Cricket

Babar Azam ruled out of T20Is against New Zealand With Injury

Babar Azam ruled out of T20Is against New Zealand With after suffering a fracture in his right thumb

Pakistan captain Babar Azam has been ruled out of New Zealand T20Is after suffering a fracture in his right thumb during Sunday morning’s practice session. He was taken to a local hospital that confirmed a fracture. Babar Azam is expected to be fit for the Test series that begins on Boxing Day at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. The T20I series begins on 18 December in Auckland and runs till 22 December.

Shadab Khan will lead the side in the absence of Regular skipper, the vice-captain Babar Azam will step in to lead the side. However, Shadab himself is being monitored as he carries a groin niggle. His availability for the first game in Auckland will be assessed close to the match. Shadab had missed the series against Zimbabwe at home with a similar injury.

Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq says: Injuries are part and parcel of professional sport and while it is hugely disappointing to lose a player of Babar Azam’s calibre for the T20Is, this opens up opportunities for the other highly talented and exciting players to step-up, understand their responsibilities and try to prove that the Pakistan side is a complete package. I have spoken with Babar and he is sad to miss the T20I series as he was fully focused and keenly looking forward to the T20Is. We have a long season of cricket ahead and we now hope that he regains complete fitness as early as possible so that he can return to competitive cricket. The medical team is monitoring Shadab Khan’s groin niggle and we remain optimistic that he will be available for the T20Is, but we will neither risk him nor the team’s chances if we think he needs a few more days to be back to his complete fitness.

T20I schedule as follows:

Date: December 18, 2020
Match: Pakistan vs New Zealand, 1st T20I
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Time: 11:30 AM IST, 06:00 AM GMT, 07:00 PM LOCAL

Date: December 20, 2020
Match: Pakistan vs New Zealand, 2nd T20I
Venue: Seddon Park, Hamilton
Time: 11:30 AM IST, 06:00 AM GMT, 07:00 PM LOCAL

Date: December 22, 2020
Match: Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd T20I
Venue: McLean Park, Napier
Time: 11:30 AM IST, 06:00 AM GMT, 07:00 PM LOCAL

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. Babar Azam (withdrawn due to injury)

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. Imam-ul-Haq (withdrawn due to injury)

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