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Pakistan chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq has reckoned that veteran all-rounder, Mohammed Hafeez is still a very much part of their 2019 World Cup plans.
“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 Inzamam 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.
The 37-year-old all-rounder, Hafeez, was axed from the 16-man Asia Cup squad on Tuesday along with Imad Wasim, who failed to pass the yo-yo test twice and was consequently omitted from the trip to the UAE.
Shan Maqsood, who is yet to feature in an ODI has been roped into the Asia Cup after having represented the national side in 12 Tests where he has modest returns of 565 runs at an average of just under 24.
Speaking about Maqsood’s selection, Inzamam said “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,”.
In 77 List A matches, Maqsood boasts of an average of 58.21 scoring 3493 runs glittered by ten hundred and 22 fifties.
Keeping the oppressive conditions of the UAE in mind, Pakistan has selected as many as six fast bowlers- Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, Usman Khan and Hasan Ali, in their ranks.
“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.
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The two-time Asia Cup Champions Pakistan (2000 & 2012) will kickstart their campaign against the winner of UAE vs Hong Kong match on September 17 before locking heads against arch-rivals and defending champions India on September 19 in Dubai.
Pakistan Squad for Asia Cup:-
Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Fakhar Zaman, Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Muhammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Usman Khan Shinwari, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Imamul Haq, Shan Masood, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Muhammad Nawaz