After sustaining a fracture in his right thumb during Sunday morning’s practise session, Pakistan cricket captain Babar Azam will not be available for the upcoming New Zealand T20Is.
In a statement released on Sunday, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) reported the progress, saying that Azam sustained the injury during a throw-down session, after which he was taken to a local hospital where the fracture was confirmed by X-rays.
As such, Babar will not be able to compete in nets for at least 12 days, meaning he will not be available in Auckland, Hamilton and Napier, respectively, for the 18, 20 and 22 December, T20Is to be played, the statement reads.
In the meantime, doctors will continue to track his injury until announcing his inclusion in the first match of the test, scheduled for December 26 at Bay Oval.
During a throw-down session the previous day, Imamul Haq had also sustained a fracture in his left thumb. A 12-day rest was recommended, confirming his non-availability for the four-day game of Pakistan Shaheens against New Zealand’ A ‘, which begins on December 17 in Whangarei.
Vice-Captain Shadab Khan is also carrying a groyne niggle that, according to the release, limited his involvement in the net sessions on Sunday to batting only. A decision will be taken closer to the match on his inclusion in the Auckland T20I, it said.
“Injuries are part and parcel of professional sport,” said Misbahul Haq, head coach of Pakistan, adding that he remained hopeful that this would free up doors for other highly talented and exciting players to step-up […] and try to prove that the Pakistan side is a complete package.”
He said, “I spoke to Babar and he is sad to miss the T20I series because he was fully focused and looking forward to the T20Is.”
The Pakistan coach confirmed, commenting on Shadab Khan’s groyne niggle, that he was under doctor’s observation and the management remained hopeful about his return to the T20Is.
Pakistan squad for New Zealand T20Is:
Shadab Khan (captain), Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan, Musa Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Qadir and Wahab Riaz.
Pakistan Shaheens for New Zealand ‘A’ four-day match:
Rohail Nazir (captain), Abid Ali, Amad Butt, Azhar Ali, Danish Aziz, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah, Zafar Gohar and Zeeshan Malik.