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Pakistan all set to unveil squad for World Cup tomorrow

PCB reviews Pakistan Men's team performance in Asia Cup
PCB Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf during a meeting with head coach Grant Bradburn, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and other officials in Lahore on September 21, 2023. Photo via X/@TheRealPCB
PCB Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf during a meeting with head coach Grant Bradburn, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and other officials in Lahore on September 21, 2023. Photo via X/@TheRealPCB

Pakistan would announce on Friday (tomorrow) their squad for the ICC 50-over World Cup, the mega cricket event which would begin in India next month.

“After the completion of the review, Inzamam has finalised the Pakistan squad for the ICC World Cup, which will be announced on Friday morning,” said a Pakistan Cricket Board press release on Thursday.

The announcement would be made by the chief selector in a press conference scheduled to take place at 11:15am at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.

The Men in Green’s last campaign in the Asia Cup was, according to many, an eye-opener for them as they struggled to bat against top teams in the regional tournament.

Pakistan was out of Asia Cup after losing to Sri Lanka in a thrilling contest.

There were reports that Pakistan fast bowler Naseem Shah was doubtful for next month’s World Cup due to a shoulder injury, with the PCB awaiting medical reports before making a final call on his fitness and participation.

Haris Rauf, another name from Pakistan’s pace battery, was also injured during the high-voltage contest against India in the Asia Cup. But many believe he was fit for the big event.

Many cricket experts have called for giving rest to the national players and ensuring that they were ready for the mega events. Such a concern was increasing with the fast pace of cricket where many players were playing in multiple T20 cricket leagues around the world.

On Wednesday evening, PCB’s Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf met with the National coaching staff headed by Mickey Arthur, captain Babar Azam, vice-captain Shadab Khan, and former captains Misbahul Haq and Mohammad Hafeez to review men’s cricket team performance in the Asia Cup 2023.

There was an agreement on making a better approach and strategy on players’ workload. The importance of strengthening the bench was also emphasised.

In the meeting, the complete men’s national coaching staff which includes head coach Grant Bradburn, batting coach Andrew Puttick, and bowling coach Morne Morkel were also invited to report on the team’s recent performance. The review meeting was also attended by Dr Sohail Saleem to brief about players’ injuries and the way forward for players’ rehabilitation programs.

Inzamam couldn’t make into the meeting due to a medical emergency but met with Ashraf on Thursday to share his input.

In the analysis, the statement said that every aspect of recent team performance, player fitness, and future plans came into discussion with a view to bringing improvement to the side. “There was an agreement on making a better approach and strategy on players’ workload. The importance of strengthening the bench was also emphasised.”

“The philosophy behind this review was to create an atmosphere of open discussion and develop consensus. The idea is to have everyone on board and debate about performances, identifying the problems and their solutions,” said Chairman Management Committee Zaka Ashraf.

He called for having debate on strengths and weaknesses to know where to invest for the betterment of team.

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“Discussion revealed that the previous management had allowed a lot of players to play league cricket which caused them to fatigued ahead of their national duty. But going forward we have agreed to form a proactive approach to tackle players workload and give national duty a priority,” said Ashraf.

He was of the view that the experience gained in the Asia Cup was a learning curve and would help prepare for the ICC Men’s World Cup.

“Our team is filled with talent, and we believe they have the capability to compete and win at the highest level. We have world-class batters and bowlers and are committed to providing them with the necessary support and resources to ensure they are well-equipped ahead of the mega event.”

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