Sports & Games

Abrar Ahmed to Miss New Zealand T20Is, Sajid Khan to Replace Him

Pakistan’s mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed has been ruled out of the upcoming five-match T20I series against New Zealand due to a leg injury. The 25-year-old will return home and continue his rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore.

Abrar, who made his Test debut against England in December 2022, missed the entire three-match Test series against Australia after he complained of severe pain in his right leg around his knee during the four-day practice match against the Prime Minister’s XI in Canberra. He underwent an MRI scan and a medical intervention, but could not recover in time to play any part in the Test series.

Pakistan chief selector Wahab Riaz confirmed that Abrar has not fully recovered from his injury and is not ready to play yet.

“Abrar is a key member of our spin department and we are disappointed that he will not be available for the T20I series against New Zealand. He has not fully recovered from his injury and is not ready to play yet. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him back in action soon,” Wahab said.

Wahab also announced that off-spinner Sajid Khan has been called up as Abrar’s replacement for the T20I series. Sajid, who was part of the Test squad, did not feature in the first two Tests against Australia, but will play the final Test in Sydney in place of pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, who has been rested.

“Sajid Khan is a talented off-spinner who has performed well in domestic cricket and has been part of our Test squad. He will replace Abrar in the T20I squad and will also play the final Test in Sydney in place of Shaheen Shah Afridi, who has been rested. This will give Sajid an opportunity to showcase his skills in both formats and gain valuable experience at the international level,” Wahab said.

Sajid, 30, has played 66 first-class matches and taken 234 wickets at an average of 28.83. He has also played 9 T20 matches and taken 8 wickets at an average of 26.87. He will be hoping to make his T20I debut against New Zealand and impress the selectors.

The T20I series between Pakistan and New Zealand will begin on January 12 in Auckland and end on January 21 in Christchurch. Pakistan will be looking to bounce back from their 2-0 defeat in the Test series against Australia and challenge the hosts, who are ranked second in the T20I rankings.

Pakistan squad for New Zealand T20Is: Shaheen Afridi (c), Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Saim Ayub, Sahibzada Farhan, Haseebullah Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Aamer Jamal, Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Zaman Khan

Pakistan tour of New Zealand schedule:

January 12: New Zealand vs Pakistan – First T20I in Auckland

January 14: New Zealand vs Pakistan – Second T20I in Hamilton

January 17: New Zealand vs Pakistan – Third T20I in Dunedin

January 19: New Zealand vs Pakistan – Fourth T20I in Christchurch

January 21: New Zealand vs Pakistan – Fifth T20I in Christchurch

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