Junaid to miss NZ ODIs with injury
Fast bowler Junaid Khan has been ruled out of Pakistan's two ODIs in New Zealand because of a thigh injury sustained while training last week. He will be replaced by Bilawal Bhatti and will be assessed again ahead of the World Cup.
"If Junaid recovers fitness, he will join the World Cup squad," Pakistan's chief selector Moin Khan said. Junaid had a fall while bowling in the nets during training at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore on January 15 and was sent to Pakistan's medical staff with pain in his right thigh and elbow.
"On re-examining Junaid's condition, Pakistan's physiotherapist Brad Robinson and PCB's head of medical & sports sciences Dr. Sohail Saleem concurred that he had not recovered sufficiently from the traction injury of the nerve in the posterior right thigh and recommended recuperation at the NCA," the PCB said. "Subsequently the left-arm fast bowler was withdrawn from the New Zealand tour."
Moin said Bhatti was set to play the ODIs in New Zealand, should he be needed to replace Junaid in the World Cup squad. "The chairman [Shaharyar Khan] has considered and approved the request of the skipper Misbah-ul-Haq to include Bilawal Bhatti in the team under the condition that Bilawal Bhatti will play all scheduled matches in New Zealand," Moin said. "The decision for his selection will be considered in accordance with his performance as to whether he may continue or be replaced. It is, however, clarified that if Junaid Khan regains fitness, he will join the World Cup squad as announced on January 7, 2015."
Pakistan play two ODIs in New Zealand on January 31 and February 3. They have two World Cup warm-up games on February 9 and 11, before their tournament opener against India on February 15.