In what could be a huge blow to Pakistan ahead of the ODI World Cup in India beginning in October, their star pacer Naseem Shah is likely to miss tournament. While Naseem was initially ruled out of Asia Cup with a hope for recovery ahead of the global event, scans have revaled that the injury to his right shoulder is worse than that what was initially suspected. While the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are looking for a second opinion after injury to their premium fast bowler, initial reports suggest he could be ruled out for the rest of the year.
A report carried by ESPNCricinfo suggests that that if the other results confirm the extent of Naseem’s injury, the 20-year-old will be out of action for several months casting dark shadows over his availability for the Test serie in Australia as well as the next Pakistan Super Legue (PSL). An official confirmation from the PCB though is yet awaited.
For the unversed, Naseem was part of Pakistan’s playing 11 in their Super Four match against India. However, he walked off the field in the middle of the 46th over and did not come out to bat. He was ruled out of the tournament shortly after. It is being reported that the right-arm speedster has sustained an injury to a muscle right below his bowling shoulder. In case, Naseem’s absence from the World Cup is confirmed, it will be a big miss for the Babar Azam-led side with Naseem forming a world threatening trio of fast bowlers along with Haris Rauf and Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Zaman Khan replaced Shah in the Asia Cup squad and it would be interesting to see if he continues to be backed by the team management in case it is establihes that Naseem won’t be able to make it for the World Cup beginning on October 5.