Hand injury leaves Misbah in doubt for Qualifier

Misbah-ul-Haq goes over the top PCB

A hand injury has left Misbah-ul-Haq a doubtful starter for the PSL Qualifier against Karachi Kings in Dubai on Sunday night. The Islamabad United captain has suffered a hairline fracture in the side of his hand, near the wrist. The 43-year-old also missed Islamabad's first two games of the season with a hamstring injury.

If he does not play, Islamabad will miss Misbah's leadership even if his batting has been a peripheral force this season: he has only batted four times in eight matches, with a top score of 22.

Misbah spent Saturday in hospital, getting his injury assessed, and insists that he can play the game with injections. In the worst-case scenario that he cannot play, the South African batsman JP Duminy is expected to lead the side. Rumman Raees, Islamabad's vice-captain, led the side in Misbah's absence in the first two games of the season, but was himself ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury, after playing only three games.

Islamabad finished top of the PSL's league table, with seven wins from their ten games. The winner of the Qualifier will directly enter the tournament final, which is scheduled for March 25 in Karachi. The loser will take a flight to Lahore to play an Eliminator on March 21 at the Gaddafi Stadium, against the winner of the other Eliminator between Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiator on March 20.

The Pakistani players in the Peshawar and Zalmi squads have already landed in Lahore. The overseas players who have committed to travelling to Pakistan will fly out from Dubai on March 19.