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Pakistan’s Star Pacer Naseem Shah Likely to Miss Entire ODI World Cup Due to Shoulder Injury

Pakistan’s star fast bowler Naseem Shah is expected to be sidelined for the entire ICC ODI World Cup 2023 due to a severe shoulder injury. This unfortunate development comes as a result of scans revealing a more serious condition than initially suspected, as reported by ESPcricinfo.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has yet to provide specific details regarding the extent of Naseem’s shoulder injury. The 20-year-old fast bowler underwent scans in Dubai after sustaining a muscle injury below his right shoulder while bowling during a match against arch-rivals India on Monday. Naseem was forced to leave the field in the middle of his over, and subsequently, he was ruled out of the competition. Haris Rauf, another key pacer, also faced injury concerns, with a side strain causing him to cease bowling after just five overs.

In recent times, Naseem Shah’s workload has significantly increased as he transitioned from primarily being a red-ball player to becoming an all-format bowler. His performance in One Day Internationals (ODIs) has been particularly impressive, amassing 32 wickets in a mere 14 matches at an average of under 17. This highlights the magnitude of the loss Pakistan faces in his absence for the upcoming ODI World Cup.

Naseem’s career has been marred by recurring injury issues, despite his undeniable talent. At the age of 17, he endured a debilitating back injury just a year into his international cricket journey, which sidelined him for a daunting 14 months. Regrettably, six weeks after his return, another shoulder injury suffered during a County Championship match forced him to the sidelines for an additional month.

In addition to Naseem Shah, Pakistan is anxiously monitoring the recovery of Haris Rauf, another integral part of their fast bowling arsenal. Rauf is currently grappling with a side strain, which prevented him from completing his quota of overs after just five during a recent match. In a precautionary move, Pakistan decided to rest Rauf against Sri Lanka in the lead-up to the World Cup, aiming to ensure his fitness for the global tournament.

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