Pakistan cricket team captain Babar Azam is ruled out of the three-match T20I series against New Zealand to be played from 18 to 22 December at three different venues, due to thumb injury.
PCB confirms that Babar Azam has had an injury in his right thumb during a practice session after which he was taken to hospital. X-ray report confirms the fracture in his right thumb which will prevent skipper to play for at least 12 days. Hence Babar Azam is compelled not to be a part of T20I series.
This will be a major blow for Pakistan team as Babar was in full form and is the main player of Pakistan cricket team. Not only he leads the team smoothly, he is also the ICC second ranked T20I batsman. His absence will clearly influence the team in negative way as he has proved to be one man army many times.
Pakistan team coach Misbah-ul-haq says in press conference: “Injuries are part and parcel of professional sport and while it is hugely disappointing to lose a player of Babar Azam’s calibre for the T20Is, this opens up opportunities for the other highly talented and exciting players to step-up,”
He further said that along with winning the series, the fitness of players and their well-being is the priority. So it is the requirement of time to give the skipper some rest. Although Babar is disappointed to miss T20s as he was utterly focused and excited to score big in the series. But you never know what nature has in store. However, the squad is still in a strong position and they will likely play Muhammad Hafeez in place of Babar as they both are good at playing in upper order. Also, the experience and power hitting of Hafeez will definitely forego the team in the T20 series.
Earlier vice captain Shadab Khan will be lead Pakistan team for T20 series against New Zealand starting from 18 December.