Pakistan fast bowler Naseem Shah ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/naseem-shah-1158088) is likely to miss the entire World Cup after scans revealed an injury to his right shoulder that is worse than was initially suspected. The PCB is understood to be seeking a second opinion, but scans from tests in Dubai appear to show the injury could rule him out for the rest of year.
Should secondary results back up the initial ones, Naseem, 20, is looking at a layoff spanning several months which means his participation in the Test series in Australia at the turn of the year is in doubt, as well as the next Pakistan Super League also in grave doubt.
Naseem walked off in the middle of the 46th over during Pakistan’s second game against India ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/asia-cup-2023-1388374/india-vs-pakistan-9th-match-super-four-1388406/full-scorecard) at the Asia Cup last week on the reserve day organised for that game, and was ruled out of the tournament soon after. He sustained an injury to a muscle just below his bowling shoulder, one that ESPNcricinfo understands is not a recurrence of any previous shoulder injuries.
Naseem’s absence from the World Cup, as well as the subsequent series in Australia, will come as a huge blow for Pakistan. Over the past year, Naseem has gone from a red-ball specialist to an all-format bowler for Pakistan, and on current form, is the best of Pakistan’s much-vaunted triumvirate of Naseem, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf.
The PCB is expected to make an official decision once they have results from his secondary scans in a few days. He was replaced at the Asia Cup by Zaman Khan, while Mohammad Hasnain, another possible replacement, is currently also injured.