England vs Pakistan 2016: Yasir Shah ruled out of training camp ahead of England tour
Ace Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah has been ruled out of the ongoing training camp in Abbottabad, after a knee injury he first suffered in the series against England in November last year, resurfaced. He has been reported to undergo a rehabilitation process for four weeks. With just two months left for the all-important tour of England, a country that Pakistan would be touring for the first time since the infamous tour of 2010, Yasir’s injury has come as a massive scare for the Asian nation.
A group of 30 cricketers has been involved in a rigorous training camp at Abbottabad in Pakistan, preparing for the Test series, and the final squad that would tour England is supposed to be chosen from the same group. The first Test of the four-match Test series starts on July 14 at Lord’s, and Pakistan are set to participate in a conditioning camp at Hampshire before the series, which Yasir is likely to miss now. Pakistan would also play a five-match ODI series against England and a solitary T20 international.
Turbulent times for Yasir
The 28-year-old had suffered a meniscus tear in his knee during the limited-overs fixtures against England in November last year. In December, however, he tested positive for a chemical on WADA’s list of banned substances and was suspended for three months. During his suspension period, Shah missed the team’s tour to New Zealand, the Pakistan Super League, the Asia Cup T20, and the World T20. He did not undergo rehabilitation for his knee injury, though.
After the expiry of his suspension period, on March 27, the injury resurfaced, first during the spin-bowling camp at the National Cricket Academy, and then during the Pakistan Cup. The problem has flared up once again, but much to the delight of the Pakistan camp and the fans, it has also been reported that a surgery is not needed. This wasn’t the only injury problem that Shah had to deal with in recent times, as a few weeks before the knee started troubling the spinner, he had suffered from a back spasm, that had forced him to miss the first Test against England in November.
The Pakistani’s Test stats are incredible, with 76 wickets from 12 matches having made his debut in October 2014. He took 49 Test wickets in 2015 alone.
Earlier, Shah had pleaded guilty to the consumption of a banned substance, chlortalidone, which was found in a urine sample taken from him on November 13, during the ODI series against England. Chlortalidone is present on WADA’s list of banned substances and is prohibited from consumption, both in-competition, and out-of-competition, as it is supposed to enhance a player's performance on the field. The substance is also used to treat high blood pressure.
Shah had then admitted that he has consumed the said substance, but he had done so only unknowingly when he consumed his wife’s medication for blood pressure, and not for enhancing his performance on the field. The ICC had accepted this argument, and a three-month provisional suspension was imposed on December 27.
The squad for the tour of England would play two practice games post the conditioning camp at Hampshire, and would finally kick off their campaign in the first Test on July 14 at Lord’s.