PSL form to be considered before finalising Pakistan squad for 2019 World Cup

Waseem Ahmed 10:59 09/02/2019
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Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur.

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has stated that the team management and selectors will be considering the performances of players in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) before making a final call on the 2019 ICC World Cup.

Less than four months remain for the global showpiece to get underway in England and all eyes will be on the composition of the Pakistan squad to be led by Sarfraz Ahmed.

Speaking to reporters upon the team’s return to Lahore from South Africa on Friday, Arthur stressed that the upcoming edition of the PSL and Pakistan’s ODI series against Australia will play a key part in finalising the 15-man squad for the World Cup.

“Inzi (Inzamam-ul-Haq) and I have been on the same page for a long while here. And I’m going to be honest because I’ve told the boys in the dressing room the same thing the other night,” Arthur was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

“I think we’ve got probably 19 players for 15 positions. PSL always throws up one or two good individual performers, so we are going to have a look at some of our borderline players, the guys that we are not sure about.

“We have to look at them during the Australian series and then we will make our minds up leading into England, obviously we will be taking 15 there. The key is players get clarity in terms of their roles and role clarity is particularly important.”

Sarfraz Ahmed has been confirmed to lead Pakistan at the World Cup.

Sarfraz Ahmed has been confirmed to lead Pakistan at the World Cup.

Pakistan are due to take on Australia in a five-match ODI series in the UAE upon the completion of the PSL. Following the clashes against the Aussies, Pakistan will depart to England where they will take on the hosts in a five-match ODI series before getting their World Cup campaign underway.

Arthur believes having two viable game plans will be key for Pakistan’s chances in the World Cup.

“I’m saying two game plans because the weather in England at any given time is very unpredictable, so we need an option where we have our spinners, who are able to suffocate through the middle overs because the key for us to win one-day games is about taking wickets through that middle period,” the South African explained.

“Either we do that with two spinners or little bit of reverse-swing if the weather stays dry, or if the weather is wet over that period of time there we have to have an option of a seam-bowling all-rounder who can come in and bat at No7 for us. So we’re very close, we’ve covered all our bases in terms of our personnel at the moment,” he added.

Pakistan are due to open their World Cup campaign against the West Indies at Trent Bridge on May 31.

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