Pakistan leg-spinner Shadab Khan was ruled out of next month’s series against England with a virus, making him a doubtful starter for the World Cup.
The 20-year-old is a key layer for Pakistan but has now been ruled out for nearly a month, with the leggie set to receive treatment in the UK.
“Shadab’s blood tests have revealed (a) virus and doctors have advised him a four week rest,” PCB said in a statement.
“Shadab is out of the five-match one-day series against England and a Twenty20 match (also against England),” the statement added.
The Pakistan team will play a five match ODI series against top-ranked England from May 5. Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq described Shadab’s loss as “bad news”, hoping he recovers in time for the World Cup.
Later, PCB announced leg-spinner Yasir Shah as replacement for Shadab. Yasir played all five one-days against Australia in the UAE but generally struggled, taking just four wickets.
Pakistan opener Abid Ali said on Sunday that despite frosty political relations with India, he wants to meet legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar, hug him and get a few batting tips during next month’s World Cup.
The 31-year old made it to the ODI side recently and hit a century on debut against Australia in Dubai last month.
“It’s my wish that I meet Sachin Tendulkar,” Abid was quoted as saying by AFP.
“Definitely, I would like to hug him and I am sure that just like all great players meet youngsters I am sure that he will not turn me down.
“I am sure that if I want to get any information on cricket from Sachin, he will give a positive reply.”
Abid said it will be a memorable day when he meets Tendulkar.
“It will be the best day in my life when I meet him (Tendulkar) because he was one of the best batsmen.
“West Indian Viv Richards was also a great so I want to meet all the great players and learn from them,” added Abid.
Abid said he has tried to model his batting on Tendulkar’s style.
“Actually I have followed Sachin’s technique from day one of my career and after watching him I tried to play like him. He was a great player, just like our own Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf.
“I adopt their good things and leave any bad thing. If I meet him I will try to talk to him and get some advice, mentally and technically, so that it helps me improve my batting.”
Relations between India and Pakistan have been at a low point for a long time and there calls in India to boycott the World Cup match with Pakistan in Manchester on June 16.
Mohammad Amir was left out of Pakistan’s preliminary 15-man World Cup squad on Thursday, though he will be given a chance to force his way into contention after being picked for the ODI series against England that precedes the tournament.
The left-arm pacer’s place in the squad was the biggest dilemma going into Thursday’s announcement. Since starring in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, Amir has taken five wickets in 101 overs in ODIs, at a shocking average of 92.60 – easily the worst among specialist fast bowlers in that time.
Veteran batsmen Shoaib Malik and Abid Ali were the other key question marks, and both were included in the preliminary squad. Ali’s recent domestic form had helped the 31-year-old state his case for inclusion as a reserve opener, especially after his century against Australia last month.
Power-hitter Asif Ali missed out, as did left-arm pacer Usman Shinwari, but there was vote of confidence for 18-year-old fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain, who is in the 15 despite having played just three ODIs. Imad Wasim has also been included despite struggling with a knee injury in recent months, while Mohammad Hafeez’s inclusion is subject to passing a fitness test.
Squad: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c & wk), Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Sohail