In response to injuries sustained by star pacers Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah during the match against India, Pakistan has decided to include Shahnawaz Dahani and Zaman Khan as backup options.
The Pakistan Cricket Board issued a statement late at night, clarifying that this decision is purely a precautionary measure aimed at safeguarding the players’ fitness and well-being in preparation for the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup next month.
Haris and Naseem will continue to be monitored by the team’s medical panel throughout the ongoing Asia Cup 2023. The team management will only consider requesting replacements from the Asian Cricket Council technical committee if either Haris or Naseem are unable to play for the next seven days.
UPDATE || Both Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah are almost out of the remaining Asia Cup matches (against Sri Lanka and final – if they qualify). Haris picked up a injury when he felt discomfort in his right flank while Naseem Shah experienced problems with his bowling shoulder.… pic.twitter.com/WO2MWwdyFU
— Nibraz Ramzan (@nibraz88cricket) September 11, 2023
Pakistan’s final Super Four match will be against Sri Lanka, while India will face Sri Lanka on Tuesday. Pakistan aims to maintain its strong form after its victory over Bangladesh.
Earlier on Monday, Haris Rauf was sidelined from the India match as a precaution, while Naseem Shah did not participate in batting due to a minor finger injury.
Commenting on the pacers’ injuries, Pakistan’s bowling coach, Morne Morkel, explained, “Haris developed discomfort in his oblique muscle last night, and a scan revealed some inflammation. Given the approaching World Cup, our decision is a preventative one, and we will rely on other bowlers to complete the remaining overs.”
Haris had made a significant impact in the tournament, particularly in the first India-Pakistan match, where he secured three wickets. He forms a potent fast-bowling trio alongside Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah, who have collectively taken 68 wickets in the 50-overs format this year. These three fast bowlers were considered a crucial asset for Pakistan heading into the World Cup in October.