LAHORE — Pacer Mohammad Amir failed to find a place in Pakistan’s 15-man preliminary squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup, starting May 30 in England, but has been included for the ODI series against England.
Meanwhile, power-hitter Asif Ali is not in the World Cup squad but is part of the 17-member ODI squad for the England ODI series. However, both Asif and Amir could feature in the showpiece event as the Pakistan Cricket Board can take a final call until May 23.
Amir had an impressive run the last time the green brigade visited England as he was adjudged the 'Player of the Match' in the 2017 Champions Trophy final when Pakistan defeated India to lift the trophy.
However, the 27-year-old has remained wicketless in nine out of the 14 ODIs he has played since then.
Pakistan's World Cup squad includes three openers, four middle-order batsmen, wicketkeeper/batsman in Sarfaraz Ahmed, two spinners and five pacers.
Pakistan men's selection committee Chairman and former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said the squad was picked keeping in mind the conditions in England and Wales.
"In England and Wales, conditions play a critical role. With this in mind, we have selected a three-dimensional side, which gives the captain a wide range of options of whatever game plan he chooses on a match day," Haq said in a statement.
"We have experienced batters, who are backed up by bowlers with plenty of variety and variation to exploit any type of conditions.”
"This is more or less the side we have been playing since the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. I have absolute trust that this side has grown further in experience and stature since 2017. Supported by the flare, skill, talent and killing-instinct, this side has the capability and potential to rise to the occasion and produce strong performances," he added.
Several players like skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman and others were also part of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
The Sarfaraz-led side will kick off their campaign against West Indies on May 31 at Nottingham before facing hosts England at the same venue on June 3.
Pakistan Squad: Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Sarfaraz Ahmed (Captain/wicket-keeper) Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shoaib Malik
Meanwhile, South Africa backed senior players Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn as they picked their 15-man squad for the 2019 ICC World Cup in England and Wales.
While Amla has been a star over the years, his recent form was a cause of concern, but the selectors decided to back his experience.
Amla's inclusion means Reeza Hendricks has been left out. Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock are the other two openers in the South Africa unit. While De Kock is almost a certainty considering his present form, it will be interesting to see who opens with him.
Skipper Faf du Plessis, J.P. Duminy, David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen will provide solidity in the middle-order. Pretorius and Andile Phehlukwayo will be the all-rounders.
In the pace bowling department, captain du Plessis will have Kagiso Rabada, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lungi Ngidi, Dale Steyn, Anrich Nortje and Dwaine Pretorius. Nortje and Ngidi missed the ongoing Indian Premier League due to injury, but they are expected to be fit by the time the tournament begins.
Imran Tahir will head the spin department and have Tabraiz Shamsi for company. Duminy can also bowl part-time off-spin.
South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock (wk),AHashim Amla, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, JP Duminy, Dwaine Pretorius, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi.