ABU DHABI (Staff Report) – Pakistan ODI captain Azhar Ali will leave the Test squad and return home following the death of his mother-in-law.
Azhar had missed the first Test against England in the UAE after sustaining a toe injury on the Zimbabwe tour.
My mother-in-law died last night Plz remember her in ur prayers.
— Azhar Ali (@AzharAli_) October 19, 2015
Team manager Intikhab Alam said Ali would return home and it was not clear if he would be able to rejoin the squad before the Test.
“It’s sad that Ali has to return home following the death of his mother-in-law and his return before the second Test will depend on his visa for the United Arab Emirates,” said Alam.
Azhar missed the first Test because of the toe injury which earlier ruled him out the of the third ODI against Zimbabwe where wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed stood as captain in place of him.
Pakistan were saved by bad light on day five of the first Test when England only needed 29 runs to take 1-0 lead in the three-match Test series.
Pakistan head coach Waqar Younis said that England had shed their underdogs tag and his team were now supposed to make a comeback.
“Yes, its a big relief not being 0-1 down and I am confident that my side will bounce back,” said Waqar.
“Before the series started it was their (England) own verdict that they were underdogs but now we are the side which have to stage a comeback.”
Offspinner Bilal Asif will join the Pakistan Test squad in the UAE after undergoing a test of his bowling action in Chennai on Monday.
Bilal had been reported for a suspect action following the third ODI against Zimbabwe in Harare earlier this month, and will provide spin cover to Pakistan, after legspinner Yasir Shah missed the first Test against England with a back spasm.
With Yasir unavailable, Pakistan were forced to field a three-man seam attack along with Zulfiqar Babar as the sole specialist spinner in Abu Dhabi.