Asia Cup: Big blow for Pakistan as pacer Naseem Shah ruled out with injury

Pakistan's Naseem Shah (centre) celebrates a wicket during an Asia Cup match against Nepal in Multan on August 30, 2023. Photo: AFP/ Asif Hassan

Colombo: Pakistan were on Wednesday dealt a big blow as fast bowler Naseem Shah has been ruled out for the remainder of the Asia Cup due to a shoulder injury.

Naseem's unavailability will hurt Pakistan badly ahead of their must-win clash against Sri Lanka on Thursday.

Pakistan will take on Sri Lanka in a virtual semifinal here, with the winner progressing to Sunday's final against India.

The Pakistan Cricket Board named 22-year-old Zaman Khan, who is yet to make his ODI debut, as Naseem's replacement in the 17-member squad, while also calling up fast bowler Shahnawaz Dahani.

"Right-arm fast bowler Zaman Khan has replaced Naseem Shah in Pakistan's 17-player squad for the ongoing men's ODI Asia Cup 2023," the PCB said in a statement.

"Zaman joined the team in the morning today and will train with the squad at the RPICS in the evening," the board added.

Naseem suffered the injury during the game against India, and left the field after bowling 9.2 overs without any wicket.

"Naseem injured his right shoulder during the match against India. He continues to be monitored by the team's medical panel that is taking all necessary precautions keeping in mind the ICC men's Cricket World Cup 2023," the PCB said.

India piled up their joint-highest ODI total of 356 for two against Pakistan, who also missed the services of Haris Rauf due to side strain. He did not bowl when the game was completed on the reserve day on Tuesday.

"Haris Rauf, who did not bowl on the reserve day of Pakistan vs India contest as a precautionary measure, continues to recover well after he felt discomfort in his right flank on the first day of the match," the PCB updated.

"These two fast bowlers are our assets and the team's medical panel will provide them the best possible care ahead of the all-important World Cup."

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