Pakistan’s opening batsman, Fakhar Zaman on Sunday was ruled out of the forthcoming tour of New Zealand just a few hours before the team’s departure after failing to recover from fever.
The 30-year-old left-hander tested negative along with 34 other players and 20 members of the squad but suffered fever, forcing Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to withdraw him.
Fakhar Zaman Scored First 200 In ODI For Pakistan, But His Recent Form Is Less Impressive In Limited Over Internationals
The left-handed dashing batsman is a regular in white-ball cricket averaging 45 in 47 ODIs and also played 40 T20Is and 3 tests. On 2018, he became the first Pakistan batsman to score a double century in a One Day International (ODI) match. But his international form, particularly in the shortest format, has concerned Pakistan since he has scored more than 25 runs in an innings only once for more than two years.
Even in the recent T20I series against Zimbabwe, where most of Pakistan’s batsmen took apart the substandard and less intimidating bowling opposition, he managed 45 runs at an average of 15. His form in domestic T20 competitions has been vastly more impressive as he was the top scorer in the National T20 Cup and the second-highest scorer in this year’s PSL.
Fakhar Zaman Was Withdrawn And Isolated Considering Other Player’s Health: Pakistan Cricket Board
Since the squad is already larger than usual to counter Covid-19, no replacement will be announced. Fakhar Zaman has so far played three Tests, 47 one-day internationals and 40 Twenty20 internationals for Pakistan.
“The decision to withdraw Zaman from the tour was made keeping the health of the rest of the squad members as a top priority,” said a PCB release ahead of team’s departure early Monday morning (3:00 am Pakistan time).
It added: “Zaman was isolated in the team hotel in Lahore as soon as his condition was detected; the PCB medical panel is in touch with him.”
“Zaman’s Covid-19 test report was received on Saturday which came out negative but today he picked up fever. We are constantly monitoring his condition and remain hopeful of his quick recovery; however he is not fit to travel with the squad,” team doctor Sohail Salim said in the release.
Pakistan will complete 14-day mandatory quarantine after arrival and start the three-match Twenty20 international series on December 18. They also play two Tests on the tour, starting on Boxing Day, December 26.