Mohammad Hafeez ruled out of the remainder of England tour with a calf injury
Pakistan veteran cricketer Mohammad Hafeez, who has been struggling for form during the ongoing tour of England, has been ruled out of the remainder of the series with a calf injury, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed on Saturday. The selection committee headed by former skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq though has not gone in for a like-for-like replacement calling up fast bowler Mohammad Irfan in Hafeez’s place.
If not for the injury, Hafeez was still in danger of being overlooked for the remaining three ODIs as well as the one-off T20 at Old Trafford in Manchester on September 7 which will bring the tour to a conclusion, as the 35-year-old has simply not justified his selection despite being one of the most senior most players in the touring party.
Hafeez managed only 102 runs in the first three Test matches before being dropped for the final match at the Oval which the visitors won to level the four-match Test series while he also struggled to get going in the rain-affected first ODI scoring 11 from 15 balls before being dismissed.
Following the match, which the hosts won on the D/L method, Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur had spoken about the need for senior players to step up though he didn't mention Hafeez by name and the chances of him featuring in the second ODI, which England went on to win to take a 2-0 lead, was minimal even before the right-handed batsman had complained of pain in his left calf.
After an assessment by the medical team, he was diagnosed with a minor calf strain and is likely to remain in England to undergo intensive rehabilitation.
Earlier in the day, it was reported how the PCB officials were unhappy about Hafeez’s reluctance to undergo a bowling assessment test conducted by the ICC to rectify his suspect bowling action which had resulted in him being banned from bowling in international cricket in July 2015.
Though the one-year ban period has passed, Hafeez has not taken remedial steps to ensure that he rectifies his action ad with his batting on the decline, the PCB wants him to prove his worth to the team at least as a bowler.
"A senior PCB official has conveyed to Hafeez that he has to take the bowling test as his utility to the team is necessary as an allrounder in all three formats of the game," a source said, as reported by Firstpost.
"Hafeez has been told not to delay the bowling assessment anymore as the long-term interests of Pakistan cricket have to be taken into consideration first and he should take the test before the T20 series against the West Indies before September 23rd."
However, the news of the injury should put on hold any move in this regard as Hafeez will need to make a full recovery before putting any strain on his calf.
Mohammad Irfan, who was overlooked for the ODI squad in favour of Umar Gul, will join up with the squad ahead of the third ODI which will be played at Nottingham on August 30.