London: Asif Ali intends to take his place in Pakistan’s squad for the World Cup despite the death of his daughter on Sunday.
The batsman and left-arm pace bowlers Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz were omitted from the original list a month ago but the trio have replaced Abid Ali, Junaid Khan and Faheem Ashraf in Pakistan’s final 15-man group.
Asif will first fly out to the US for the funeral of his 19-month-old daughter, who died over the weekend after a lengthy battle with cancer. It is understood that Asif will join his teammates at his earliest convenience.
The Pakistan prime minister, Imran Khan, was among those to offer his condolences to Asif. The former all-rounder wrote on Twitter: “My condolences and prayers go to Asif Ali & his family on the passing of his daughter from cancer. May Allah give them strength to bear such a precious loss.” Asif contributed two half-centuries in the one-day international series against England which concluded on Sunday, the 27-year-old one of few who impressed in Pakistan’s middle order during their side’s 4-0 loss.
Inzamam-ul-Haq, chair of Pakistan men’s selection committee, said: “It has not been an easy decision to leave out Abid, particularly after he got only one opportunity on the tour. But, he was our third-choice opener. After both the first-choice openers struck early form, we preferred Asif Ali as he brings firepower to the team that can strengthen our chances in the tournament.”