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Abrar ruled out of first Test, Sajid called as backup

By Our Correspondent
December 11, 2023

LAHORE: Abrar Ahmed has been ruled out of the first Test match against Australia starting in Perth from 14 December.

During the first-class game against Prime Minister’s XI, Abrar left the field of play due to severe pain in his right leg around his knee. During an assessment by the medical team, a provisional diagnosis was made – justifying an MRI scan, which was done on the same day.

Abrar Ahmed celebrates on the field during a match. — AFP/File
Abrar Ahmed celebrates on the field during a match. — AFP/File

Abrar will undergo an intervention in Perth on Monday. Following that, conservative rehabilitation under the supervision of the team’s medical staff will continue. He has not been ruled out of the Test series yet, but keeping the player’s well-being in mind for this tour and future assignments, further assessment before the second Test will ascertain his availability on this tour.

Meanwhile, chairman of the selection committee Wahab Riaz on the request made by the team management has approved the name of off-spinner Sajid Khan. Sajid will travel to Perth once his travel arrangement is finalised.

Pakistan have relied heavily on Abrar since he made his debut against England in Multan in December last year when he took 11 wickets -- seven in the first innings and four in the second. He has taken 38 wickets in six matches so far.

Sajid has just 22 wickets from seven Tests the last of which he played in March 2022. He managed only one wicket in that game although Australia’s Nathan Lyon, the other off-spinner in that match, captured six.

Sources said Pakistan were unlikely to go with two spinners on Australia’s fast pitches and so either Sajid or Noman Ali would be in the playing eleven. Noman took seven wickets in the last Test that Pakistan played, against Sri Lanka in Colombo.