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Waqar Younis, the Pakistan bowling coach, has been granted leave after the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui to spend time with his family - he hasn't met them for over six months. They will meet in Lahore after the end of the first of two Tests before Younis rejoins the team by January 17 to prepare for the home series against South Africa.
Younis has been with the team since the tour of England in the summer. He had attempted to meet his family, based in Sydney, in September, but after landing in Australia, he had to serve a mandatory 14-day quarantine in a hotel. However, on the eighth day of his quarantine, his father died in Lahore, and Younis flew across to attend the funeral. He has been travelling with the team since.
"Considering Waqar has not seen his family since June and taking into account that our home series against South Africa, which follows the series against New Zealand, doesn't finish until 14 February, we took a pragmatic view of his request and have allowed him to return home early so that he can spend additional time with his wife and children," Mansoor Rana, the Pakistan team manager, said. "If he had returned to Lahore with the side after the second Test, he would have only got a week to spend with them.
"For all of us, families always come first and we have in the past made similar exemptions so that our team members are able to achieve the correct work-life balance."
The second Test in New Zealand will be played from January 3 in Christchurch. South Africa's tour of Pakistan starts with a two-Test series, the first of which will be played from January 26 in Karachi. The two teams will play three T20Is after that.