Pakistan all-rounder Shadab Khan has been ruled out of the first Test against New Zealand due to a thigh injury, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Wednesday.
In a press release, PCB confirmed that Shadab will not participate in the first Pakistan – New Zealand Test starting December 26.
“Shadab will now undergo MRI scans in Tauranga on Thursday, following which a further update on the exact nature of the injury and time needed to return to competitive cricket will be provided,” the statement said.
The 22-year-old has been struck with multiple injuries in last few months. The player suffered a groin niggle just 10 days ago during a practice session in Queenstown, that made his participation in T20I series doubtful.
However, Shadab recovered in time to lead the national side for the three-match T20I series that Pakistan lost 2-1.
In the all-rounder’s absence, PCB has included Zafar Gohar to the Test team squad for the first match of the Test series.
“As Shadab is not available for, at least, the 26-30 December Test at Mount Maunganui, the team management has included left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar as a reinforcement,” PCB added.
Zafar has joined the Test side from Hamilton where he was preparing with the Pakistan Shaheens for Sunday’s T20 match against the Northern Knights.
The 25-year-old was selected based on his impressive record in the 2019-20 season of first-class tournament, Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. “Zafar was the third most successful bowler with 38 wickets, including five four-fers and one five-fer for Central Punjab. In the National T20 Cup 2020-21, he took eight wickets for Central Punjab,” the statement said.
The Lahore born has so far taken 144 wickets in 39 first-class matches, including six five-wicket hauls in an innings and two ten-wicket match hauls.
Earlier, on Monday, PCB confirmed that captain Babar Azam and opener Imam-ul-Haq will also not play in the opening Test against New Zealand.
The two batsmen, along with Shadab, were injured during a training session in Queenstown. In Babar’s absence, wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan will lead the national side.
Pakistan will play New Zealand for two Tests on December 26-30 and January 3-7 in Mount Maunganui and Christchurch.
Pakistan squad for Tests: Mohammad Rizwan (captain for 1st Test), Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah and Zafar Gohar. (Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq and Shadab Khan not available for the first Test).