KARACHI (Reuters) - Pakistan have called up tall left-arm paceman Rahat Ali to replace the injured Junaid Khan in their World Cup squad.
Rahat, 26, who has been a regular in the test team since 2012 having taken 31 wickets in 11 matches, has played just a single one-day international way back in 2012 in Sri Lanka without taking a wicket.
“Rahat has been included in the World Cup squad on the recommendation of touring chief selector Moin Khan,” a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said on Thursday.
The official said the PCB had already sent a request to the technical committee of the International Cricket Council (ICC)for the replacement since Junaid was declared unfit for the tournament that begins on Feb. 14 in New Zealand and Australia.
Junaid, who has been a leading performer for his country in recent times, missed out on the World Cup after picking up a hamstring injury during training on the eve of the team’s departure for New Zealand late last month.
Junaid was named in Pakistan’s squad last month after he showed a remarkable return to form after recovering from a knee injury that kept him out for nearly four months.
The PCB official said that Bilawal Bhatti, who was sent as a replacement for the series in New Zealand after the injury to Junaid, would be returning home.
Bilawal had a nightmarish match against New Zealand this week in the second one-dayer in which he conceded 93 runs.
Pakistan are already without their seasoned off-spinner Saeed Ajmal for the World Cup after he was suspended from bowling by the ICC last September for an illegal action.
Editing by Sudipto Ganguly