Pakistan will be at "huge loss" if pacer Naseem Shah missed ICC World Cup 2023, renowned Indian commentator and analyst Harsha Bhogle said in reaction to the reports of young bowler's possible rulling out due to an injury.
The star seamer suffered a shoulder injury during an Asia Cup 2023 match and it turned out to be worse than what was initially suspected, creating massive chances that he will be ruled out of the most anticipated cricket event, ESPNcricinfo reported earlier in the day.
Harsha anticipated the effects of Naseem's possible unavailability in the World Cup on the national squad that highly relies on its bowlers.
"Looks like the news about Naseem Shah is worse than it seemed. It will be a huge loss for Pakistan if he misses out," Harsha wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Pakistan fast bowler Naseem Shah is likely to miss the entire World Cup after scans revealed an injury to his right shoulder that is worse than was initially suspected. The PCB is understood to be seeking a second opinion, but scans from tests in Dubai appear to show the injury could rule him out for the rest of the year,” the report stated.
It further said that the young speedster could remain on the sidelines till the Pakistan Super League (PSL) next year.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that their medical team has been monitoring the status of Shah’s injury and his return will be decided after further assessment.
In the 46th over during Pakistan's second game against India at the Asia Cup last week, Naseem walked off the field on the reserve day organised for that game. Soon after, the PCB issued a press release stating that the right-armer had been ruled out of the rest of the tournament.
Shah suffered an injury to a muscle just below his bowling shoulder and is not a recurrence of any previous shoulder injuries.
Zaman Khan, who replaced Shah during the Asia Cup, could be called up for the World Cup if needed.
The ICC World Cup 2023 will take place in India with 10 teams fighting for the elusive title across 10 venues from October 5 to November 19, with the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad hosting the tournament opener and the final.
The Cricket World Cup will be played in a round-robin format with all teams playing against each other for a total of 45 league matches.
The top four teams will qualify for the semifinals, which will be held in Mumbai on November 15 and in Kolkata on November 16. The semi-finals and the final will have reserve days.
According to the tournament's regulations, all teams must finalise their 15-player squads before September 28, with any replacements after this date requiring approval from the ICC.
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