Srinagar: Pakistan have rushed left arm spin all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz to Australia as replacement for the Noman Ali ahead of second Test against Australia in Melbourne.
Noman was earlier ruled out of the tour due to acute appendicitis.
A statement from Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) reported that Noman underwent a successful laparoscopic appendectomy, and he is currently stable and recovering well, with an expected discharge soon.
Nawaz, who was named in Pakistan’s 17-member squad for New Zealand T20Is for mid-January, will now fly first to Australia to join the Test team. While travelling “on the first available flight” to Australia, it’s unclear if Nawaz will factor into selection consideration for the 26 December Test in Melbourne.
Initially included in the squad as a backup spinner to Abrar Ahmed, Noman’s absence adds to Pakistan’s bowling challenges, particularly with Abrar already sidelined due to injury. Sajid Khan was flown in as a replacement, although his arrival in Perth came too late for him to participate in the first Test.
Earlier in the week, it was reported that Khurram Shahzad complained of soreness in his left side in Perth and scans revealed the right-armer had picked up a stress fracture in his ribs and an abdominal muscle tear.
The unavailability of key fast bowlers, including Naseem Shah (injured) and Haris Rauf who opted out of the series, has led to the inclusion of debutants Aamer Jamal and Shahzad in the fast bowling line-up, alongside Mir Hamza, Hasan Ali, and Mohammad Wasim Jnr.
The Boxing Day Test mounts a serious challenge for Pakistan as they look to crucial ICC World Test Championship points in Melbourne.