Cricket World Cup 2019 Pakistan squad: Wahab Raiz, Mohammad Amir in Pakistan’s final 15-member squad for World Cup

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced the final 15-man Pakistan squad for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup in England, including Asif Ali, Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz in favour of left-arm pace bowler Junaid Khan, Abid Ali and Faheem Ashraf.

Pakistan had the flexibility to finalise their line-up until 22 May, but decided to lock their make-up on Monday following the conclusion of the One-Day International series against England in Leeds, a PDC release stated.

asir Shah is the fourth player to be released from the side after he was named as Shadab Khan’s replacement for the series against England.

Amir, who is presently in London and has fully recovered from chicken pox, and Wahab is expected to join the squad in Bristol on 22 May. Both the players will be available for selection for the 24 and 26 May warm-up matches before Pakistan launches their World Cup campaign against the Windies on 31 May at Trent Bridge.

The final make-up of the squad is:

Openers – Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq

Middle-order batsmen – Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarafraz Ahmed (captain, wicketkeeper) and Shoaib Malik

Spinners – Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan

Fast bowlers – Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Wahab Riaz

Chair of Pakistan men’s selection committee, Inzamam-ul-Haq, said the team combination has been revised after taking into account the fast bowlers’ performance against England as well as considering the nature of wickets that are likely to be presented in the World Cup.

“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 difficult 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 Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz. Furthermore, Amir and Wahab give the fast bowling attack more experience to back and support the relatively inexperienced but immensely talent Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Hasnain.”

Wahab has taken 102 wickets in 79 ODIs, including 24 wickets in 12 World Cup matches in 2011 and 2015, while Amir has picked up 60 wickets in 51 matches, including five wickets in Pakistan’s successful ICC Champions Trophy 2017 campaign.

Wahab’s last ODI was in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 against India in Birmingham, while he last represented Pakistan in the Dubai Test against Australia in October 2018.

Pakistan’s World Cup fixtures:

May 24: (warm-up) Pakistan vs Afghanistan, Bristol

May 26: (warm-up) Pakistan vs Bangladesh, Cardiff

May 31: Pakistan vs West Indies, Nottingham

June 3: Pakistan vs England, Nottingham

June 7: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, Bristol

June 12: Pakistan vs Australia, Taunton

June 16: Pakistan vs India, Manchester

June 23: Pakistan vs South Africa, Lord’s

June 26: Pakistan vs New Zealand, Birmingham

June 29: Pakistan vs Afghanistan, Leeds

July 5: Pakistan vs Bangladesh, Lord’s