Pakistan likely to miss key pacer at start of ICC World Cup 2023 as Babar Azam drops major hint


Pakistan Cricket players
Image Source : GETTY Pakistan Cricket players

The Pakistan cricket team has been hit with injury blows to two of their three premier pacers in the Asia Cup 2023. Speedsters Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah have suffered injuries and both players were not part of Pakistan’s do-or-a-die contest against Sri Lanka on Thursday. The two form the core of a strong Pakistan pace trio, which also features Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Haris and Naseem were not part of Pakistan’s heart-breaking two-wicket loss to Sri Lanka. Before the contest, the 20-year-old Naseem was ruled out of the remainder of the Asia Cup. However, Pakistan did not rule Haris out of the tournament, which now ends for the Men in Green. The Pakistan skipper Babar Azam looked resistant to detail on the fitness status of the two injured pacers but hinted that Naseem could miss out on playing the start of the World Cup in India. 

“I’ll tell you later (plans if both miss out). Not telling you our Plan B now. But yes, Haris Rauf is not bad. He’s just got a little bit of a side strain, but he’s recovering before the World Cup. Naseem Shah also – they have a couple of miss matches, I don’t know (how long) the recovery (is), but in my opinion, Naseem Shah also (will be) in the World Cup later on. But let’s see,” Babar said after the loss against Sri Lanka. 

Haris and Naseem got injured during their team’s Super Four contest against India. While the 29-year-old Haris suffered a side injury and did not turn to bowl on the reserve day of the India vs Pakistan clash, the 20-year-old Naseem walked off the field with a shoulder issue before completing his final over in the rain-affected game. 

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