Pakistan News

Amir’s World Cup selection chances take major blow

With the Cricket World Cup around the corner the things are only getting tougher for Pakistan. Now after Shadab Khan Pakistan once again gets the major blow ahead of the World Cup.

Pakistan’s injury woes ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup worsened as Pakistani pacer Mohammad Amir’s chances of featuring in the 2019 World Cup reduced significantly, as an initial medical examination has hinted that the fast-bowler might be suffering from chickenpox.

Amir missed the second ODI against England in Southampton because of what team officials said was a viral infection and he is set to miss the third game in Bristol tomorrow as well. It has now emerged that the infection is likely to be chickenpox.

Mohammad Amir down with suspected chickenpox. Photo: Getty Images

Amir is currently not travelling with the team but with his family in London, where he was checked by a doctor. He had missed the second one-dayer in Southampton due to the illness and whether he will play any role in the remaining two matches, after Tuesday, depends on the severity of the chickenpox, which will be determined over the next two-three days.

How long it will take him to recover is not clear at the moment. But even if it is a week from when he originally fell ill, it leaves him with a monumental task to break into Pakistan’s 15-man squad.

Amir was left out of Pakistan’s preliminary 15-man squad. He, however, was made a part of the group of 17 which came to England to play limited-overs series against the hosts in run up to the World Cup.

Amir’s wicket-taking form in ODIs since the final of the Champions Trophy in 2017 has been poor. He has only five wickets to show in that time in 15 ODIs.

Since teams are allowed to change their lineups until May 23 by the ICC, Amir, despite picking only five wickets in 101 overs since the Champions Trophy final in 2017, remains an integral part of Pakistan’s plans for the showpiece event because of his ability to keep a lid on the flow of runs, as explained by the team management and the selection committee.

Prior to the side’s departure from Pakistan, Sarfraz Ahmed and Mickey Arthur had said that the left-arm pacer will be auditioned in the England series. He was made a part of Pakistan’s playing XI for the first ODI, but it was curtailed to only 19 overs due to rain.

Earlier, Pakistan’s former Test wicket-keeper Saleem Yousuf backed the idea of having Mohammad Amir in Pakistan’s World Cup squad.

Speaking to Geo.tv here in the city, Saleem, 59, said having Amir in the squad would be beneficial for Pakistan’s national team in the English conditions during the cricketing pinnacle.

“There are, probably, couple of niggles and I feel that Mohammad Amir should have been there as he is experienced and his bowling in England will be effective. His presence will be beneficial for Pakistan team,” Yousuf, who played 32 Test matches for Pakistan between 1982 and 1990, said.

Former Test cricketer and academy director at the Pakistan Cricketer Board (PCB) Mudassar Nazar has also stressed the importance of Mohammad Amir in the ICC Cricket World Cup.

“The main bowler who we have been depending on the last few years, Mohammad Amir has a question mark. It is necessary for him to be fit and bowl because the rest of the attack is inexperienced,” Nazar told Geo News on Friday.

 

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