I’ll miss Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir in World Cup, says Shahid Afridi
With neither of the two pacers showing their good form in recent times, Pakistan decided against giving priority to experience over form.
Updated - Apr 19, 2019 1:16 pm
Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has wished his country good luck after the announcement of the 15-man squad for the forthcoming World Cup in England and Wales. He, however, said that he misses seeing left-arm pacers Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir in the squad. Both the senior pacers were two of the biggest casualties from Pakistan’s squad. With neither of the two pacers showing their good form in recent times, Pakistan decided against giving priority to experience over form.
Wahab hasn’t played an ODI since 2017. He last played during the 2017 Champions Trophy when he injured himself while playing his team’s tournament-opener against India. He recently impressed in the domestic circuit and picked up a five-wicket haul in a 50-over game just before the World Cup squad announcement but that did not help his cause. Before that, he finished as the third highest wicket-taker in the Pakistan Super League, with 17 wickets in 13 matches.
Wahab’s performances in ICC tournaments are very impressive too. In the 2015 World Cup, his fiery spell against Shane Watson in the quarter-finals is still spoken of in awe. He had also picked up a five-wicket haul against India in the semifinal of the 2011 World Cup. His track record in England, however, is very poor. In eight games he has played in England, he has managed just 4 wickets at an average of 99.5.
Amir’s form, on the other hand, is even more dismal. The left-arm pacer, who starred for Pakistan in the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy, has struggled since that tournament three years ago. In fact, he went wicketless in nine of the 14 ODIs he has played since the victorious Champions Trophy campaign. However, Afridi still felt that Wahab and Amir could have made a difference due to the English conditions.
“Must’ve been a tough decision for the selection committee to select the best 15 member squad for the WC. Best of luck to those who have made it – Hopefully you’ll bring the cup home. Personally, I’ll miss @WahabViki bcz of pace & @iamamirofficial given the English conditions,” Afridi tweeted:
Must’ve been a tough decision for selection committee to select the best 15 member squad for the WC. Best of luck to those who have made it – Hopefully you’ll bring the cup home. Personally I’ll miss @WahabViki bcz of pace & @iamamirofficial given the English conditions.
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) April 18, 2019
Amir, meanwhile, could still make it to the World Cup. The left-arm pacer has been included in Pakistan’s 17-man squad for the upcoming ODI and T20I series against England. In case, he does well, he can very much make it to the World Cup team which can be changed till May 23.
Pakistan Squad for the World Cup
Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez (subject to fitness), Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Sohail