In a major blow to Pakistan, national side's mysterious spinner Abrar Ahmed has been dropped from the squad for the first Test match against Australia, scheduled to start in Perth on December 14.
Abrar took one wicket and bowled 27 overs in a recent first-class match against the Australian Prime Minister's XI, but he was forced to leave the pitch owing to excruciating pain in his right leg around the knee.
Today, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed that the bowler has been ruled out of the first Test of three-match series.
“During an assessment by the medical team, a provisional diagnosis was made - justifying an MRI scan, which was done on the same day,” the PCB said in an official statement.
“Abrar will undergo an intervention in Perth on Monday, after which conservative rehabilitation under the supervision of the team’s medical staff, will continue his road to recovery.”
Although Abrar's exclusion from the entire test series has not been officially declared, the team management will evaluate his availability before the second test to guarantee his health for this and upcoming tours.
“He has not been ruled out of the test series yet, but keeping the player’s well being in mind for this and future tours, further assessment before the second test will ascertain his availability on this tour.”
In the meantime, Sajid Khan, an off-spinner, has been approved by the chairman of the selection committee, Wahab Riaz, and will travel to Perth once his travel arrangements are finalised, according to the press release.
This is Pakistan's first Test tour to Australia since 2019, which was not a pleasant experience, with a 2-0 loss in both games under Azhar Ali's captaincy.
Additionally, Pakistan has never won a Test series in Australia in their entire history.
Australia tour schedule
Australia (first Test only): Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Lance Morris, Steve Smith, Mitch Starc, David Warner
Pakistan: Shan Masood (c), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi
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