Naseem Shah at risk of getting ruled out from the upcoming ODI World Cup following a Shoulder Injury
Pakistan star pacer Naseem Shah is likely to miss the entire World Cup after scans revealed that his right shoulder injury is worse than was initially suspected, the PCB is reportedly seeking a second opinion, although scans from tests in Dubai seem to indicate the injury may prevent him from playing for the rest of the year.
Pakistan star pacer Naseem Shah is likely to miss the entire World Cup after scans revealed that his right shoulder injury is worse than was initially suspected. The PCB is reportedly seeking a second opinion, although scans from tests in Dubai seem to indicate the injury may prevent him from playing for the rest of the year.
If more results confirm the initial ones, Naseem could be looking at a long layoff. He might not play in the upcoming Test series in Australia, and he could also miss the next Pakistan Super League in 2024.
Naseem left the pitch in the middle of the 46th over in Pakistan’s second match against India at the Asia Cup last week on the reserve day scheduled for that match. He was quickly eliminated from the mega event.
Ironically, the PCB had pushed for that reserve day for the game against India as a hard-won concession following the refusal to transfer the games to Hambantota, which was predicted to be drier.
Naseem suffered a muscle strain immediately below his bowling shoulder on that reserve day, which, according to ESPNcricinfo, is not a repeat of any previous shoulder issues.
The loss of Naseem from the World Cup and the subsequent series in Australia will be devastating for Pakistan. For Pakistan, Naseem has transformed over the past year from a red-ball specialist to an all-format bowler.
In current form, Naseem is the best of Pakistan’s renowned trio of Naseem, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Haris Rauf.
When the PCB receives the results of his secondary scans in a few days, it is expected to make an official decision. At the Asia Cup, Zaman Khan took his spot.
At the beginning of his career, Naseem has struggled with injuries. He missed 14 months of cricket due to a back injury he suffered one year into his international career when he was 17 years old.
Six weeks after his return, he was sidelined for a month with a shoulder injury he sustained while making his County Championship debut with Gloucestershire.
In the 18 months since his workload has increased significantly. Naseem, who at the time was simply a red-ball player, has developed into a crucial bowler for Pakistan in all formats. Since making his ODI debut, he has been their most effective bowler, taking 32 wickets in 14 games while averaging just under 17.
But with someone as young as Naseem, the workload has built up quite steeply. Only eight fast bowlers have bowled more international deliveries since July 2022 than Naseem’s 2246, and none of them are even close to his age. Afridi and Haris Rauf combined have only bowled 2732 balls.
The Babar Azam-led team lost a match against Sri Lanka on Thursday, ending Pakistan’s chances of winning the Asia Cup in 2023. Due to a bad weather, Pakistan chose to bat first and scored 252/7 in 42 overs, with Mohammad Rizwan getting an unbeaten 86. However, Sri Lanka crossed the finish line with two wickets in hand on the final ball of the game thanks to the fiery batting performance of Kusal Mendis and Charith Asalanka. After the heartbreaking elimination, former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi slammed their poor team selection.
Shahid Afridi criticized Pakistan’s management for failing to experiment with their lineup and for not benching players like Shadab Khan when they were not giving their best performances.
“This is an age-old problem. India is playing in the Asia Cup, I’ve seen changes in almost every game in their team. They’ve rested seniors, and played juniors; it shows that they are preparing for the World Cup. These decisions are very important, you select a 15-member squad because the players on our bench are as good as those in the XI. You shouldn’t have a problem with resting the first-choice players,”
Afridi said on Samaa TV.
“If Shadab is rested, Osama Mir is there. He has performed well for Pakistan in the past. If someone isn’t performing in quite some matches, you should rest him. I’m not saying that drop him from the 15-member squad, you can keep him in the team and still rest him. Let him have sessions with the head coach and bowling coach. I don’t know what our plans, really, are”he added.