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Babar Azam says Naseem Shah may miss a ‘couple’ of World Cup matches

Pakistan’s cricket captain, Babar Azam, has suggested that fast bowler Naseem Shah might not be able to play some matches in the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023.

Naseem Shah, the talented pacer, sustained a shoulder injury during the Super 4 match against India, which led to his withdrawal from the Asia Cup 2023. Medical experts have advised him to take some rest before the World Cup begins.

The ICC World Cup is set to kick off in India next month, bringing together cricketing nations from around the world.

Another Pakistani fast bowler, Haris Rauf, also faced some health concerns. During the match against India, he was prevented from bowling as a precaution due to a side strain. However, Babar Azam provided a positive update, stating, “Haris Rauf is not in bad shape. He’s recovering from a slight side strain and should be fit for the World Cup. Naseem Shah, on the other hand, may miss a couple of matches, but I believe he’ll join us for the World Cup later on. However, let’s see how the recovery progresses.”

When asked about contingency plans if Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf don’t recover in time, Babar Azam remained tight-lipped, saying, “I’ll reveal our Plan B later. I’m not sharing it now.”

Currently, Naseem Shah is in Dubai undergoing scans to assess the extent of the muscle injury below his right shoulder.

In response to these developments, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has called up Zaman Khan and Shahnawaz Dahani as backup options for Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf.

In recent cricketing news, Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by two wickets in a high-stakes match during the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

Kusal Mendis played a crucial innings, scoring 91 runs, while Charith Asalanka remained unbeaten with 49 runs. Their partnership guided Sri Lanka to a thrilling victory over Pakistan. Sri Lanka needed eight runs from the final over to reach the revised target of 252 in a 42-overs-a-side contest, and they achieved it with Asalanka hitting the winning shot on the last ball at 1:07 AM local time.

The result disappointed millions of fans who had hoped for an India-Pakistan final in the Asia Cup, setting the stage for the upcoming ODI World Cup.

Despite the tension and challenges, Asalanka remained calm under pressure, even after two wickets fell in the penultimate over. Mendis and Samarawickrama had earlier set Sri Lanka on the path to victory with a 100-run partnership, but it was Asalanka who sealed the deal for his team.

Read more: Asia Cup 2023: Pakistan Chooses to Bat First Against Sri Lanka in ‘Virtual Semi-Final’

The Asia Cup 2023 final will now feature Sri Lanka and India, set to take place on Sunday, September 17, in Colombo. Cricket enthusiasts around the world eagerly await this exciting clash between two cricketing powerhouses.

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