- Several players receiving last-minute call-ups as wildcard entries notably includes Ashwin, Hasan Ali, Labuschagne, Harry Brook, Mahmudullah, and Phehlukwayo
- Hasan Ali’s inclusion as a replacement for the injured Naseem Shah faced criticism
- Who will make the biggest impact among all
As we discuss the final squads of the teams preparing for the upcoming World Cup, just days away from commencement, there is a noteworthy list of players who received last-minute call-ups, essentially earning a wildcard entry into their respective teams. Among these late additions are Ashwin, Hasan Ali, Labuschagne, Harry Brook, and Mahmudullah
Hassan Ali’s inclusion in Pakistan’s final squad raised eyebrows and sparked controversy among cricket enthusiasts. This decision was necessitated by Naseem Shah’s unfortunate injury during the Asia Cup, which ruled him out of the World Cup. Despite limited international appearances, Hassan Ali was selected as his replacement. His recent performance record in ODIs has been less than impressive, with just seven matches played since 2019, yielding nine wickets at an average of 42.44. The only notable exception was his five-wicket haul against England.
Another surprise to the England squad is Harry Brook, who stepped in for the injured Jason Roy, who suffered back spasms during a match against New Zealand. Brook’s outstanding performances across all formats over the past year played a pivotal role in his last-minute inclusion. Notably, in Test cricket, he amassed 1181 runs at an impressive average of 62.15, with a remarkable strike rate of 91. Additionally, his remarkable 41-ball century while playing for the Northern Superchargers in The Hundred made a lasting impression on the selectors.
Marnus Labuschagne made a late entry into Australia’s 15-member squad, replacing Ashton Agar, who was sidelined due to a calf injury. Labuschagne’s inclusion was justified by his stellar performance in the ODI series against South Africa and India, where he averaged 60 across eight innings, including a century and two fifties. His addition provides Australia with additional batting depth, compensating for the absence of Travis Head, who is expected to remain sidelined with a hand injury for at least four more weeks.
In a bid to support their squad, Bangladesh included senior all-rounder Mahmudullah Riyad in their final roster. With several players in their squad nursing injuries, Mahmudullah’s experience was deemed invaluable. Despite not having played an ODI since March, the team management believes there is a vacancy for a middle-order batsman in their lineup.