Zulqarnain Haider suffers fractured finger
Zulqarnain Haider is in danger of missing the remainder of the Test series due to a finger injury that could have been aggravated when Stuart Broad hurled a ball back at him in frustration during the second Test at Edgbaston. Haider is scheduled to meet a finger specialist when the team reaches London on Sunday and the team management will take a call - whether to send him back or retain him - based on the diagnosis.
"He picked up a hairline fracture to his little finger. We don't know yet if he will stay but we will wait to hear from the specialist," Yawar Saeed, Pakistan's manager told Cricinfo.
It is believed that Haider started experiencing pain after being hit on his hand by Broad. Having stopped the ball in his follow through, Broad had thrown the ball back at Haider, who raised his hand to shield himself but was hit on the little finger. The incident happened on the third day of the Edgbaston Test during the second session when Haider and Mohammad Amir were involved in an inspired stonewalling effort. Broad, who admitted his fault, was fined half his match fee by Ranjan Madugalle, the ICC match referee.
Haider, on the verge of earning the unwanted honour of getting a king pair on debut, went on to make a resolute 88 which injected some steel into an otherwise deflated Pakistan batting. He had first hurt his little finger at a practice session at Leeds during the Australia series, and the pain resurfaced on the eve of the second day of the tour game against Worcestershire at New Road. Another team source told Cricinfo that Haider is all but set to return home soon. "The doctor has said that he [Haider] will take one month to heal with or without operation. So he is bound to be out of the series," the official said.
Haider complained of pain and subsequent X-rays at a local hospital in Worcester revealed a minor fracture to the bone in the finger, a step up from what was initially a minor injury. Haider was drafted into the team on the eve of the Edgbaston Test after the Pakistan team management felt their first-choice keeper Kamran Akmal needed to rest and sort out the mistakes he was committing with regularity. Akmal was struck on his right eye during practice on Friday and was holding an ice pack but is under no threat of missing out if called.
Haider gained fair points for his technical skills behind the stumps even if he failed to latch on to a couple of chances in the second innings.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo