COLOMBO: Pakistan have called up Shahnawaz Dahani and Zaman Khan as backups after star pacers Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah picked up niggles in the match against India.
In a late-night statement, the cricket board said that this is only a precautionary measure keeping in mind the fitness and well-being of the players ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup next month.
Haris and Naseem will continue to remain under the observation of the team’s medical panel during the ongoing Asia Cup 2023, it said.
The team management will only request a replacement from the Asian Cricket Council technical committee if Naseem or Haris are ruled out for the next seven days.
Pakistan’s next and last match of the Super Four will be against Sri Lanka, which will take on India on Tuesday and will look forward to continuing their great form after beating Bangladesh earlier.
Earlier on Monday, Rauf was ruled out of the clash against India as a precautionary measure while Naseem also did not bat as he picked up a minor injury on his fingers.
Sharing insight on the pacer’s injury, Pakistan’s bowling coach, Morne Morkel, said, “Haris started feeling discomfort in his oblique muscle last night, and a scan showed some inflammation. Given the upcoming World Cup, this decision is precautionary, and we will rely on other bowlers to complete the remaining overs.”
Haris had made a significant impact in the tournament, especially in the first India-Pakistan match where he managed to take three wickets.
He forms a formidable pace trio, along with Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah, who have collectively taken 68 wickets in the 50-overs format this year. These three fast bowlers were seen as a crucial strength for Pakistan going into the World Cup in October.