Pakistan cricket captain Babar Azam has been ruled out from the three-match Twenty20 International series against New Zealand after suffering a fracture in his right thumb during a practice session on Sunday.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed the news in a media release. They said Babar suffered the injury during a throw-down session after which the batsman was taken to a local hospital where X-rays confirmed the fracture.
“Babar will be unable to attend nets for, at least, 12 days, meaning he will not be available for the 18, 20 and 22 December T20Is to be played in Auckland, Hamilton and Napier, respectively,” the statement said.
The 26-year-old will be monitored closely by doctors in this period before his participation in the first Test on December 26 is confirmed.
Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq was disappointed with the news but said this gives an opportunity to other players to prove themselves. “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,” he said.
“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,” Misbah added.
Pakistan will play New Zealand for three T20Is from December 18 to December 22 and two Tests from December 26 to January 7.