Aamir & Riaz in Pakistan's World Cup squad

Both Aamir and Wahab had been omitted from the preliminary squad that was named last month

By TT Bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 21.05.19, 3:49 AM
  • Updated 21.05.19, 3:49 AM
  • a min read
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Mohammed Aamir Image source: (@TheRealPCB)

Pacers Mohammed Aamir and Wahab Riaz were named in Pakistan’s final 15-man squad for the upcoming World Cup.

Both Aamir and Wahab had been omitted from the preliminary squad that was named last month. The duo returned in place of left-arm pacer Junaid Khan and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf.

In the other major change, middle-order batsman Asif Ali replaced Abid Ali. Leg-spinner Shadab Khan, who had suffered a viral infection and was out of the series against England, has recovered and retained his place in the final 15. That meant there was no place for Test regular Yasir Shah, who had replaced Shadab for the England matches.

While Aamir was left out of the World Cup preliminary squad, he was given a chance to prove his worth in the five-match ODI series against England. However, he went down with chicken pox and took no part in the series, which Pakistan lost 0-4.

Aamir was due to have a medical examination done in London, and a PCB release confirmed that he has recovered from the illness.

Aamir’s form, though, has been a major concern for Pakistan over the last couple of years. Since the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final, Aamir has sent down 101 overs across 14 innings and picked up just five wickets.

Wahab, on the other hand, wasn’t in the reckoning for the England series either. The left-armer has, in fact, not been anywhere near the Pakistan one-day squad, having last turned out in a 50-over match in a group-stage clash against India during the 2017 Champions Trophy.

Explaining the reasoning behind the selection, chief selector 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 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 Aamir and Wahab Riaz. Aamir and Wahab give the fast bowling attack more experience to back and support the relatively inexperienced Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasnain.”