PAK vs NZ Series Babar Azam ruled out: Pakistan cricket team skipper Babar Azam has been officially ruled out of New Zealand vs Pakistan T20I series (PAK vs NZ), kick-starting from Dec 18. Shadab Khan, who is recovering from a muscle injury, will lead Pakistan in T20Is. The star batsman fractured his right thumb during the training session on Sunday. The loss of Azam might prove to be a significant blow to Pakistan. Not only is he their captain, but he is also the World's No. 2 batsman in the shortest format.
Moreover, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) monitors Babar Azam's progress ahead of the two-match Test series against the Kiwis. PCB also revealed that their opener Imam-ul-Haq fractured his left thumb during the practice session and will be out for at least 12 days.
Pakistan board admitted "suffered the injury during a throw-down session, following which he was taken to a local hospital where X-rays confirmed the fracture. As such, Babar will be unable to attend nets for, at least, 12 days, meaning he will not be available for the 18, 20, and 22 December T20Is to be played in Auckland, Hamilton, and Napier, respectively."
"During this period, the doctors will continue to monitor Babar's injury before confirming his participation in the first Test, which starts at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, on 26 December," the PCB said.
PAK - Shadab Khan (Captain), Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan, Musa Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Qadir, Wahab Riaz