LAHORE: Although he has been left out of the squad for the Asia Cup, Mohammad Hafeez is still a part of Pakistan’s plans for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Inzamam-ul-Haq has said.
“Hafeez is a part of the 20-22 players that we are considering for the World Cup. Hafeez is a good player and now he can bowl as well. But we have other options now. There is much more cricket after the Asia Cup. At this moment, we are trying other options,” said Pakistan’s Chairman of Selectors after announcing the squad at the Pakistan Cricket Board headquarters.
“We select players and we don’t have any right to claim that anybody’s career has come to an end,” he added of the 37-year-old former captain.
Imad Wasim, along with Hafeez, got the axe from the 18-man preliminary squad for the 50-over tournament. The 29-year old failed the fitness test twice and was excluded from the trip to United Arab Emirates as a result.
Shan Masood, who hasn’t featured in a one-day international game for Pakistan yet, has been drafted into the squad instead after representing his country in 12 Tests, scoring 565 runs at an average of just under 24.
“If his List-A record is to be seen over the past year, he has scored more than 1300 runs  which contain world-record performances. So, we thought of providing him with an opportunity before the next year’s World Cup,” said Inzamam about the 28-year-old’s inclusion in the squad.
The Pakistan squad includes six pacers – Faheem Ashraf, Usman Khan, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi and Junaid Khan.
“The Asian Cricket Council has allowed 16-member squads to the sides because of the excessive heat in the UAE. So, by having more fast-bowlers in the side, we are trying to ensure that our fast-bowlers don’t have to bear the brunt,” explained Inzamam.