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ICC World Cup 2019: Hafeez in contention to get a berth in Pakistan squad

Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has cleared the fitness test on Monday, making him a top contender for a spot in the World Cup squad.

Karachi, April 16: Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has cleared the fitness test on Monday, making him a top contender for a spot in the World Cup squad. The Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed that it conducted fitness tests of the 23 World Cup probables but didn't reveal the results.

However, an insider told PTI that except for all-rounder Imad Wasim and in-form batsman Abid Ali, all the other players passed the tests by reaching or clearing the required 17.4 points base in the Yo-Yo test.

"Imad is hampered by a knee problem which has flared up again and is undergoing rehab at the NCA while Abid failed the test," he said. He said Imad had taken an unofficial test but didn't clear it.

The other left-arm spin batting all-rounder in the list of probables, Muhammad Nawaz, however, cleared the fitness test. Hafeez, who has had two surgeries in Manchester on his injured thumb and will only be back fully in action in two weeks time by passing the fitness test, laid a strong claim to be in the World Cup squad.

The national selectors didn't bother to call up either of the two batsmen, Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad nor left-arm fast bowler Wahab Riaz for the tests despite their impressive performances in the just concluded Pakistan Cup national one-day tournament in Rawalpindi.

Wahab told a private TV channel that he was bitterly disappointed and upset at not being invited even for the fitness tests even though the selectors had not included him in the list of 23 probables.

"It is very disappointing for me to not be considered for the World Cup in which I have always come up with good performances. But I can only do my best and hope for the best," Wahab said.

In the 2011 World Cup, Wahab made an immediate impact when he was drafted into the semifinal against India at Mohali in place of Shoaib Akhtar.

Wahab took five wickets against India and even in the 2015 World Cup his pace earned Pakistan a place in the quarter-finals where his searing spell to Shane Watson became the headline of that tournament.

The selection committee headed by former test captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq, was left satisfied on Monday when another left arm pacer Muhammad Aamir cleared the fitness test even though there is a debate raging on whether he should be in the World Cup squad after taking just five wickets in his 14 ODIs since the 2017 Champions Trophy. In his last nine ODIs, Aamir has just got three wickets.

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Story first published: Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 21:12 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 16, 2019
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