Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has picked paceman Rahat Ali as a replacement for the injured pacer Junaid Khan in Pakistan’s World Cup2015 squad and International Cricket Council (ICC) has approved the replacement, sources said. Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board, Shaharyar M. Khan on the recommendation of chief selector Moin Khan has approved Rahat Ali as a replacement for injured Junaid Khan for ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
PCB had sent a request to ICC Technical Committee to approve Rahat Ali as a replacement, which stands approved, sources add. Critics believe that Rahat Ali’s inclusion may spark criticism as coach Waqar Younis wanted experienced Sohail Tanvir to stabilise an otherwise dull bowling attack. Rahat Ali played only one ODI in a sevenyear List A career and no international game since the Sharjah Test against New Zealand in November.
Rahat Ali played 11 Tests picking 31 wickets at 36.67. In this season’s domestic oneday competition, the President’s Gold Cup One Day, where he plays for Khan Research Laboratories, he has eight wickets at 32.37. He played his solitary ODI, which was way back in June 2012 against Sri Lanka.
Junaid was ruled out of the World Cup after failing a fitness test in Lahore. He had already pulled out of the recentlyconcluded twomatch ODI series against New Zealand due to a thigh injury sustained during training in Lahore in January and, despite undergoing a rigorous rehabilitation programme at the National Cricket Academy, could not regain full fitness in time. In October 2014, Junaid had picked up a knee injury and was ruled out of Pakistan’s entire international winter season in the UAE. He recovered from that injury to make the World Cup squad, but then he had a fall while bowling in the nets in Lahore.
Sources in the PCB said that Bilawal Bhatti, who was sent as a replacement for the two ODI series in New Zealand after the injury to Junaid, would be returning home. Bilawal had a nightmarish match against New Zealand this week in the second onedayer in which he conceded 93 runs. Pakistan are already without their seasoned offspinner Saeed Ajmal for the World Cup after he was suspended from bowling by the ICC last September for an illegal action.