Hand injury sidelines Hafeez for two weeks
Mohammad Hafeez, the Pakistan allrounder, has been ruled out for two weeks after sustaining a hand injury. He injured the webbing between the thumb and index finger on his left hand during fielding practice and will miss both the T20 and ODI series against Australia.
"While playing the second practice game at Sharjah on Oct. 3, Hafeez received an injury in his left palm webbing which required five stitches," a PCB media release said. "The physio's report suggested minimum two weeks rest, which ruled him out of the limited-overs part of the series against Australia. The team management had thus unanimously decided that there was no point in retaining him on the tour."
Hafeez's absence means Pakistan will be without two key spinners, with Saeed Ajmal already banned from bowling in international cricket. They will also miss his top-order batting, prompting the PCB to name two replacements for him in the squad.
Sami Aslam, the opener who captained Pakistan at the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year, and 35-year-old left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar have been added to the squad. Aslam is already in the UAE with the Pakistan A squad and will join the senior team immediately while Babar, who is currently in Pakistan, is likely to miss Sunday's one-off Twenty20 and be available for the one-dayers.
While Aslam is yet to make his international debut, Babar played a couple of Tests in 2013 and was part of the squad for the World Twenty20 earlier this year.
The series against Australia begins with a Twenty20 on Sunday, followed by three ODIs over the next week.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson