Pakistan in South Africa – Injured Saud Shakeel ruled out of ODI series in South Africa

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Asif Ali, who was already in the T20I squad, replaces the 25-year old in the ODI squad

A leg injury has ruled Saud Shakeel out of Pakistan’s tour of South Africa, with middle-order batsman Asif Ali taking his place. Shakeel, who is yet to play an international for Pakistan, was included in the squad for the ODI series against South Africa, and the Tests against Zimbabwe.

But the PCB announced a Grade-1 quadriceps tear, which meant he would have to be excluded and stay back at the National High Performance Centre to continue his rehabilitation. The PCB did leave open the possibility that he might travel separately to Zimbabwe should he recover in time for the Test series, and did not name a replacement for the 25-year old for that part of the tour.

Ali was already slated to travel to South Africa with the Pakistan side, but only as part of the T20I leg. His inclusion in the ODIs against South Africa gives him another chance to impress in a format where he has never quite been able to nail down a place since making his debut in 2018. An indifferent PSL and recent struggles in T20I cricket meant there were doubts over his inclusion on the tour at all.

The 34-member squad, including 13 officials and 21 players, will depart for Johannesburg on a chartered flight on Friday morning. In South Africa, Pakistan will play three ODIs, part of the ICC’s Super League, from April 2 to 7, and four T20Is from April 10 to 16. The side will then depart for Harare for three T20Is and two Tests, before returning home on 12 May.

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