The Pakistan cricket team got some good news today when experienced all-rounder Muhammad Hafeez, who missed the three ODIs after splitting the webbing of his hand during practice, was cleared to play the two-Test series against Australia.
Senior Medical Manager of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Dr Sohail Saleem said that Hafeez had batted for the last two days in the nets without any problem and had also bowled and fielded.
“I have examined Muhammad Hafeez while batting at the nets today. He batted about half an hour without support and any signs of discomfort. For the previous two days, he had been batting with the help of support,” Saleem said.
“On examination after batting his wound was completely dry and the edges of the wound have closed without any sign of inflammation. The strength of all the muscles around the thumb also seems to be fully restored,” he added.
“In my opinion he is ready to play. It is however advised that he should use support while bowling and fielding for the next few days,” Saleem said.
Hafeez had to return home last month from Dubai before the one-day series after he split the webbing in his left hand during practice, which required five stitches.
The PCB had initially feared that Hafeez might not be fit for the Tests since he was advised rest for four to five weeks by the doctors.
But Dr Saleem said Hafeez had made rapid recovery from his injury.
The selectors have already named Hafeez in a 19-member provisional squad for the two Tests against Australia. The first Test begins from Oct 22nd in Dubai.
Hafeez, 33, has played 36 Tests and 149 one-day internationals and his last Test appearance was in January against Sri Lanka.
But questions remain how effective Hafeez will be as a bowler if he is selected for the first Test since his bowling action was reported by match officials during the Champions League T20 in India last month.