Due to a significant right shoulder injury that has turned out to be more serious than first thought, Pakistan’s fast bowler, Naseem Shah, is in serious danger of missing the entire World Cup. Although early scans performed in Dubai suggest that this injury may keep him out for the rest of the year, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is actively exploring seeking a second medical opinion.
If subsequent medical assessments corroborate the initial findings, Naseem could potentially face an extended period of absence from the cricket arena. His participation in the upcoming Test series in Australia, scheduled for the beginning of the year, now hangs in the balance. Furthermore, there is a growing concern that he might also be unavailable for the next edition of the Pakistan Super League in 2024.
Naseem Shah’s injury ordeal commenced during Pakistan’s recent clash against India in the Asia Cup. He had to leave the field during the 46th over on the reserve day designated for th at game and was subsequently ruled out of the tournament
In response to the decision not to transfer the matches to Hambantota, a location anticipated to offer drier weather, the PCB had pushed for the inclusion of the reserve day in the schedule, notably for the India match. Naseem’s injury, specifically a muscle pulled just behind his bowling shoulder, happened on this very reserve day. His current condition is different from whatever shoulder problems he may have experienced in the past.
According to sources, Naseem Shah’s absence from the World Cup, along with his uncertain participation in the upcoming Australian series, represents a significant setback for Pakistan. In the past year, Naseem has transitioned from being a specialist red-ball bowler to becoming an integral part of Pakistan’s bowling attack across all formats. His current form indicates that he is the standout performer among Pakistan’s highly regarded trio of fast bowlers, which includes Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf.
The PCB is expected to make an official decision once they receive the results of his follow-up scans in the coming days. During his absence from the Asia Cup, Naseem Shah was replaced by Zaman Khan, while Mohammad Hasnain, another potential replacement, is currently nursing an injury.
Naseem has grappled with injury issues early in his cricketing career. A back injury, sustained just a year into his international career when he was only 17, sidelined him from the sport for a lengthy 14 months. Six weeks after his return, he suffered a shoulder injury during his debut in the County Championship with Gloucestershire, which kept him out of action for another month.