Pakistan’s injury woes continue with spinner Noman Ali out for remainder of Australia series
SYDNEY (AP) — Pakistan spinner Noman Ali has become the second player in two days to withdraw from the touring squad for the remainder of the Australia three-test series due to illness and injury.
Left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz will replace Ali in the squad, the selection committee said.
Ali, who didn’t play in the 360-run defeat in the first test at Perth last week, underwent surgery for appendicitis in Melbourne on Saturday.
“Noman Ali complained of sudden and severe abdominal pain yesterday, leading to examinations and scans in emergency that confirmed a diagnosis of acute appendicitis,” a Pakistan team statement read. “Post-surgery he is stable and doing fine. He will be discharged later (on Saturday).”
The latest blow for the tourists comes after fast bowler Khurram Shahzad, who took match figures of 5-128 in his impressive test debut in Perth, was ruled out for the remainder of the series with a rib stress fracture and muscle tear on Thursday.
Leg-spinner Abrar Ahmed, who missed out the first test, was also ruled out of the test that starts on Boxing Day because of a leg injury.
Pakistan had traveled to Australia with a weakened bowling lineup after fast bowler Naseem Shah was ruled out due to a long-term injury and Haris Rauf opted to play in Australia’s Big Bash League instead of joining the touring squad.
“It is really unfortunate that Noman Ali is not available for the test matches,” chief selector Wahab Riaz said. “Due to logistical challenges, including visa issues for any new player, and considering the requirement for a left-arm spinner, Nawaz was the best available choice for the side.”
Nawaz has taken 16 wickets in six test matches since he made his test debut against the West Indies in 2016. The left-arm spinner has been an integral part of Pakistan’s white-ball team and was also named in the squad for the five-match Twenty20 series against New Zealand next month.
Pakistan has lost its last 15 tests in Australia, last winning in 1995 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The teams play the second test in Melbourne beginning on Boxing Day, with the third test set for Sydney beginning January 3.