Pakistan star batsman and captain Babar Azam plays a shot. File photo
Gulf Today Report
Pakistan’s hopes suffered a big blow on Sunday as captain Babar Azam has been ruled out of the three-match T20I series against New Zealand after he has fractured his right thumb in training on Sunday and has subsequently been ruled out of action for 12 days.
A PCB press release said the World's second-ranked Twenty20 batsman Azam was hurt during a practice session in Queenstown.
Coach Misbah-ul-Haq said, "He was taken to a local hospital where X-rays confirmed the fracture."
Babar Azam (left) and Eoin Morgan stand beside the T20I trophy. File
The Pakistan Cricket Board said, and he faces a race against time to be fit for the opening match of the two-Test series from Dec. 26.
There is also a question mark over vice-captain Shadab Khan who has a groin niggle.
Babar will not be able to practise for 12 days and will miss the three Twenty20 matches starting in Auckland on Friday.
"During this period the doctors will continue to monitor Babar's injury before confirming his participation in the first Test," Misbah said.
The first Test starts in Mount Maunganui on December 26.
A decision on whether Khan will play in the Twenty20 matches will be made later in the week.
The injury is similar to that which kept him out of their recent series against Zimbabwe.
'We did discuss (pulling out of the tour) but then finally decided to say no to this option because when you invest this much time on this, then you have got to give it a shot,' Misbah said in an online news conference on Friday.
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Mohammad Hafeez was the top scorer with a 62-ball 84 as Babar Azam (63 off 66) and captain Sarfraz Ahmed (55 of 44) also scored half centuries. England will need to pull off the highest successful run chase in World Cup history if they are to win this game.
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