As the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 approaches, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Friday announced the team's participating squad featuring star players in the line-up.
Babar Azam will captain the team, while Shadab Khan remains the team's vice-captain. Hasan Ali has been called in to replace injured pacer Naseem Shah.
Ali, however, will be returning to one-day international (ODI) cricket after a year-long hiatus following his last appearance against West Indies in Multan in 2022.
Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq unveiled the squad at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium.
Three travelling reserves have been named which include wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Haris, mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed and fast bowler Zaman Khan.
"World Cup is the most important event in any cricketer’s life and I want to congratulate all the cricketers who have made it to the squad through their impressive performances," the chief selector said.
He noted that the team has performed wonderfully well over the last couple of years, which is why "we have shown faith in the same bunch."
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.
Hoping for Pakistan's victory in the mega cricket tournament and the team making the whole nation proud with their "incredible performances", Inzamam emphasised supporting the Babar-led squad.
"It is time to get behind our team and provide them with the backing and support that they need," he said.
Pakistan will play two warm-ups — against New Zealand on 29 September and Australia on 3 October — before their tournament opener against the Netherlands on 6 October.
Babar Azam’s side enters the mega-event as the number one ranked side and enjoys the best win/loss ratio of 2.400 in this World Cup cycle for any side that has played the One-Day International format.
Pakistan missed out on a semi-final spot in the 2019 iteration of the event because of a lower net run-rate to New Zealand, who ended up as runners-up.
The team’s best performance came in the 1992 edition when they lifted the trophy at the MCG after defeating England. Pakistan featured in the final of the 1999 edition and reached semi-finals in 1979, 1983, 1987, and 2011.
Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Abdullah Shafiq, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), M Wasim Jnr, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usama Mir
Mohammad Haris, Zaman Khan, Abrar Ahmed
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