Hasan to replace injured Wasim after Pakistan suffer new Asia Cup blow
Dubai: Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Wasim has been ruled out of the Asia Cup due to a side strain with Hasan Ali named as replacement, the country’s cricket board said Friday.
Babar Azam’s Pakistan will play their opening match of the Twenty20 tournament against arch-rivals India on Sunday, a day after the competition begins in the United Arab Emirates.
Wasim, who has played eight one-day internationals and 11 T20 matches for Pakistan, picked up the injury in the team’s practice session on Wednesday.
Hasan, who was initially left out of the squad, will depart for the UAE after approval from the Event Technical Committee of the Asia Cup.
Pakistan earlier suffered a huge blow when pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi was also forced out due to a knee injury.
“We will definitely miss the two bowlers (Shaheen and Wasim), but it’s not an individual game but a team game,” Pakistan vice-captain Shadab Khan told reporters.
“We have many match-winners in the team. And the way we had confidence in Shaheen and Wasim, we have the same trust in the others as well.”
Shaheen, a left-arm quick, played a leading role in his team’s 10-wicket victory over Pakistan in last year’s T20 World Cup at the same venue in Dubai.
“That game is history now but we will take the positives out from that game into this encounter, especially our mindset,” said Shadab.
“We will try to repeat our winning performances from the previous matches.”
Shadab, an all-rounder who bowls leg spin, said the returning Hasan remains a match-winner for Pakistan and just went through a rough patch.
“He did not perform well recently and we wanted to give him more match practice,” said Shadab.
“And now we have called him back and have the same belief in him as we did before. He will prove his worth as a match-winning bowler.”
Pakistan played impressive cricket in the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE before losing to eventual winners Australia in the semi-finals, which witnessed a crucial catch dropped by Hasan.
“We have a good team that is yet to become a champion team. It will be our endeavour to turn this team into a champion unit,” said Shadab.
“We will try to win the title and complete our unfinished task of winning a title in the UAE.”