Pakistan’s prolific batsman Mohammad Yousuf has been ruled out of the first Test against South Africa starting at Centurion later this week and might miss the entire series.
Yousuf, who scored a record 1788 runs in 2006, has informed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that he has to stay home with his wife who is expected to undergo surgery either on January 12th or 19th.
The PCB announced on Monday that Yousuf would certainly miss the first Test getting underway from Thursday but might make it for the remaining two matches.
“Yousuf had a meeting with the Board officials today and requested that he needs to be with his wife at the time of her surgery which is expected to take place either on the 12th or 19th of this month depending on her condition,” said the PCB announcement.
The statement added: “In case the surgery takes place on 12th, the star batsman will leave on 14th January to join the team in South Africa whereas he will leave on 21st January in case the surgery takes place on 19th”.
Yousuf did not accompany the touring party that left for South Africa last week as he went to perform Hajj last month. However, he was scheduled to join his teammates over the weekend but changed his plans after his wife developed some complications in her pregnancy.
A key member of the Pakistan team, Yousuf could be out of the entire series if he fails to reach South Africa in time to feature the second Test to be played in Port Elizabeth from January 19. The Pakistan team management would find it difficult to induct Yousuf in the line-up for the third Test in Cape Town without any match practice if the Lahore-based batsman misses the first two matches.
However, a PCB official said that chances are that Yousuf would play some role in the Test series against South Africa. After breaking several batting records in 2006 in which he scored nine Test centuries, Yousuf missed two One-day Internationals (ODIs) against the visiting West Indies in December because of his wife’s condition.
Pakistan won the ODI series 4-1 but would face major problems in the absence of their most in-form batsman against a strong South African team that recently won a Test series against India 2-1. They have suffered two more setbacks after all-rounder Shoaib Malik and medium-pacer Umar Gul received injury blows ahead of the opening Test against South Africa.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Tuesday, January 9th, 2007 and is filed under General.
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