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18 May 2024

Pakistan paceman Junaid to miss New Zealand ODIs

Pakistan bowler Junaid Khan celebrates the dismissal of West Indies batsman Devon Smith caught by Mohammad Hafeez for 7 runs during the 5th and final ODI West Indies v Pakistan on July 24, 2013 at Beausejour Cricket Ground, in Gros Islet, St. Lucia. (AFP)

By Reuters

Pakistan paceman Junaid Khan has failed to recover from an injury and has been replaced by all-rounder Bilawal Bhatti in the squad that will play two ODIs and two warm-ups in New Zealand before next month's World Cup.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said Junaid has been advised rest for at least two weeks to make a complete recovery from a hamstring injury he suffered during a conditioning camp in Lahore for the World Cup.

"Junaid will not be leaving with the team on Tuesday night and Bilawal has replaced him for the two one-day internationals and two warm-up games in New Zealand prior to the World Cup," a PCB spokesman told Reuters.

Chief selector Moin Khan had discussed the issue with PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan and if Junaid recovered from his injury he would join the team for the World Cup which begins from Feb. 14, the spokesman added.

Pakistan will play two ODIs in New Zealand on Jan. 31 and Feb. 3.

The 23-year-old Bilawal has played just two Tests and eight one-day internationals but was overlooked for Pakistan's final 15-member World Cup squad.

Left-armer Junaid, one of Pakistan's most successful pacemen in recent times, made a comeback to domestic cricket late last month after remaining out of action since September with an ankle injury he sustained before the one-day series against Australia in the United Arab Emirates.