The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced the reserve players list for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has decided that wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan would stay in England during the Cricket World Cup 2019 and fill in in case captain Sarfraz Ahmed faces an injury.
The backup wicketkeeper, who failed to make the final 15-member World Cup squad, is currently in Pakistan but is expected to depart soon for England, where he would stay on during the tournament.
“Mohammad Rizwan, Abid Ali and Faheem Ashraf will remain in England. They’ll play cricket to stay in touch with the conditions and if we feel the need for any of them as replacements then we’ll have them as backup,” chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq told reporters on Monday during his press conference to announce the World Cup squad.
Officials confirmed that the reason for sending Rizwan to England was to prepare a backup in case of an injury.
Meanwhile, Abid Ali will stay in Birmingham during the tournament, while Faheem Ashraf will also return to England soon after a brief stay in Pakistan.
Pakistan had dropped fast bowlers Faheem Ashraf and Junaid Khan in favour of Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz, while batsman Abid Ali was replaced by Asif Ali in the side.
Spearhead Amir was left out of the preliminary squad after a run of poor form, but was included in the final list despite not playing in the last four one-day internationals against England due to chicken pox.
“The bowling unit during the England ODIs has not clicked as anticipated or expected; if we have at our disposal two vastly experienced pace duo of Amir and Wahab, then it will be foolish not to include them,” Inzamam had told reporters.
“Amir and Wahab give the fast bowling attack more experience and support the relatively inexperienced but immensely talented Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Hasnain.”
On the inclusion on Asif Ali, the chief selector said the batsman could prove to be an asset for Pakistan in the tournament. “It was difficult to replace Abid Ali but the way Asif Ali has batted in the series and the way conditions are we felt a player is required on the sixth or seventh spot who can accelerate.”
Asif’s 18-month-old daughter Noor Fatima, who had been undergoing cancer treatment in the United States, died on Sunday but he is set to link up with his teammates after her funeral in Lahore.
“We are with Asif in this tough time. He will return to Pakistan and then go back before the warm-up matches,” he said.
Leg-spinner Shadab Khan has also recovered from illness in time for the tournament, which starts on May 30.
Pakistan’s World Cup Squad:
Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper and captain), Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Wahab Riaz, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shoaib Malik
Reserve Players for World Cup:
Mohammad Rizwan, Abid Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Abbas