Karachi: After missing out on the one-off T20 International and the three-match ODI series against Australia, injured Pakistan all-rounder Muhammad Hafeez has been ruled out of the upcoming two Tests as well. Hafeez, 33, had to return home from the UAE last week before the limited-overs series after badly injuring his left hand during a practice match an injury which required six stitches.
Pakistan have lost the lone T20 and the first ODI by a considerable margin and they are hoping to fare better in the remaining two ODIs and the Tests starting October 22. "The doctors have advised him at least four weeks rest and we don't see him being available for the two Tests against Australia" a senior official of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) told PTI. Hafeez has been one of Pakistan's main players in all three formats of the game due to his ability to bat in the top order and also bowl off-breaks.
His bowling action was reported last month during the Champions League Twenty20 in India where he led the Lahore Lions team. But the board official made it clear that had nothing to do with Hafeez returning home from the UAE and missing the Australia series. "He picked up a bad injury and presently he is also doubtful for the Tests against New Zealand," the official said.
Pakistan plays a three-Test series against New Zealand in November also in the UAE. The official said that left-arm pacer, Junaid Khan would also be returning home from the UAE after injuring his ankle during a practice session. "A replacement for Junaid will be announced soon after the tour selectors let us know their recommendations," the official said.
Junaid was not selected for the lone T20 against Australia this week but was ruled out of the first one-dayer which Pakistan also lost on Tuesday due to the injury. Pakistan has already sent uncapped opener Sami Aslam and left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar as replacements for the injured Hafeez for the ODI series.
The selectors will announce the Test squad during the ODI series with senior batsman Younis Khan in line for a comeback and also leg-spinner Yasir Shah who has not played for Pakistan since his debut in 2011.