Pakistan News

Inzamam reveals Pakistan’s ‘surprise package’ for World Cup 2019

The Pakistan team is in England where it will play a series against the home side before taking part in the ICC Cricket World Cup. All eyes will be on Sarfaraz Ahmed and his team as they seek to bring the trophy home for the second the time.

Pakistan cricket chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq has called the inclusion of young speedster Mohammad Hasnain in the World Cup 2019 squad as the ‘surprise package’ of his side.   

“A surprise package should be there, some people told me that Abid Ali has played only two matches while Hasnain too has played few games. So I thought about the 1992 World Cup, I had myself played six to seven matches, Zahid Fazal had played eight to 10 matches, then there were Iqbal Sikander, Wasim Haider, and Amir Sohail was also inexperienced, so it is all about the combination,” said Inzamam, while talking to local media.

The chief selector was of the view that the bowling unit of Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Faheem Ashraf and Junaid Khan bowls at similar speeds, so the addition of an express pace bowler such as Hasnain could make a difference and add variety.

Reminiscing Pakistan’s famous 1992 World Cup campaign, Inzamam revealed how the then skipper Imran Khan raised his confidence despite his lacklustre showing in the early going of the tournament.

“Imran Khan never let me think less of myself even though I was not scoring that well at the beginning stage of the World Cup. In every game he would raise my confidence by saying that I was Pakistan’s main player and I had to score big,” said Inzamam.

Pakistan’s newest pace sensation — Mohammad Hasnain — has promised to spring a few surprises on the opponents in the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales and has done plenty of work on his bowling action as well as variety for the mega event.

“I have a surprise up my sleeve for the World Cup,” the Hyderabad born Hasnain told Dawn over the phone from Lahore prior to the team’s departure for England on Tuesday night. “I have done a lot of work on my bowling, thanks to my coaches at the NCA,” he said.

Hasnain made his international debut in Sharjah against Australia on March 24 this year and booked his place in the national team for the mega event due to his searing pace and hardwork.

“I did feel pressure in the first over that I bowled in the PSL, but since then have been bowling comfortably,” said Hasnain who is seen as Pakistan’s future pace asset.

In his first over against Australian openers in Sharjah, he bowled a ferocious bouncer to make Usman Khawaja duck and then hit Aaron Finch’s helmet in the very next over.

“I am not overawed by the opposition. I told myself if they [Aussies] are there to bat, I am here to bowl,” said the youngster.

“He added that though he is very passionate about his bowling, he doesn’t believe in making odd gestures to batsmen to show his aggression. “Umpires always tell us to avoid such things in the field and I believe in it personally as well. The aggression that is hallmark of any fast bowler is there in me too but I do not believe in negative tactics,” he said.

The Pakistan cricket team is present in England and is scheduled to play three warm up games against Kent, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, before facing hosts England in a five-match One-Day International series and a Twenty20.

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