Pakistan drop opener at last minute over health problems

November 9th, 2008 - 3:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Nov 9 (IANS) Pakistan cricket selectors Sunday were forced to replace opening batsman Nasir Jamshed with Khurram Manzoor in its 15-man squad for the three-match One-day International series against the West Indies just hours before the team’s departure to Abu Dhabi.”We have decided to bring in Khurram Manzoor in place of Nasir Jamshed because he (Nasir) fell sick this morning,” said Zakir Khan, Pakistan Cricket Board’s Director of Cricket Operations.

The left-handed Nasir had passed a fitness test conducted by Pakistan’s trainer David Dwyer and his inclusion in the Pakistan team was re-confirmed.

But the 18-year-old Lahore batsman, who has scored 343 runs from nine ODI appearances at an average of 49, was struck by a bout of fever Sunday morning and chief coach Intikhab Alam decided that he wasn’t fit to travel.

Nasir’s participation in the Abu Dhabi series to be played from Nov 12-16 was in doubt because he recently recovered from a severe bout of malaria.

Khurram is a talented Karachi opener who has played one ODI against Zimbabwe in January this year. The 22-year-old also captained the Pakistan Academy team on its tour of Zimbabwe and Kenya this summer.

Pakistan captain Shoaib malik hoped that Khurram will justify his selection. “It’s disappointing to lose Nasir at the last minute but I’m hopeful that Khurram will rise to the occasion and give his best in Abu Dhabi,” said Malik.

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