T20 World Cup 2024 – Imad Wasim in significant doubt for India game due to suspected rib injury

Pakistan will be forced into a late call over the inclusion of Imad Wasim ahead of Sunday’s group game against India. Ten days after the PCB said Imad missed the final game of the T20I series against England for “precautionary reasons” after a suspected rib injury, the allrounder remains a significant doubt for this game.
In the days since, it has become clear Imad’s injury is more serious than was initially made public. He missed Pakistan’s first game of the T20 World Cup against USA, which Pakistan lost in the Super Over, with the same complaint. And while the PCB did release footage of him bowling in the nets, ESPNcricinfo understands Pakistan will make a final decision on the day of the game after assessing his fitness.

Imad’s potential unavailability for the game is a problem Pakistan could do without. In his absence, they have struggled to balance the side. They decided to go into the game against USA with an out-of-form Azam Khan and Shadab Khan as the only specialist spinner, despite lingering concerns about his ability with the ball.

Azam was dismissed for a golden duck, while Shadab came in for pointed criticism by his captain Babar Azam, when he said following the loss that Pakistan’s “spinners” (Iftikhar Ahmed, the part-timer, was the other option and bowled just one over) struggled to pick up wickets.
While this specific niggle – the PCB officially called it “discomfort in his right rib cage’ – has not been an issue for Imad in the past, he has struggled with a range of injuries. He has nursed a knee injury for much of his career which inhibited his ability to play the longer formats.
Ahead of the 2019 World Cup, he was given extra time to pass a fitness test due to his chronic knee injury, and he initially retired from the international game in 2023.

On his return earlier this year, he made it clear he was not signing a central contract, and had only returned for this particular World Cup. However, now that Pakistan already seem to be flirting with an early exit, it remains unclear how much Imad will actually be able to participate in his international swansong.


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