World Cup 2019: Mohammad Rizwan to stay back in England as Sarfaraz Ahmed’s backup

In his previous ODI series, Rizwan scored two centuries against Australia.

Mohammad Rizwan
Mohammad Rizwan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) recently announced their final 15-man squad for the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales. Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq put forth the final set of names. Three players – Junaid Khan, Faheem Ashraf and Abid Ali couldn’t make the cut for the mega event. The likes of Wahab Riaz, Asif Ali and Mohammad Amir found their way into the squad.

Meanwhile, the country’s board has also decided upon the reserve wicketkeeper in case Sarfaraz Ahmed, also the Pakistan captain gets injured and it’s Mohammad Rizwan. The 26-year-old from North-West Frontier Province is presently in Pakistan and is expected to leave for England where he would stay during the tournament. Rizwan hasn’t been included in the 15-member squad though.

“Mohammad Rizwan, Abid Ali and Faheem Ashraf will remain in England. They’ll play cricket to stay in touch with the conditions and if we feel the need for any of them as replacements, then we’ll have them as backup,” Inzamam was quoted as saying during the press conference to announce the final squad.

Rizwan’s international career

Rizwan’s last international assignment was in the five-match ODI series versus Australia in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Albeit, Pakistan couldn’t win a single match, Rizwan had an impressive series. The right-hander scored 231 runs at an average of 57.75.

The youngster also racked up two centuries and unfortunately, both of those knocks went in vain. Rizwan has thus far played 32 ODIs in which he scored 705 runs at an average of 33.57 with three half-centuries as well, apart from the two tons.

As far as the World Cup squad is concerned, Wahab was included after he missed ODI cricket for nearly a couple of years. Amir was also roped in following some lacklustre shows in all forms. Inzamam said that the bowling unit faltered to deceive in the recently concluded ODI series against England, and not including the likes of Amir and Wahab would have been foolish.

Pakistan are scheduled to play their opening game of the World Cup against the Windies on May 31 at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham. Their marquee clash against India is on June 16 at the Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester.

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