Pakistan batsman Asif Ali was included in the final 15-man World Cup squad, selectors said Monday, one day after the death of his 18-month-old daughter Noor Fatima was announced.
Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said Asif would return to Pakistan from a tour of England for his child’s funeral, to be held in the eastern city of Lahore, before returning ahead of the World Cup, which begins on May 30.
‘We are with Asif in this tough time. He will return to Pakistan and then go back before the warm-up matches,’ Inzamam told reporters at a press conference in Lahore.
Islamabad United, Asif’s Pakistan Super League team, confirmed the child’s death in a statement issued late Sunday.
‘Our thoughts and prayers go out to Asif & his family,’ the statement said. ‘Asif is a great example of strength & courage. He is an inspiration to us.’
Before his departure for the limited-overs series in England, Ali had tweeted on April 24 that he was sending his daughter to the US for treatment.
Condolences poured in from Pakistan, including from foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Amir.
‘I know too well the pain & anguish of losing a loved one to cancer. My heart goes out to @AasifAli2018 & his family who lost their beautiful child to this most merciless disease,’ Qureshi tweeted.
‘Extremely heartbroken with the news of @AasifAli2018 daughter passing away,’ wrote Amir.
Ali had learnt about his daughter’s illness during the fourth season of the PSL.
Earlier, Ali featured in every game of the England series, scoring two fifties with a career best of 52 in the third ODI in Bristol.
He was one of three players called up to the squad on Monday, along with the fit-again Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz.
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