Pakistan bowling coach Waqar Younis will miss the second Test against New Zealand starting January 2. The former pacer wishes to spend time with his family in Lahore, confirmed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in a media release.
The two-match Test series begins with a Boxing Day game on December 26 at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, followed by the second Test at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch from January 2.
Waqar Younis had requested for leave to head home after the Boxing Day Test, and was granted the same. He will rejoin the squad for the home series against South Africa, starting with the first Test in Karachi on January 26.
The development comes soon after Pakistan captain Babar Azam and opener Imam-ul-Haq were ruled out of the first Test against New Zealand. Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan will lead the visitors in Babar Azam’s absence.
“Waqar had requested the team management to be granted leave so that he can spend additional time with his immediate family, which will be in Lahore before returning to Sydney, Australia, on January 17,” the PCB press release read.
Pakistan trail the Kiwis 0-2 in the ongoing three-match T20I series. They are currently playing the final T20I of the series, before the action shifts to the longest format.
‘We want our team members to achieve the correct work-life balance,’ says Pakistan manager
Pakistan manager Mansoor Rana expressed his support for Waqar Younis’ leave, saying that the legendary fast bowler has not been with his family since Pakistan left for England in June.
He added that the PCB prioritises its players' families and support staff for them to have the ideal work-life balance.
“Considering Waqar has not seen his family since June and that our home series against South Africa, which follows the series against New Zealand, doesn’t finish until February 14, we...have allowed him to return home early so that he can spend additional time with his wife and children.
“If he had returned to Lahore with the side after the second Test [against New Zealand], 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 Pakistan manager reasoned.
South Africa will tour Pakistan early next year to play two Tests and three T20Is. While the two Test matches will be played in Karachi and Rawalpindi, all three white-ball games will be played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Published 22 Dec 2020, 12:35 IST