Pakistan’s preparation for the challenging tour to England suffered yet another setback when leg-spinner Yasir Shah was also ruled out of the national boot camp due to a knee injury.
A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said that Yasir had complained off a niggling pain in his left knee and was held back from attending the camp which started on Saturday at the Military academy in Kakul.
“Yasir has been advised to report to the National Cricket Academy in Lahore for assessment of his knee injury and its rehabilitation,” the official said.
Yasir joins senior batsman Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, all-rounder Emad Wasim and spinner Zulfiqar Babar on the sidelined players list after they were originally named in the list of 35 probables to attend the boot camp.
All the others are also carrying niggling injuries including Hafeez who also has a knee problem.
The official said now 30 out of the 35 probables had reported for the camp which will continue until May 28.
Yasir played in a couple of matches of the Pakistan Cup national One-Day competition in Faisalabad last month but has since then struggled with a weight problem and knee injury.
“Yasir’s injury is a big blow to Pakistan’s hopes of doing well in England since his likely spin partner in England, Zulfiqar Babar is also unfit,” admitted the official.
He said a confirmed picture about how serious is the knee injury to Yasir will only emerge after tests and MRI is conducted in Lahore on Monday.
Pakistan’s Test captain and senior batsman Misbah-ul-Haq is also due to take his fitness test today in Kakul where the camp is being organised to allow military trainers to work on the fitness of the players.
The PCB has also said that a sports psychologist would be delivering lectures to the players in the camp. Misbah and senior batsman Younis Khan remain among the fittest players in the team despite their advancing age.
Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq and his colleagues will also be in Kakul next week to watch the progres of the players as are expected to announce the final touring Test squad in first week of June.
The new head coach Mickey Arthur is due to join the camp later this month as he is awaiting his Australian passport.