Sarfraz Ahmed departs for Zimbabwe to join Pakistan team.Sarfraz Ahmed finally left for Harare on Thursday morning to join the Pakistan team currently on tour in Zimbabwe. He had to wait anxiously as his visa arrived late.
He refrained from talking to the media before his departure on the directives of PCB officials.
Sarfraz was included in the T-20 and ODI team after PCB’s concern about the fitness of Umer Akmal.
Pakistan play the first T-20 match of the series on Friday 23rd August.
Earlier, Imran Farhat citing domestic reasons, opted out of the Test squad with the selectors replacing him with Khurram Manzoor.
Though a PCB press release confirmed Umar’s unavailability on medical grounds, sources said the dashing batsman was quite fit and was to receive his passport from the Pakistan Embassy in New York on Saturday to leave for Zimbabwe to join the national team.
The sources further told Dawn that Umar, in fact, had a chronic problem of suffering uneasiness due to fatigue but the condition lasted just a few hours and he would respond quickly to treatment.
“Umar faced the same problem during a match before the 2010 World Twenty20 semi-final against Australia and then in the Super Sixes tournament in Hong Kong,” said the sources. “But he recovered within hours after getting initial treatment from then team doctor Faisal.”
About Umar’s unavailability the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) came up with the explanation: “It (the PCB) received confirmation from the West Indies today about Umar Akmal not being medically fit. He has immediately been called back and will undergo complete medical examination.”
Meanwhile, the national selection committee has proposed the name of Sarfraz Ahmad as Umar’s replacement and the PCB has accepted the selectors’ proposal.
Interestingly, Rizwan Ahmad, an upcoming wicket-keeper, who was part of the Pakistan team in the last tour of the West Indies never got a chance to play even a single match and now he has been ignored once again.