Pakistan Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq has defended the induction of pacer Hasan Ali in the ICC Men's World Cup 2023 squad, slated to begin on October 5 in India.
"He (Hasan Ali) performed well in the Lankan Premier League; he is an experience bowler," Haq said in a press conference on Friday where he announced the 15-man squad for the mega event.
"Yes, he has not played international events recently, but he has represented Pakistan in mega international events and performed well in them," the chief selector said.
The pacer, who began representing the Green Shirts in 2016, was last seen donning the national jersey in the 50-over format in June 2022 in Multan.
Ali has replaced Naseem Shah, who is set for a lengthy layoff after he sustained a right shoulder injury that was worse than was initially suspected.
The chief selector added that since Naseem Shah was ruled out, Pakistan needed someone who could bowl with the new ball.
"He (Ali) bowls well with both old and new ball, and is a team man. His presence lends energy to the team."
"Naseem was injured, he was our main bowler and it was unfortunate," Inzamam said. "Hasnain has an ankle injury and is out injured and so is Ihsanullah."
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.
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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