Ahmed Shehzad, Pakistan's opening batsman, has been diagnosed with a minor skull fracture after being hit on the helmet by a bouncer from Corey Anderson on the second day of the first Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi. Shehzad will be monitored closely over the next 48 hours and may have to undergo decompression on the fracture if his pain does not subside.
The incident took place in the last over before lunch when Shehzad attempted a hook shot off Anderson but missed the ball, which crashed into the right side of his helmet. The injury caused Shehzad so much pain that he dropped his bat on to the stumps as he wheeled away and collapsed to the ground. He was dismissed hit wicket, after scoring a career-best 176, and walked off the field holding his jaw.
Pakistan team manager Moin Khan said the scans had shown a depressed fracture of the zygomatic arch of the skull. "The specialist surgeon has confirmed minor fracture and has advised 48 hours of close monitoring. In case the pain doesn't subside then the surgeon may opt for decompression," Moin said.
Anderson said he had not immediately realised the seriousness of the incident and was quickly concerned for Shehzad. "The wicket was the first I saw and you celebrate - we'd been out there a long time and wickets were hard to come by - but his health was the next concern.
"I heard he came back to the ground, which is pleasing, you never want to see anyone get hurt. I've seen plenty of people in that position before and it's not a nice feeling. Credit to him, it was an unbelievable innings."
Shehzad was later spotted in the dressing room, watching Pakistan bowl.