match for Pakistan in October 2019 against Sri Lanka in Karachi. He brought the curtain down on his international career in 2020 after reservations with the then team management.
Here is how fans on X, formerly known as Twitter, reacted.
It must be noted that in the 46th over during Pakistan's second game against India at the Asia Cup last week, Naseem walked off the field on the reserve day organised for that game. Soon after, the PCB issued a press release stating that the right-armer has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament.
Shah suffered an injury to a muscle just below his bowling shoulder and is not a recurrence of any previous shoulder injuries.
Now, Pakistan's captain Babar Azam and the team management have a bigger task at hand as they will have to find a suitable replacement for Naseem and not only that, they will also have to find out suitable backups for the mega event.