Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Former Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq has admitted that he didn’t want opening batsman Abdullah Shafique to be included in the playing XI during the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Shafique was brought in to replace Fakhar Zaman after the opening game against the Netherlands since the latter was struggling to score runs.
The 23-year-old went on to amass 336 runs in eight games, which included a career-best 113 in his first match against Sri Lanka, at an average of 42.
Despite this, Razzaq felt that Pakistan should have stuck with Zaman, especially considering how he returned to the playing XI later on in the World Cup and smashed 81 and 126 not out against Bangladesh and New Zealand respectively.
“When Abdullah Shafique scored a century in his debut match, I was against that change,” he told Geo News.
Pakistan triumphed over the Netherlands and Sri Lanka to start the World Cup on a high, but things went downhill for them from there as they lost to India, Australia, Afghanistan and South Africa.
Even though they fought back to defeat Bangladesh and New Zealand, they failed to advance to the semi-finals.
Pakistan concluded their campaign on a sour note as England thrashed them by 93 runs.
Shafique will now play for Pakistan in their three-match Test series against Australia, which will get underway on December 14 in Perth.
Pakistan Squad for Australia Test Series: Shan Masood (captain), Aamer Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi