Pakistan pacer Naseem Shah is likely to miss the entire ICC Men’s World Cup 2023 scheduled to be played between October 5 to November 19 in India.
Naseem Shah Likely to Miss World Cup 2023
Following Pakistan’s 228-run defeat against their arch-rival India on September 11(reserve day), the Men in Green faced a massive blow after their key pacer Naseem Shah was ruled out of the Asia Cup 2023 with an injury in his right shoulder.
During the 46th over of Pakistan’s bowling inning, Naseem Shah sustained an injury to a muscle just below his bowling shoulder which is not a recurrence of any previous shoulder injuries.
Naseem has had injury issues in these early stages of his career. A back injury he sustained one year into his international career when he was 17, kept him out of cricket for 14 months. Six weeks after his return, he was sidelined for a month with a shoulder injury he suffered on his debut in the County Championship with Gloucestershire.
Following his injury, Naseem Shah is also expected to skip the entire World Cup 2023 in India. Naseem’s absence from the World Cup, as well as the subsequent series in Australia, will come as a huge blow for Pakistan.
Over the past year, Naseem has gone from a red-ball specialist to an all-format bowler for Pakistan, and on current form, is the best of Pakistan’s much-vaunted triumvirate of Naseem, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf.
The PCB is expected to make an official decision once they have results from his secondary scans in a few days. He was replaced at the Asia Cup by Zaman Khan, while Mohammad Hasnain, another possible replacement, is currently also injured.
Meanwhile, Haris Rauf, who did not bowl on the reserve day of the India game after feeling “discomfort in his right flank” on the scheduled day of the match, “continues to recover well”, the PCB said.
When asked about Pakistan’s contingency plans in case Naseem and Rauf are unable to participate, Babar did not reveal specific backup strategies. However, he did discuss the prospects for both players.
“I’ll tell you later. 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 missed 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.
Following their exit from the Asia Cup 2023, the Pakistan men’s cricket team will be next seen in action only in World Cup 2023.