Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has been ruled out for the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand after breaking his right thumb during practice.
WIN a trip to the ICC T20 Men’s World Cup! Vote in the ICC Decade Awards.
Babar, the No. 2 hitter in MRF ICC’s T20I men’s batting rankings, suffered the injury during a takedown session. He was taken to a local hospital which confirmed a fracture.
The T20I series starts on December 18 in Auckland and runs until December 22. Babar will not be available for any of these matches and is expected to be out for nearly two weeks.
Shadab Khan, who was the vice-captain, will step in to lead the team. However, Shadab himself is being monitored as he has a groin problem. Their availability for the first game in Auckland will be evaluated close to the match. Shadab had missed the series against Zimbabwe at home with a similar injury.
In the meantime, Babar is expected to be fit for the test series that begins on Boxing Day at the Bay Oval on Mount Maunganui.
Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq was hopeful that Babar’s injury would open up opportunities for someone on the bench to take over.
“Injuries are an integral part of professional sport and while it is very disappointing to lose a player of Babar Azam’s caliber to the T20I, this opens up opportunities for the other highly talented and exciting players to move forward, understand their responsibilities and try to prove that the Pakistani side is a complete package, “he said.
“I have spoken to Babar and he is sad to miss the T20I series as he was fully focused and eager to get to the T20I. We have a long cricket season ahead of us and now we hope that he will regain his full fitness as soon as possible. return to competitive cricket.
“The medical team is monitoring Shadab Khan’s groin discomfort and we remain optimistic that he will be available for the T20Is, but we will not jeopardize his or the team’s opportunities if we believe he needs a few more days to get back into full shape . “