Update on Imam-ul-Haq’s head injury
What's the story?
Pakistan’s young batsman Imam-ul-Haq, the nephew of cricketing legend Inzamam-ul-Haq, was struck on the grille off the first ball of the 13th over from New Zealand’s fast bowler Lockie Ferguson during the second ODI of the ongoing series.
Imam was batting on 16 when he was struck by a bouncer and it was clear that he was in discomfort, as he immediately dropped his bat and reached for his helmet as he stumbled towards the floor. It was evident that the failed pull attempt to the bouncer had cost the batsman dearly.
He was seen lying down with his eyes closed for a while, though he did not lose consciousness. After a lengthy examination by the doctors on fields, he got up on his feet but looked completely dazed and confused even though he wanted to carry on batting.
After his batting partner Fakhar Zaman and New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson checked on him, umpire Shozab Raza made it clear that it was a risk for the batsman to continue and signaled the doctors to help Imam off the field.
Commentators soon confirmed that the young batsman would be taken to a nearby hospital for scans, and the same could be seen on TV screens moments later as Imam was stretchered out of the park and into an ambulance.
In case you didn't know...
Pakistan and New Zealand are currently in the second phase of their series in the UAE, where the two teams are playing a three-match ODI series.
The first phase saw Pakistan whitewash New Zealand in the three-match T20I series which saw Muhammad Hafeez star with the bat for Pakistan, while Imad Wasim’s return bolstered their line-up. It helped Pakistan win their 12th consecutive T20I series and also cement their No. 1 position on the rankings.
Currently, the 3-match ODI series is squared 1-1 with the final match left to be played on November 11. New Zealand won the first match on Wednesday in convincing fashion, while Pakistan finally bounced back and won their first ODI against New Zealand in 12 matches on Friday.
The last match will decide the fate of the series, where a win for New Zealand would hand another consecutive series victory against the Men in Green, while Pakistan has a chance to break their poor record by winning the series.
The ODI series will be followed by a Test series between the two teams in the third and final phase of their tour to the UAE.
The heart of the matter
After a thorough examination, Imam-ul-Haq’s scans returned clear after he was rushed to the hospital for ‘precautionary tests’ during Pakistan’s batting innings.
According to PCB Imam will remain under the team physio's observation for the next few hours as his scans returned clear.
Imam-ul-Haq has returned to the team hotel is said to be taking rest as the team physio is assessing his situation closely and he seems to be in a better condition.
Earlier, the team management had said Imam will undergo CT scans and will be kept in observation for the next 48 hours. However, the situation seems much better now and Imam will be feeling better soon and continue with the team’s routine practice seasons.
Imam had just returned to the side for this ODI series after a freak finger injury in the second Test against Australia last month.
Pakistan is scheduled to play the third and final ODI against the Kiwis on Sunday, November 11. It is unclear whether Imam will return to the team to his usual opening slot or will be given some rest ahead of the Test series.
Since Pakistan is without any other opener in their squad, Imam’s absence would call for either Hafeez to move up the order and open the innings for his side, or see the inclusion of Haris Sohail in a not-so-familiar position.
We wish Imam-ul-Haq a speedy recovery and the best of health and want to see him return to the side fit once again.