As Pakistan cricket board has made initial announcement of 23 players for final test before selection committee and team management will announce the final squad for World Cup 2019. International Cricket Council has set a deadline of 23rd April, 2019 for teams to announce their final squad which can be amended till 23rd May, 2019 in case of injuries to players.
PCB set to announce squad on 18th April, 2019 and already summoned players for fitness test on 15th & 16th April, 2019 are listed below:
Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Abid Ali, Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hassan Ali, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Shoaib Malik, Usman Shinwari and Yasir Shah.
With ongoing Pakistan Cup 2019 small hope is still alive for few players who can make wild card entry into Pakistan squad and may land a seat in a plane who will carry Pakistan squad to England. With first round of Pakistan Cup 2019 due to complete today few of the hopefuls who have emerged during the tournament caught the eyes of fans and may be of selectors:
So far top scorer of the tournament. In 4 matches he has accumulated 319 runs at an average of 106.33 runs per innings and that too with strike rate of 140.52 runs per 100 balls. Umar’s run tally is punctuated with 1 century and 2 fifties. He has also hit 15 sixes in the tournament which is joint highest with Khushdil Shah so far.
Kyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Khushdil Shah has so far mustered 314 runs in just 2 completed innings (his last innings is in progress whereas he remains undefeated in one of the knocks). Average of 157 and strike rate of 136 runs per 100 balls he has played some blinders in the tournament so far. Age 24 he is already maintaining healthy batting average of close to 50 in Pakistan domestic one day cup career with an strike rate of almost 100.
Another late bloomer from Pakistan is Iftikhar Ahmed who is on the fringes of Pakistan national team and had already made his international debut in all the formats for Pakistan. Iftikhar also accumulated 268 runs in just two completed innings with an average of 134 runs per innings while striking 108 runs per 100 balls. He also like Khushdil Shah has scored two centuries in the tournament. Iftikhar also have domestic ODI average of more than 50 and strike rate hovering around 90 runs per 100 balls. In addition to his batting he can only roll his arm over to provide bowling support if needed.
Wahab Riaz name was in contention as he came into reckoning again during PSL 4 and with good performance in Pakistan Cup he is pushing his case further. He is joint highest wicket taker of the tournament with Hammad Azam as they both captured 9 scalps so far. But Wahab’s economy rate of fewer than 5 runs per over making him more viable option for his team.
Only time will tell if any of these thundering performances can ring bells among the selectors and management of Pakistan Cricket team.