'Couldn't Bare Watching' - Naseem Shah On Heartache Of Missing WC 2023

Naseem Shah for Pakistan in Asia Cup 2023 (x.com)Naseem Shah for Pakistan in Asia Cup 2023 (x.com)

Pakistan’s star pacer Naseem Shah recently reflected on the frustration he suffered as he missed the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup in India last year. 

Naseem Shah incurred a terrible injury during the high-intensity clash against India during the Asia Cup 2023, which gave him the prestigious spot for the Pakistan team in the World Cup.

Pakistan failed to qualify for the semifinals after getting knocked out from the league stage at the fifth position. The team missed the presence of their young yet skilled pacer, as the visitors' pace attack struggled on the unfamiliar pitches of India.

Naseem Shah on his forced ICC ODI World Cup 2023 Absence

In a recent interview with CricWick, the young pacer talked about the anguish he felt while missing out on performing with the Men in Green in India. 

"It was very difficult for me to watch the matches on TV when you know that you belong on the ground with the rest of the team. I hardly saw any matches because I just could not bear watching them. My hand was in a sling after surgery and I used to randomly wake up at night thinking that the injury had healed," Naseem Shah said.

Further in the interview, Naseem Shah also dwelled on the mental breakdown he faced while sitting in a room as he recovered from his injury. 

Shah discussed not being able to achieve his childhood dream of playing in the World Cup impacted him. 

"When you are stuck in a room for a long period, you tend to feel down mentally, and you tend to feel frustrated. It is the dream of every player to represent their nation in the World Cup. Especially the ODI World Cup because it comes once every four years. Ahead of the tournament, I felt like I was at the peak of my prowess like every player feels at some stage of his career," he added.

Naseem Shah made a strong comeback in the ninth season of the Pakistan Super League for Islamabad United. After being traded from Quetta Gladiators in an off-season deal, Shah has taken 8 wickets in the 6 games he has played for the United. 

After the conclusion of PSL 2024, Naseem Shah is expected to hit the road with Pakistan for the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 in the USA.