Unwell Fakhar Zaman ruled out of New Zealand tour
Pakistan opening batsman Fakhar Zaman will not travel to New Zealand for the team's tour comprising of three T20Is and two Test matches.
Fakhar is apparently suffering from fever and has been unable to recover in time for the touring party's departure for New Zealand.
The aggressive southpaw had tested negative for Covid-19 on Saturday but was isolated from the rest of the Pakistan squad as soon as he picked up potential virus symptoms.
According to the PCB press release, the board's medical team is assessing Fakhar's condition but he has been declared not fit enough to tour New Zealand and withdrawn from the 35-man line-up.
“Fakhar’s Covid test report was received on Saturday which came out negative but today he picked up fever. As soon as his condition was reported, he was isolated from the rest of the squad in the team hotel," said PCB team doctor Dr Sohail Saleem.
"We are constantly monitoring his condition and remain hopeful of his quick recovery; however, he is not fit to travel with the squad and as such has been withdrawn from the touring party.”
Fakhar most recently played three T20Is and one ODI for Pakistan during Zimbabwe's white-ball tour of the country. He then turned out for Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) playoffs in Karachi.
He made 79 runs in 3 innings for Qalandars last week and finished the tournament as this season's second-leading run-getter behind the top-ranked Babar Azam.
Earlier, Fakhar was named the player of the tournament in the domestic National T20 Cup, though his form in the international arena has failed to improve over an extended period.
Pakistan are expected to head to New Zealand without naming a replacement for Fakhar with multiple opening options at the team management's disposal to fill in the vacant slot.
The Pakistan team and support personnel will fly out on Monday morning and undergo a mandatory quarantine period before being allowed to train and prepare for the T20I and Test clashes.