World Cup 2019: Pakistan asks three players to remain in England as standby for injured players

World Cup 2019: Pakistan asks three players to remain in England as standby for injured players

The team management had requested PCB to keep a few players handy in case of an injury.

Mohammad Rizwan
Mohammad Rizwan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to keep two batsmen and an all-rounder handy in England for the entire duration of the ICC World Cup that starts on May 30. The board took the decision following a request made by the team management the likes of captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and head coach Mickey Arthur. Pakistan kick off their campaign in the mega event on Friday when they take on the Windies at Trent Bridge.

The Men in Green have won the trophy only once so far (1992) and finished as the runners-up the last time the tournament was played in England (1999). Batsmen Muhammad Rizwan and Abid Ali have been asked to stay back and of the two, 31-year-old Abid was included in Pakistan’s preliminary squad for the World Cup that came in England for the ODI series against the hosts. However, he got to play in only one match and scored five. Thereafter, he was replaced by Asif Ali, who hit two fifties in the series, in the final squad.

Rizwan scored two hundreds against Australia and was yet overlooked

Rizwan, the 26-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman on the other hand, failed to make it to the first 15 despite scoring two centuries against Australia in the five-ODI series in the UAE in March. Pakistan lost the series 0-5. Rizwan had replaced regular captain Sarfaraz Ahmed who did not play in that series along with some other frontline players.

The PCB has decided to pay from its own pockets the expenses for the stay of the two players in Birmingham. The duo will be in standby to fill in the shoes of any player in case there is an injury during the tournament that will conclude on July 14.

“The expenses of keeping Rizwan and Abid in Birmingham will be taken care off by the Board,” Geo TV cited reports quoting a source as saying.

Besides, Faheem Ashraf, the all-rounder who was also dropped from the final World Cup squad after he went for runs in the ODI series against England, has also been asked to remain in England as another possible replacement for injury. The 25-year-old is set to play league cricket in England at the same time.

Besides Abid and Faheem, Junaid Khan also faced the axe from the World Cup squad and they were replaced by Asif, Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz.