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Mohammad Amir, Asif Ali, Wahab Riaz make the cut in Pakistan's final World Cup squad
Pakistan World Cup Squad

Mohammad Amir, Asif Ali, Wahab Riaz make the cut in Pakistan's final World Cup squad

Pakistan have added Mohammad Amir, Asif Ali and Wahab Riaz in the final 15-member squad for the World Cup. The trio will replace Abid Ali, Faheem Ashraf and Junaid Khan, who were the part of the preliminary squad announced last month.

Mohammad Amir, who didn't take much part in the recent England series after being diagnosed with chickenpox, has fully recovered from the virus.

Wahab Riaz's inclusion came as a surprise following Mickey Arthur's concerns on the fast bowler's work ethic last year but chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said Wahab had the experience in adapting to the gruelling demands of the World Cup.

"The lack of potency of our frontline bowlers in the recent ODI series against England meant that a change was needed, said Inzamam while addressing a press conference at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.

"In addition, we now know that we will encounter batting wickets throughout the World Cup campaign.

“Wahab has been training and playing club cricket, and the player of his calibre will not face much problem in adapting and adjusting to the gruelling demands of the World Cup."

Mohammad Amir's hasn't been at his best since Pakistan’s Champions Trophy triumph in 2017, with just four wickets in 14 matches to his name.

The 27-year-old was a part of the playing XI for the first ODI at The Oval but didn't get a chance to bowl as the match was washed out. He fell ill ahead of the second ODI at The Ageas Bowl and didn't take part in the rest of the series.

But Inzamam defended Amir's inclusion in the squad, saying that Pakistan's bowling lacked experience during a run-fest in recent England ODIs.

“The bowling unit during the England ODIs has not clicked as anticipated or expected; if we have at our disposal two vastly experienced pace duo of Amir and Wahab, then it will be foolish not to include them,” said Inzamam.

There were setbacks for fast bowler Junaid Khan, all-rounder Faheem Ashraf and opener Abid Ali, who were all included in the preliminary squad but failed to reach the final 15.

For Junaid the news was particularly frustrating after he had already been shut out of playing in a World Cup twice: though he made the squad in 2011 he did not play, and he had to withdraw in 2015 due to injury.

Leg-spinner Shadab Khan has also recovered from a blood virus and will join the Pakistan squad.

Pakistan's 15-man squad for World Cup:

Sarfraz Ahmed (c, wk), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain

With additional input from Umair Khalid