Pakistan rest Faheem Ashraf for the last three ODIs against Australia
Australia are already leading the series by 2-0.
Updated - Mar 25, 2019 3:10 pm
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced, on Sunday, that the all-rounder Faheem Ashraf will be rested for the remaining three ODIs against Australia. The visiting Australian side, led by captain Aaron Finch, had taken a flight from Delhi to Dubai earlier this month after a 3-2 series triumph over the Men in Blue.
A record opening stand between Aaron Finch, who scored 153 off 143, and Usman Khawaja inspired the visitors to an eight-wicket triumph over Pakistan in the second One-Day International in Sharjah on Sunday. The remainder of the three ODIs of the ongoing five-match series will be played in Abu Dhabi (Wednesday) and Dubai (Friday and Sunday). With this victory, Australia have taken a 2-0 lead in the series.
Faheem Ashraf had so far scored 42 runs and a solitary wicket in the series. Over the last few months, he has improved a lot and is playing as the preferred all-rounder in the side. He is constantly playing for a long time now and with a busy season to follow, there was a need for him to be rested.
Pakistan will begin their campaign in the World Cup when they play West Indies on May 31 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Before that Pakistan will lock horns with the World Cup hosts England in a five-match ODI series and an only T20 International. Ahead of that, Pakistan will also play three warm-up matches against Kent (April 27), Northamptonshire (April 29) and Leicestershire (May 1).
No replacement for rested Faheem Ashraf
According to the PCB, Faheem Ashraf will return home on Monday, March 25. The decision that was announced by the board on Sunday has been taken by the national selection committee as discussed with the team management. The decision was taken as per their policy of giving sufficient rest to Pakistan’s frontline players ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup.
Ahead of the big event, Pakistan will play a couple of warm-up matches against Afghanistan (on May 24 in Bristol) and Bangladesh (May 26 in Cardiff). However, no replacement will be solicited for Faheem as the squad already comprises five pace bowlers.