‘Shadab said, I want to bring you to WC camp’: Afridi's major revelation | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'Shadab said, Lala, I want to bring you to camp...': Afridi's big revelation days before Pakistan's World Cup departure

Sep 24, 2023 06:49 AM IST

Shadab Khan, who has been struggling with his bowling at the moment, is also the vice-captain of Pakistan for the World Cup.

Pakistan's promising young fast bowler, Naseem Shah, was ruled out for the ODI World Cup due to a shoulder injury, as Pakistan announced their final 15-member squad for the upcoming tournament slated to kick off next month. Inzamam-ul-Haq, the chief selector, announced the Pakistan squad that saw experienced medium pacer Hasan Ali being recalled in light of Naseem's injury. The 20-year-old Naseem suffered a shoulder injury during a match against India in the Asia Cup and has been advised to undergo surgery. Naseem's absence was the only major change in the squad that sees Shadab Khan and Mohammad Wasim as the two spinners, with Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf retaining their places in pace attack.

Pakistan's Shadab Khan, with out a cap, is congratulated by teammates for taking the wicket of India's Rohit Sharma during the Asia Cup(AP)
Pakistan's Shadab Khan, with out a cap, is congratulated by teammates for taking the wicket of India's Rohit Sharma during the Asia Cup(AP)

While Pakistan's pace attack has performed brilliantly over the past few months, its their spin-bowling duo that has struggled significantly. Shadab Khan, in particular, has been unimpressive with both, bat and ball that has added to concern of the team management going into the World Cup. Furthermore, even former players have addressed this concern, with Shahid Afridi, the former captain of the team, sharing details of his discussion with Shadab during the latter's attendance at Afridi's daughter's wedding with Shaheen.

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"When you have a fielding and batting coach, and a fast bowling coach is also there, why not a spin bowling coach? Spinners' role is the most important, remember that. Middle-overs are very important, because opposition's main batters are playing at the time. You have to pick wickets and maintain run-rate.

“We haven't had the desired performances there. When Shadab came to the wedding, I talked to him, told him whenever you need help, you have Mushi bhai, you have me. He said, Lala, I wanted to ask you about this. I want to bring you to the camp as well. I said I'm always available for you,” said Afridi.

“The way captain and coach has shown confidence on Shadab, we are also hopeful that he makes a comeback,” he further added.

Pakistan squad

Pakistan will play two warm-up matches against New Zealand on September 29 and Australia on October 3 before their tournament opener against the Netherlands on October 6.

The showpiece event will be held in October and November in India.

Pakistan World Cup squad: Babar Azam (C), Shadab Khan (VC), Muhammad Rizwan, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Saud Shakeel, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Muhammad Nawaz, Muhammad Wasim Junior, Agha Salman, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Osama Mir.

Travelling Reserves: Muhammad Haris, Abrar Ahmed, Zaman Khan.

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