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Pakistan's emerging wicketkeeper-batter ruled out of T20I series against New Zealand

Mohammad Rizwan will be performing the wicketkeeping duties in the ongoing T20I series against New Zealand. Rizwan enjoyed a good outing with the willow in hand in the second T20I as he played an unbeaten knock to take Pakistan home.

Written By: Kumar Rupesh @afiestysoul New Delhi Updated on: April 21, 2024 8:02 IST
Azam Khan.
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES Azam Khan.

Pakistan's emerging wicketkeeper-batter Azam Khan has been ruled out of the ongoing five-match T20I series against New Zealand with a grade one tear in his right calf muscle.

Azam, 25, has been advised 10 days of rest and has been asked to report to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore to undergo rehabilitation under the supervision of the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) medical panel.

The injury to Azam is a major blow to Pakistan's preparations for the forthcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup in June. The selection panel and the team management wanted to test the youngster in the series against the Blackcaps as he is a part of their plan for the T20 carnival in the USA and the Caribbean.

A media release issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board on the injury to Azam mentioned that the initial signs of discomfort to the batter came to the fore while he was batting in a net session at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium ahead of the first T20I.

Notably, Azam was a part of the 29-player group that underwent a fitness camp in Kakul, Abbottabad. The 14-day camp was organised in collaboration with the Pakistan Army and aimed at preparing the players for the forthcoming bilateral series and the ICC Men's T20 World Cup.

Widely regarded as a power hitter, Azam had an underwhelming PSL (Pakistan Super League) season 9. The wicketkeeper-batter could just manage to score 226 runs in 10 innings at an average of 25.11. However, his strike rate of 171.21 was the highest among the top 20 run-getters of the season.

Pakistan's squad for T20I series vs New Zealand:

Babar Azam (c), Saim Ayub, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Usman Khan, Irfan Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Amir, Abrar Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Usama Mir, Zaman Khan, Abbas Afridi

Support Staff:

Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Yousuf, Mansoor Rana, Wahab Riaz

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