In the midst of Pakistan’s struggles in the ICC World Cup 2023, Former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who heads the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Cricket Technical Committee (CTC), disclosed that they had recommended the inclusion of mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed in the squad.

However, the team management thought otherwise and added Abrar Ahmed only as a reserve player along with Mohammad Haris and Zaman Khan.

Misbah-ul-Haq Advocates for Abrar Ahmed Inclusion

Speaking on a local sports channel, the 49-year-old Misbah-ul-Haq emphasized that teams would face Abrar only once, as this is not a series.

“Our [cricket committee] viewpoint was to include a mystery spinner especially when you are playing with different teams since it is not a series. Most of them would be playing for the first time,” Misbah stated. “So, we suggested keeping Abrar Ahmed in the squad keeping in mind, our spin bowling is not in good form and didn’t do well in the Asia Cup,” he added.

Source: PCB

He further mentioned that it was his and Hafeez’s opinion, emphasizing that the final decision rested with the team management and captain Babar Azam. “Team management and captain’s decision is more important in this regard,” he added.

‘Abrar Ahmed could have been a trump card’

The Pakistan team is currently grappling with challenges in the ongoing ICC World Cup 2023, having suffered three consecutive losses out of five matches played.

The team management is facing criticism over player selection, particularly with regards to spin bowlers. Frontline spin bowlers Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz were out of form before the World Cup. Meanwhile, Usama Mir who was included as the third spin bowler, struggled in the two matches he played. He conceded 82 runs against Australia for a single wicket, while against Afghanistan, he gave away 55 runs without taking any wickets.

Considering his variations and recent success in test cricket, Abrar Ahmed could have been a game-changer for the Pakistan team. He has represented Pakistan in six test matches, claiming 38 wickets at an average of 31.07.

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