Naseem Shah may miss start of Cricket World Cup 2023 for Pakistan

Naseem Shah may miss start of Cricket World Cup 2023 for Pakistan

Naseem Shah may miss start of Cricket World Cup 2023 for Pakistan

Naseem Shah could miss the opening matches of Pakistan in the 2023 ODI World Cup, hinted Pakistan skipper Babar Azam Thursday. He however added that pacer Haris Rauf is “recovering well” from a side strain and should fit in time for their World Cup opener against Netherlands on 6 October.

The duo picked up niggling injuries during Pakistan’s Super Four clash against India in the Asia Cup and were sitting on the sidelines when the team crashed out of the tournament after losing to Sri Lanka in Colombo on Thursday.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has not yet released any official timeline regarding Naseem’s rehabilitation process following a right shoulder injury.

“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.

The 20-year-old injury-prone Naseem had a back problem when he was 17 years old and it kept him out for 14 months.

Six weeks following his comeback, a shoulder injury occurred during his debut appearance in the County Championship with Gloucestershire, which kept him out of action for another month.

Initially identified as a red-ball specialist, he has evolved as a key bowler for Pakistan across all three formats of the game.

In ODIs, he has emerged as Pakistan’s most formidable bowler, amassing 32 wickets in just 14 matches, all at an average of below 17.

Teams have until September 28 to submit their squads to the ICC for the six-week tournament and they may only alter their 15-player groups after that date with permission from the event organisers.

Pakistan have no official 50-over matches prior to the start of the World Cup, although they do have two warm-up games scheduled against New Zealand (September 29) and Australia (October 3) that do not hold official ODI status.

With agency inputs