Pakistani Star Pacer Doubtful For ODI World Cup 2023, Babar Azam Provided Major Injury Update

The cricketing world is excited as the 2023 ODI World Cup approaches. Fans eagerly anticipate thrilling contests, but there’s one burning question on everyone’s mind will young speedster Naseem Shah be fit in time to represent Pakistan?

The saga of Naseem Shah’s injury has cast doubt over his availability for the crucial early fixtures of the ODI World Cup. A right shoulder injury has sidelined the talented bowler, leaving fans and team management anxious. Despite this, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has yet to release a clear schedule for his rehabilitation, adding to the uncertainty.

Captain Babar Azam, the linchpin of Pakistan’s batting lineup, has voiced his concerns regarding Naseem Shah’s readiness. With the high-profile clash against India scheduled for October 14, there’s immense pressure to have all key players in prime form. However, Babar Azam remains doubtful about Naseem Shah’s ability to make a swift recovery.

While Naseem Shah’s situation remains uncertain, there’s more optimism surrounding Haris Rauf. The fast bowler has been dealing with a side issue, but Pakistan’s decision not to replace him with Shahnawaz Dahani in the Asia Cup 2023 squad suggests he is on track for a timely recovery. Babar Azam has expressed confidence in Haris Rauf’s fitness, providing hope for the team’s pace attack.

Babar Azam remained tight-lipped when pressed about Pakistan’s backup strategies in case Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf cannot take the field. He chose not to disclose the backup plans but elaborated on both players’ chances. According to him, Haris Rauf is progressing well, and Naseem Shah is likely to participate in the World Cup at a later stage. However, the uncertainty lingers, and fans wonder about the contingency measures in place.

He replied to reporters, “I’ll tell you later. I’m not going to tell you about our backup plan right now. But Haris Rauf is rather good. He only has a little side injury but is recovering in time for the World Cup. Naseem Shah, likewise, has missed a few games; I’m not sure how long the rehabilitation will take, but in my opinion, Naseem Shah will participate in the World Cup later. However, let’s see.”

The Pakistan cricket team faces a challenging journey in the ODI World Cup, commencing on October 6 with a clash against the Netherlands. Subsequent encounters with Sri Lanka and the high-voltage showdown against India on October 14 will test their mettle. The matches will occur in Hyderabad and Ahmedabad, promising electrifying cricketing action.

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The extent of Naseem Shah’s injury remains undisclosed by the PCB. His muscle tissue, believed to have occurred while bowling against India, is undergoing evaluation through scans in Dubai. The decision to exclude him from the competition was made promptly due to the seriousness of the injury. Haris Rauf, too, was rested during the Asia Cup to ensure his full recovery, emphasizing the team’s cautious approach.

In recent times, Naseem Shah has emerged as a vital component of Pakistan’s bowling arsenal across all formats. He has become their most potent bowler since his ODI debut, with an impressive record of 32 wickets in just 14 games at an astonishing average of under 17. His presence in the World Cup lineup could significantly bolster Pakistan’s chances.

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