Injury Puts Pakistan Bowler Junaid Khan in WC Doubt
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan fast bowler Junaid Khan was doubtful for the Cricket World Cup after he was ruled out of the short tour to New Zealand due to a hamstring injury on Tuesday.
Fast bowler Bilawal Bhatti replaced Khan in the team which left for New Zealand late Tuesday, for the two one-day internationals against the Kiwis, and the two practice matches there.
"If Junaid Khan recovers, he will join the World Cup squad," chief selector Moin Khan said in a statement.
Junaid Khan injured his hamstring during the training camp at Lahore last week.
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan approved Bhatti's inclusion on the condition that captain Misbah-ul-Haq will play the right-arm fast bowler in all four matches in New Zealand to judge his form.
The ODIs are on Jan. 31 at Wellington, and Feb. 3 at Napier. Pakistan begins the World Cup on Feb. 15 against India in Adelaide, Australia.
Fast bowler Khan was due to make a comeback in international cricket since last playing against Sri Lanka in August. He missed the series against Australia and New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates due to a knee injury.
In case Khan can't recover in time for the World Cup, Bhatti has four games to make an impression. The allrounder played the last of his eight ODIs nearly a year ago.
Pakistan's key bowlers, Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal, have already been ruled out of the World Cup due to injury and suspension respectively.