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After Asia Cup Elimination, Pakistan Suffer Major Blow With Star Pacer Expected to Miss Start of ODI World Cup

Last Updated: September 15, 2023, 08:06 IST

Pakistan will start their world cup campaign on October 6. (AP Photo)

Pakistan will start their world cup campaign on October 6. (AP Photo)

Sri Lanka knocked out Pakistan from Asia Cup 2023 on Thursday night to join India in the final of the contintental tournament.

Pakistan have been eliminated from the Asia Cup 2023 battered and bruised, literally. After suffering consecutive morale sapping defeats, they have been handed a major injury concern with just few weeks before the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 gets underway.

On Thursday, Pakistan lost to Sri Lanka in a last-ball thriller in what was a virtual semifinal for the Asia Cup to be eliminated.

If the result of the tournament wasn’t heartbreaking enough, Pakistan have also seen two of their fast bowlers – Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah – pick up injuries too.

Both Rauf and Naseem were injured during Pakistan’s Super 4 clash against India.

Rauf has a side issue but he’s expected to be fit in time. It’s Naseem who is a major concern for Pakistan with their captain Babar Azam hinting the young pacer may take some time to fully recover for the ODI World Cup.

Naseem was bowling at the death against India when he pulled out midway through his over and was subsequently ruled out of the Asia Cup. He’s reported to have a muscle injury below his right shoulder and is in Dubai for scans.

“I’ll tell you later,” Babar was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo in response to query on Pakistan’s Plan B should Naseem and Rauf be unavailable for initial few world cup matches.

“Not telling you our Plan B now. But yes, Haris Rauf is not bad. He’s just got a little bit of a side strain, but he’s recovering before the World Cup. Naseem Shah also… they have a couple of miss matches, I don’t know (how long) the recovery (is), but in my opinion, Naseem Shah also (will be) in the World Cup later on. But let’s see,” he added.

In a rain curtailed affair on Thursday, Sri Lanka chased down 252 off the last delivery for a two-wicket win and will next face India in the final on Sunday.

“Sri Lanka played really well, they played better cricket than us, that’s why they won. We weren’t up to the mark with our bowling and fielding, that’s why we lost,” Babar said.

“In the middle overs, we are not bowling well…We are starting well, we are finishing well, but we are not taking wickets in the middle overs,” he added.

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