Pakistan recalls fast bowlers Riaz and Amir for World Cup
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Experienced fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz were brought back into Pakistan’s 15-man World Cup squad on Monday following a loss to England in the one-day series.
Hard-hitting batsman Asif Ali also made the World Cup team — at the expense of opening batsman Abid Ali — with his two half centuries against England.
Leg-spinner Shadab Khan has fully recovered from illness and replaced Yasir Shah, who was named as cover for Shadab for the one-day series against England.
“The doctors have declared Shadab Khan fully fit and he also played a league match in England a couple of days back without any problem,” chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said.
Riaz replaced all-rounder Faheem Ashraf while Amir came in place of Junaid Khan as Pakistan made three changes to its originally announced World Cup squad.
All teams can change their World Cup squads until May 23 without prior permission from the International Cricket Council Council.
Pakistan lost the ODI series against England 4-0 with their bowlers leaking more than 300 runs in all four games.
Amir was part of the Pakistan’s 17-member squad in England but couldn’t play in any of the ODIs after getting chickenpox.
“We realized after the series against England that wickets (during the World Cup) will be more true for batting and we need experienced bowlers,” Inzamam said.
The chief selector defended the inclusion of Riaz, who hasn’t played a one-day international since competing against Australia in 2017. The left-arm seamer was also not in the list of 23 players shortlisted for the World Cup and didn’t participate in the fitness test.
“Our bowling was lacking experience in England,” Inzamam said. “Wahab Riaz could be effective with the old ball and he could also reverse swing, which could benefit the team.”
Inzamam said Amir was also recalled purely on the basis of the left-armer’s ability to bowl well in English conditions.
Amir has taken only five wickets in his last 14 ODIs since Pakistan won the Champions Trophy in England in 2017.
“We couldn’t see him bowl during the series against England but he is a senior bowler,” Inzamam said. “He has a vast experience of bowling in English conditions and that’s why we have selected him.”