Star Pakistan pacer Naseem Shah is set to miss the ODI World Cup 2023, which may be a major blow to Pakistan cricket. While it was initially thought that Naseem would be able to recover in time for the ODI World Cup. But scans have revealed that the injury to his right shoulder is more serious than first thought.
Initial reports say that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s prized Pakistan pacer could be sidelined for the rest of the year although they are seeking a second assessment.
If more results confirm the first one, Naseem might be in for a longer layoff. He might not play in the next Test series in Australia, and the 2024 edition of the Pakistan Super League is also a possibility.
Naseem Shah: A Generational Talent
Naseem Shah is one of the best-emerging bowlers in the world. In a short period, the youngster has made a name for himself. He is now the mainstay of the Pakistan bowling lineup in all the formats.
He would lose his mother just before receiving his first Pakistan cap. But it would take another year before he made his Pakistan cricket debut in Brisbane.
It just took a matter of time for the young Pakistan pacer to realize his skill. Because it was so clear. In just his second game against Sri Lanka in Karachi, he made Test history by becoming the youngest fast bowler to ever get a five-wicket haul. As records fell, Naseem won his third Test against Bangladesh. He is the youngest player to pick a hat-trick in a Test match.
Bodies that are young have to bear the force to get that kind of speed. What followed was a string of injuries that pause his effectiveness before keeping him out for more than a year. Pakistan pacer Naseem Shah didn’t rejoin the Pakistan team until the third Test against Australia in Lahore in March 2022.
Naseem has developed into a strong white-ball player. He had never been a part of a white-ball international match before August 2022. But in Shaheen Afridi’s absence, he has done well for Pakistan cricket in that captain’s position.
Subsequent shows in the Asia Cup only served to boost his reputation. It might be easy to forget that the guy leading Pakistan’s famous fast-bowling lineup is only 19 years old. But with the T20 World Cup coming, he has the chance to return to the venue where his international career got its start and show how far he has gone.
The extent of Naseem Shah’s injury
“The Pakistan Cricket Board’s medical team has been monitoring the status of Pakistan pacer Naseem Shah’s shoulder injury sustained during the Asia Cup 2023,” read a statement from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Naseem is receiving expert medical care. Based on additional tests, the PCB medical panel will decide if the fast bowler can start playing cricket.
Two days after Babar Azam’s team was eliminated from the Asia Cup, there were questions about his availability. The right-arm bowler did not take part in the pivotal Super 4 match versus Sri Lanka. In a match that comes down to the last ball, Pakistan lost, and Naseem’s absence was felt.
Zaman Khan replaces Naseem Shah in the Asia Cup 2023 squad. So it will be great to see how much support the team management will provide him if it turns out that Naseem won’t be able to make it for the World Cup, which starts on October 5.
Struggles with multiple injuries
At the start of his career, the young Pakistan pacer Naseem struggled with injuries. He missed 14 months of cricket due to a back pain he suffered one year into his international career when he was 17 years old. He was forced to miss a month of play six weeks after his comeback from a shoulder injury while making his County Championship debut with Gloucestershire.
His workload has greatly risen during the past 18 months. Naseem has become an important bowler for Pakistan in all formats, despite initially only being a red-ball player. With 32 wickets in 14 games, while averaging just under 17, he is their best bowler since making his ODI debut.
But with someone as young as Naseem Shah, the workload has risen rather sharply. Only eight fast bowlers have bowled more international deliveries since July 2022 than Naseem’s 2246, and none of them are even close to his age.
Naseem has also been in demand on the T20 circuit since leaving the LPL recently. He was on the shortlist for the SA20 auction on Friday. But he will now almost certainly miss the event.