Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa announce World Cup squads

Amir, Chandimal, Hendricks, Morris dropped

Published: April 18, 2019 22:17:43

Fast bowler Muhammad Aamir has been dropped from the World Cup squad as chief selector Inzimamul Haq announced the 15-member team in a press conference on Thursday, reports Agencies.

Junaid Khan, Muhammad Hasnain, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hassan Ali are expected to lead the Pakistani pace attack.

All-rounder Muhammad Hafeez's availability in the squad is subjected to his fitness, said the chief selector. Meanwhile, Abid Ali has been chosen as a third opener in the squad.

"Aamir is an experienced bowler but unfortunately, his performance has not been as per par from last one year. I pray that he gets his rhythm back as seen in Champions Trophy final," Inzimam said.

Aamir and Asif Ali will accompany the team for the upcoming bilateral series against England, the chief selector announced.

The selector admitted that 'a little favour' was given to Imad Wasim as despite failing the fitness test he was selected for the World Cup squad.

All World Cup-bound players will take part in further training sessions and attend open media sessions at the Gaddafi Stadium on April 20 and 21.

Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and coach Mickey Arthur will hold their joint departure press conference at the Gaddafi Stadium on April 22.

The team is scheduled to depart for England on Tuesday, April 23.

Pakistan will play their first World Cup match against West Indies at Trent Bridge on May 31, after playing warmup matches against Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka on Thursday dumped established stars including former captain Dinesh Chandimal from their one-day team in a mass clear-out for the World Cup.

One day after announcing that Test skipper Dimuth Karunaratne would be World Cup captain in place of Lasith Malinga, selectors also axed wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella, off-spinner Akila Dananjaya, and openers Danushka Gunathilaka and Upul Tharanga from the 15-man squad.

Sri Lanka have been riven with personality clashes and disciplinary problems in recent years that have seen their world standing slump.

Batsman Lahiru Thirimanne, leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay and all-rounders Milinda Siriwardana and Jeevan Mendis got places despite not playing an ODI for more than a year.

Opening batsman Avishka Fernando and paceman Nuwan Pradeep were also included in the squad for the tournament which starts in England and Wales on May 30.

The 1996 champions kick off their campaign against New Zealand in Cardiff on June 1.

Karunaratne and the 35-year-old Mendis last played a 50-over international at the previous World Cup in 2015.

Chief selector Ashantha de Mel said players like Siriwardena, who last played an ODI in 2016, were chosen to provide stability.

"To balance the side, the batsman coming in at number six has to be able to bowl," de Mel said of Siriwardana, a left-handed batsman and bowler.

"We went with someone who has a bit of experience in that role."

Dananjaya, a mystery spinner who has played 34 ODIs, and Dickwella were axed after their poor showing in the recent tour of South Africa.

Kusal Janith Perera will be wicketkeeper and could also be used an opener.

De Mel said Dhananjaya de Silva is a better spin option than Dananjaya who picked up just two wickets from four games in Sri Lanka's 5-0 drubbing in the one-day series in South Africa.

Meanwhile, South Africa have included off-form opening batsman Hashim Amla in their squad for the Cricket World Cup in England and Wales starting next month, but there is no place for all-rounder Chris Morris.

Amla's selection has been the topic of hot debate. He has been a stalwart at the top of the order for the last decade, but his form in all formats has been called into question in the past year.

In One-Day International cricket he has managed a single century in his previous 16 innings, dating back to the start of 2018, at an average of 35.26.

He was given the opportunity to find form in domestic cricket over the last few weeks, but has a top-score of 32 in six innings, failing to reach double-figures in three of those.

Morris's exclusion as an all-rounder is a surprise given his form in the Indian Premier League and his death-bowling ability, but the selectors have instead opted for Dwaine Pretorius and Andile Phehlukwayo, with only one of those ever likely to play at any given time.

Fast bowlers Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje were both injury doubts, but have been selected, with the former especially crucial to the side given his wicket-taking ability and economy in the opening overs.

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