Prominent Players Absent from the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup

Several top-tier cricketers are slated to be absent from the Cricket World Cup, owing to injuries, controversies, and, in certain instances, a combination of both.

Professional athletes often aspire to represent their nation in prestigious global sporting events, with winning being the pinnacle achievement of their careers.

In the world of cricket, the one-day international (ODI) World Cup stands as such a tournament. However, numerous elite players find themselves excluded from this quadrennial competition—frequently due to injuries but occasionally as a result of strategic choices or conflicts.

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Here are five prominent players who won’t be participating in the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup, which is being hosted by India from October 5 to November 19.

Tamim Iqbal Bangladesh

Tamim Iqbal, Bangladesh’s most prolific batsman in ODI cricket and one of their all-time greats, was noticeably absent from the squad when it was eventually announced last week. The selectors cited the 34-year-old’s persistent back injury as the reason for his exclusion from the final squad, emphasizing that they didn’t want to ‘take a risk’ during the 46-day tournament.

This left-handed opening batsman has amassed 8,357 runs, including 14 centuries, in 243 ODIs for the South Asian team. However, in recent years, he has struggled with injuries, leading to sporadic appearances in the national side. Earlier this year, he made headlines by announcing and then reversing his surprise retirement.

Shortly after Bangladesh unveiled their squad, the former captain criticized the board for ‘creating barriers’ that prevented his inclusion. The controversy deepened as Bangladesh’s captain, Shakib Al Hasan, described Iqbal’s statements as ‘childish and immature.’

Considering the ongoing drama, Iqbal’s injury concerns, and his age, it appears unlikely that he will feature in Bangladesh’s lineup for the 2028 edition of the tournament.

Naseem Shah Pakistan

Naseem Shah has been a vital component of Pakistan’s recent bowling attack, effectively sharing the responsibility of opening the bowling alongside Shaheen Shah Afridi. Despite his young age of 20, he has consistently kept batsmen in check from one end, boasting an impressive economy rate of 4.68 in 14 matches, while Afridi mounts his attack from the opposite end.

Shah has also garnered a reputation for his ability to clinch victories in run chases when he bats lower down the order – a trait that Afghanistan can certainly attest to.

Unfortunately, Pakistan had to omit Shah from their World Cup squad after he sustained a significant shoulder injury during a recent Asia Cup match against India. According to Pakistan’s selectors, he is expected to be sidelined due to the injury for a period of three to four months.

Jason Roy England

For Jason Roy, the path to the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup has been nothing short of a roller coaster. Initially, he was named in England’s provisional World Cup squad, only to be subsequently left out when the defending champions finalized their squad of 15.

Roy played a pivotal role in England’s white-ball transformation, spearheaded by former captain Eoin Morgan, following a disappointing performance in the 2015 edition. In the 2019 World Cup, he emerged as one of their top run-scorers, amassing 443 runs in seven matches, ultimately contributing to England’s historic victory on home soil at Lord’s.

Despite his significant contributions, the 33-year-old opening batsman has not been a permanent fixture in the England side, often sidelined by injuries. Unfortunately, Roy’s bid to secure his place in the World Cup squad was thwarted by a bout of back spasms suffered during last month’s ODI series against New Zealand.

England’s coach, Matthew Mott, described the decision to exclude Roy from the squad as “the toughest decision” he has had to make. He emphasized that Roy remained content to be part of the reserves for the tournament.

Captain Jos Buttler acknowledged the harsh reality of sports, where even exceptional players can miss out on major tournaments.

Credit by aljazeera.com

Wanindu Hasaranga Sri Lanka

Wanindu Hasaranga has risen as one of Sri Lanka’s most prominent cricket stars in recent years. The dynamic leg-spinning all-rounder boasts an impressive record, with three five-wicket hauls among his 67 wickets in ODI cricket, complemented by four half-centuries in 832 runs.

However, Hasaranga sustained an injury during the Asia Cup, and regrettably, he couldn’t make a full recovery in time for the squad announcement, as confirmed by Sri Lanka Cricket in a statement. His absence at the age of 26 will be keenly felt by the 1996 champions, particularly given his remarkable performance as the leading wicket-taker in the last two T20 World Cups and his consistent excellence as a bowler.

In the event that a member of the traveling squad encounters an injury, Hasaranga is on standby as a potential replacement player.

Michael Bracewell New Zealand

Michael Bracewell, New Zealand’s ODI Player of the Year in 2022, will be sidelined for the tournament due to an Achilles injury sustained during an English county match in June. This absence presents a significant setback for the 2019 World Cup runners-up, who are set to face defending champions England in the opening match on October 5.

Bracewell is a versatile player who can contribute with the bat throughout the order, offer dependable off-spin bowling, and even assume wicketkeeping duties. His impressive batting average of 42.5, coupled with a striking strike rate of 118.60 in ODI cricket, highlights his value to the team.

New Zealand’s coach, Gary Stead, described Bracewell as a ‘great team man’ and underscored his exceptional skills in batting, bowling, and fielding. Bracewell had been shaping up as a vital player for New Zealand at the World Cup in India before his untimely injury.

Reference:

https://www.aljazeera.com/sports/2023/10/3/five-big-names-missing-out-2023-icc-cricket-world-cup

https://www.zawya.com/en/life/sports/cricket-world-cup-2023-afghanistan-have-the-skills-and-spirit-to-cause-upsets-k40wabo3

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