The development comes after Babar Azam fractured his thumb during a throwdown session, the PCB said in a press release. The three-match T20I series against New Zealand starts on December 18.
“World’s second-ranked T20I batsman suffered the injury during a throw-down session, following which he was taken to a local hospital where X-rays confirmed his fracture,” the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed in a statement on Sunday.
According to the statement, Babar Azam will be unable to attend the nets for at least 12 days as he will not be available for the T20Is scheduled to take place in Auckland, Hamilton, and Napier on December 18, 20, and 22.
JUST IN: Pakistan captain Babar Azam has been ruled out of the #NZvPAK T20I series.
The star batsman fractured his right thumb during a training session ? pic.twitter.com/C7RjDHxd9C
— ICC (@ICC) December 13, 2020
The injury comes a day after opener Imam-ul-Haq fractured his left thumb during a throwdown session. The opener has also been advised a 12-day rest and he will not be available for Pakistan Shaheen” 4-day warm-up game against New Zealand A in Whangarei which starts on December 17.
Also, T20I vice-captain Shadab Khan is carrying a groin niggle and his participation during Sunday’s net-session was reduced to batting practice only.
Reacting on the developments, head coach Misbah-Ul-Haq said:
“Injuries are part and parcel of professional sport and while it is hugely disappointing to lose a player of Babar Azam’s caliber 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.”
“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,” he added.
Misbah further added that the medical team is closely monitoring vice-captain Shadab Khan’s groin niggle and the management remains optimistic of his availability in the first T20I.