Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday announced their final 15-man squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, with the experienced pace duo of Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz included in place of Junaid Khan and Faheem Ashraf, while batsman Asif Ali replaced Abid Ali, who was a part of the preliminary squad.
Amir and Wahab have been called up after Pakistan’s seam attack struggled against England during the recently concluded one day international series, conceding scores in excess of 340 on four occasions in a row.
Amir, who has recently recovered from chickenpox, had been on standby after missing out on the initial 15-man party.
Riaz will join the squad on May 22, while Amir returned to gym work on Saturday, and will soon be ready to rejoin his teammates in full training after his illness.
Chairman of the Pakistan selection committee, Inzamam-ul-Haq, said: “Junaid and Faheem had been originally preferred over a few other bowlers based on their recent performances and the investment we had made on them since 2017.”
“They had the opportunity to cement their Word Cup spots, but they were well below-par in the series against England even though they were up against the difficult challenge of bowling on placid and batsmen-friendly wickets.”
“After it became obvious that the bat is likely to dominate the ball in the World Cup, we revisited our strategy and reverted to the pace of Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz. Furthermore, Amir and Wahab give the fast bowling attack more experience to back and support the relatively inexperienced but immensely talent Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Hasnain,” he added.
Pakistan’s final 15-man squad:
Sarfraz Ahmed (c, wk), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Hasnain.