Left-arm seamer Junaid Khan has been ruled out of the upcoming tour to New Zealand after suffering from a stress fracture in his foot. Junaid Khan picked up the injury in the Bangladesh Premier League in the month of November. He was struck by a ball on his foot while representing Khulna Titans in Bangladesh Premier League. He underwent further examination as Pakistan Cricket Board’s medical staff advised to take four weeks rest for full recovery.
Pakistan is all set to five-match one-day series in New Zealand. The first game of the series will be played on 6th January. The one-day series will be followed by three-match T20 series that will be played from 22nd January. Pakistan is expected to announce their one-day and T20 squad for the series in New Zealand in the month of December. Another left-arm pacer Usman Shinwari also has been sidelined due to a stress fracture in his back.
Pakistan has plenty of bench strength in terms of pace options as Sohail Khan and Mohammad Irfan could potentially make a comeback in the one-day setup. Irfan has recently completed his one-year suspension from all forms of the game after being charged by PCB tribunal for failing to report to authorities in the spot-fixing scandal that occurred during the second season of Pakistan Super League. He returned to play domestic cricket in September and has not played for Pakistan since September 2016.
Junaid Khan’s injury means that he will have to wait to make his comeback into the T20 side as left-arm pacer last played in 2014 for Pakistan. In 2014, he missed the tour to New Zealand due to a thigh injury and was ruled out of 2015 World Cup squad. He made his international return in January this year in Australia in the one-day series. He replaced Mohammad Irfan in Pakistan’s one-day squad for Australia. Junaid has been a regular feature in the Pakistan setup since Champions Trophy and shares new-ball with Mohammad Amir.