15-member Pakistan cricket squad announced for World Cup 2019

Prime Minister Imran Khan met with Pakistani Cricket Team at Bani Gala (Photo Courtesy: PTI Twitter)
Updated 19 April 2019
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15-member Pakistan cricket squad announced for World Cup 2019

  • The team includes three openers, four middle-order batsmen, two spinners, five fast bowlers and a wicketkeeper/batsman
  • Squad can be changed until 23rd May without informing the ICC

LAHORE: Pakistan on Thursday announced its 15-member cricket squad for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup that will be held in England at the end of the next month.
“We have selected the best available cricketers to play the very important tournament. While picking the team, we evaluated our strengths, analyzed our opponents, considered match venues, and kept the event format in our mind,” chief selector, Inzamamul Haq, told reporters here on Thursday afternoon.
Haq said that 11 players in the new cricket team had also played and won the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy in England under Sarfaraz Ahmed’s captaincy. He added that the squad included three openers, four middle-order batsmen, two spinners, five fast bowlers and a wicketkeeper/batsman.
Despite his injury, Imad Waseem has been included in the team while Muhammad Hafeez has also been take on board, though his final selection would be subject to his fitness.
“Hafeez and Shoaib are experienced players,” Haq said, “while Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Junaid Khan and Mohammad Hasnain constitute the most lethal bowling unit. They have tremendous variation and variety, making it easy for them to take wickets and keep our rivals under pressure.”
The chief selector told the media that Mohammad Amir and Asif Ali would play the series against England but not participate in the world cup matches.
The ICC regulations required all participating teams to name their 15-player World Cup squad by 30th April, though changes can be made until 23rd May without seeking the ICC approval. Post-May 23, all replacements will have to be approved by the Event Technical Committee.
The Pakistan Team will play a series of five One Day International matches against the host country, England, besides playing a few warm-up matches with different county cricket teams before the start of the world fixture.
As per schedule, the team will leave for England on 23rd April for an 83-day tour. Pakistan will play its first world cup match against the West Indies on 31st May at Trent Bridge while the most interesting and crucial match of the tournament will be played on 16th June at the Old Trafford between Pakistan and India. The schedule of the team’s other World Cup matches is mentioned below:
June 03 – v England, Trent Bridge; June 07 – v Sri Lanka, Bristol; June 12 – v Australia, Taunton; June 16 – v India, Old Trafford; June 23 – v South Africa, Lords; June 26 – v New Zealand, Edgbaston; June 29 – v Afghanistan, Headingley; July 05 – v Bangladesh, Lords (d/n).
Pakistan squad includes:
Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hasnain.


‘If home crowds can’t help you, nothing can’, says golf star Rory McIlroy

Updated 17 July 2019
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‘If home crowds can’t help you, nothing can’, says golf star Rory McIlroy

  • The world number three is the bookmakers’ favorite to lift the Claret Jug for the second time on Sunday
  • British Open returns to Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951

PORTRUSH, United Kingdom: Rory McIlroy said on Wednesday that he is not feeling extra pressure this week as the British Open returns to Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951, and is hoping home fans can help him end a five-year major drought.
The world number three is the bookmakers’ favorite to lift the Claret Jug for the second time on Sunday, despite not having claimed a major title since the 2014 PGA Championship.
He said in the past he struggled being the focus of attention at Irish Opens, although he did win that tournament in 2016.
“I think it’s probably easier this week because it’s such a big tournament,” said McIlroy, who opens his title tilt at Royal Portrush at 0909 GMT on Thursday alongside US Open winner Gary Woodland and England’s Paul Casey.
“You’ve got the best players in the world here, and I don’t feel like I’m the center of attention.
“I’m here to enjoy myself. Hopefully it doesn’t take another 68 years for the tournament to come back here. But at the same time, I mightn’t get an opportunity to play an Open Championship here again.
“I’m really just treating it as a wonderful experience and one that I really want to enjoy.
“I’m going to love being out there and having the crowds and having the support. If that can’t help you, then nothing can.”
McIlroy fired a course-record 61 on the Dunluce Links at the age of just 16 in 2005, and is one of three Northern Irish major champions in the field along with Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke.
He said his first memories of Portrush came as a child when watching his father play.
“I remember chipping around the chipping green, being seven or eight years of age, my dad out playing on the Dunluce,” added McIlroy, who played a practice round on Tuesday.
“Portrush ... At least the golf club, has been a big part of my upbringing. It’s sort of surreal that it’s here.
“Even driving in yesterday, when you’re coming in on the road and you look to the right and you’ve got the second tee... I don’t know who was teeing off, maybe (American player) Tony Finau and someone else, (it was) sort of strange to see them here.
“But it’s really cool.”
Since McIlroy’s record the course has been renovated, with the seventh and eighth new holes.
But the 30-year-old said he did not have to spend too much time preparing on the course, such is his familiarity with it.
“I had dinner booked with a parent on Saturday night at 8:00, thinking I’m going to have to spend some time around the greens and just prepare.
“And I got on the road back home and rang them and said, ‘Can we move dinner up?’ Because I finished early. There’s no difference. It’s the same golf course.”
McIlroy has been in strong form this year, winning twice, including the Players’ Championship, and posting 11 top-10 finishes.
He also finished in a tie for second at the Open at Carnoustie last year.
“I think it’s probably the most consistent period of golf I’ve ever played,” the 2014 champion said.