17 Oct Abdullah Shafique ‘contracts fever’ ahead of Australia clash
- Players underwent medical examination as per protocol: sources.
- “There is no concern about the health of players,” say sources.
- Shafique first Pakistan batsman to make a century on his WC debut.
BENGALURU: Pakistan’s opening batsman Abdullah Shafique has contracted fever ahead of the national’s team match against Australia on October 20, the team’s sources told Geo News on Tuesday.
They said fast bowler Shaheen Afridi and leg-spinner Usama Mir were also suffering from fever but they have recovered now.
The sources said players underwent medical examination as per protocol and were tested for COVID-19 and dengue fever.
“There is no concern about the health of players,” the sources were quoted as saying.
Shafique has a habit of making great first impressions, the latest of which came on October 11 when he became the first Pakistan batsman to make a century on his World Cup debut in an epic pursuit against Sri Lanka.
Called up to replace the out-of-form Fakhar Zaman, the 23-year-old opener clubbed 113 and with a cramping Mohammad Rizwan (131 not out) helped Pakistan reach their 345-run target, the highest successful run chase in World Cup history.
He scored a hundred on his domestic Grade-II debut (non first class), notched another century on his first class debut in 2019 and a year later achieved the same feat in Twenty20 cricket.
Shafique is only the second batsman in the world to have hit a hundred on first class and T20 debut, along with India’s Shivam Bhambri.
After his T20 debut hundred, the then head coach Misbah-ul-Haq selected him in the shortest format but Shafique failed with four successive ducks.
He was backed despite his failures, making him a target for critics who accused him of receiving preferential treatment.
Shafique finally came good in Tests, hitting a hundred against Australia and England, and two against Sri Lanka including a double ton in July this year.
Barely a month out from the World Cup, Shafique was not even in the squad.
However, with concerns over Zaman’s lack of runs, the Pakistan team management select him as a back-up.
Schedule of Pakistan’s remaining matches
October 20 – vs Australia in Bengaluru
October 23 – vs Afghanistan in Chennai
October 27 – vs South Africa in Chennai
October 31 – vs Bangladesh in Kolkata
November 4 – vs New Zealand Bengaluru (Day match)
November 11 – vs England in Kolkata
The day matches which will start at 10:00am Pakistan Standard Time (PST) while all other matches will be day-night fixtures starting at 01:30pm (PST).
If Pakistan qualify for the semi-finals, they will play in Kolkata.
If India qualify for the semi-finals, they will play in Mumbai unless playing against Pakistan, in which case they will play in Kolkata.
Pakistan squad for ICC World Cup 2023
Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, M Wasim Jnr, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha.
Travelling reserves: Mohammad Haris, Abrar Ahmed, Zaman Khan