Azam Khan’s participation in NZ T20I series in doubt amid injury scare

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Auckland
With Pakistan cricket team set to take on New Zealand in the first of five T20I matches today, explosive batter Azam Khan’s availability against the Black Caps is in doubt over an injury scare.
According to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Azam experienced discomfort in his right knee and right calf muscle while batting in the nets during Wednesday’s training session.
Despite receiving prompt medical attention and treatment, the right-handed-batter’s, who at present is being looked after by the medical team, participation in the upcoming matches against New Zealand is subjected to the results of the radiology reports, the board said in a statement.
Azam, known for his blitzing run-scoring ability, has featured in eight T20I for Pakistan. The 25-year-old has scored 29 runs, with the highest score being 10, at an average of 7.83 in seven innings.
However, his overall T20 record wherein he has scored 3,183 runs in 160 matches at a strike rate of 147.56, coupled with his recent performance in the ninth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is what led to him securing a place in the national squad.
It is pertinent to know that Azam was part of the recently concluded 11-day fitness camp organised by the Pakistan Army at its Kakul facility.
The development comes after sources, earlier this week, told Geo News that star pacer Shaheen Afridi might miss out on multiple matches in the NZ series.
They added that it has been decided to “rest” the left-arm bowler as part of the team’s rotation policy to manage the players’ workload ahead of the upcoming 2024 T20 World Cup slated for June later this year.
Shaheen is likely to be on the sidelines for the first two matches of the five-match series. However, he would be part of the last three matches, the sources added.
Squads
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Amir, Muhammad Irfan Khan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usama Mir, Usman Khan and Zaman Khan
New Zealand: Michael Bracewell (c), Tom Blundell, Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Jacob Duffy, Dean Foxcroft, Ben Lister, Cole McConchie, Jimmy Neesham, Will O’Rourke, Tim Robinson, Ben Sears, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi and Zak Foulkes.