Pakistan made some big last-minute changes to their World Cup squad after the conclusion of the five-match ODI series against England, with pacer Wahab Riaz earning a surprise recall into the squad two years after he last played a game in the 50-over format.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) May 20, 2019
Wahab, who produced a famous spell to Shane Watson in the 2015 World Cup quarter-final against Australia, was included alongside Mohammad Amir and Asif Ali, according to a report on ESPN. Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) selection panel, led by batting legend Inzamam-ul-Haq, dropped Faheem Ashraf, Abid Ali and Junaid Khan in the process.
"Wahab's ability to reverse swing the ball got him selected. Nobody expected the pitches in the UK will play flat even in the early season there," chief selector Inzamam was quoted as saying in the report.
Wahab's last ODI appearance was in the 124-run defeat to India at Birmingham in the group stage match in the 2017 Champions Trophy, which also happens to be his last appearance in limited-overs internationals. The pacer though continues to part of Pakistan's Test setup.
Amir too has had a lean patch with the ball of late, with a poor run of form resulting in the selectors deciding against naming him in the preliminary squad. Amir's destructive spell was a major reason behind Pakistan's landslide win over India in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, and the left-arm pacer will hope to make a similar contribution in what will be his first-ever World Cup appearance.
Asif, who suffered the tragic loss of his daughter to cancer on Monday, managed to impress the selectors with his two half-centuries in four innings.
Pakistan squad: Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk, c), Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shoaib Malik.