KARACHI: The poor performance of the Pakistan cricket team in the Asia Cup 2023 has made it difficult for selectors to name a 15-man squad for the much-anticipated ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.
The subpar display by a number of players has raised difficulties for Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq and captain Babar Azam as both now believe that the changes in the squad are necessary.
While the two are busy finalising the squad for the mega event, the Team’s Director Mickey Arthur remains engaged in county cricket in England and is nowhere to be seen in this entire selection process.
It is revealed that the case of Mohammad Haris, Wasim Junior, Usama Mir and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf has weakened following the team's mediocre performance in the Asian event.
Meanwhile, the names of Hasan Ali and mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed are being discussed among the selection panel.
One thing that needs to be mentioned is that despite being out-of-form for a long time, vice-captain Shadab Khan and left-handed opener Fakhar Zaman’s place for the World Cup is secured even though there have been concerns regarding their form.
It must be noted that Pakistan were knocked out of the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 after back-to-back losses against India and Sri Lanka in the Super 4 stage of the tournament.
Pakistan’s likely squad for the World Cup
Babar Azam (c), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Muhammad Rizwan (wk) Abrar Ahmed, Muhammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali and Zaman Khan.
Here is Pakistan's schedule for the ICC World Cup 2023:
October 6 - vs Netherlands in Hyderabad
October 10 - vs Sri Lanka in Hyderabad
October 14 - vs India in Ahmedabad
October 20 - vs Australia in Bengaluru
October 23 - vs Afghanistan in Chennai
October 27 - vs South Africa in Chennai
October 31 - vs Bangladesh in Kolkata
November 4 - vs New Zealand Bengaluru (Day match)
November 11 - vs England in Kolkata
The day matches which will start at 10:00am Pakistan Standard Time (PST) while all other matches will be day-night fixtures starting at 01:30pm (PST).
If Pakistan qualify for the semi-finals, they will play in Kolkata.
If India qualify for the semi-finals, they will play in Mumbai unless playing against Pakistan, in which case they will play in Kolkata.