Pakistan’s team director, Mickey Arthur, in an interview with a local TV channel, shared insights about the pool of players from Pakistan for the upcoming 2023 Asia Cup and World Cup tournaments.
When questioned about the future of players such as Imad Wasim, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir, Haris Sohail, and Umar Akmal in Pakistan’s One-Day International (ODI) team, Arthur acknowledged that a couple of players from this group have recently shown promise. However, he chose not to mention any names specifically.
Regarding Pakistan’s squad for the World Cup and Asia Cup, Arthur stated that there wouldn’t be many changes compared to the squad that played in the recent ODI series against New Zealand.
“We picked a squad that played against New Zealand. That is the squad we are going to draw from [for Asia Cup and World Cup]. Haris Sohail was in that squad but he didn’t play because of fitness issues. A couple of those guys have put their names up lately, but the squad we had for New Zealand series and the squad that will go for these events wont differ much,” Arthur said.
“We had around 20 players in that series, we just need to cut it to 15. It is not going to differ much because I believe in giving security to players as that will give clarity to them about their roles in the team. I don’t want players playing with an axe over their head or with insecurity about their place,” he added.
When asked about any concerns regarding the venues for Pakistan’s World Cup matches, Arthur expressed satisfaction, stating that there were no issues related to the venues. He believed that the squad they had was capable of defeating any team, regardless of the venue.
“We don’t have any issues related to venues. We have got good enough squad to beat any team anywhere. I am really satisfied with the venues,” he said.
The highly anticipated India-Pakistan match at the 2023 World Cup is scheduled to take place at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on October 15. Arthur anticipated challenges playing in front of a large crowd, particularly in Ahmedabad where the stands might not have many Pakistani supporters.
“We can’t control what is not in our hands. What we can control is our preparations and performance. As far as fans’ pressure is concerned, it would be tough for us to play in Ahmedabad in front of 100,000 people, there won’t be much green in the stands, but that is something we will sit and talk about closer to the World Cup. What I am gonna do with my players is to turn things positive for them. If we keep stadiums quiet by playing good cricket, that would silently be our fans, our support base,” he concluded.