Sajid Khan on standby to replace Abrar Ahmed
Sajid Khan, who played the last of his seven Tests in March 2022, has been put on standby to replace Abrar Ahmed as the latter is doubtful to be fit in time for the first Test between Australia and Pakistan at Perth. GrassrootsCricket understands team director Mohammad Hafeez has asked to keep Sajid alert to travel Down Under in case Abrar is ruled out of the first Test.
In what is a serious blow to Pakistan ahead of a challenging three-Test series, Abrar walked off the field due to discomfort in his right leg – according to a Pakistan Cricket Board statement – on the third day of their preparatory first-class match against Prime Minister’s XI in Canberra. The spinner bowled 27 overs, returning one for 80.
The statement further added that the 25-year-old was taken for an MRI, following which the team’s medical panel will assess his reports, but it is unlikely that Abrar will be unable to play a role in the Perth Test that begins on 14 December.
Pakistan have carried two specialist spinners to Australia – the other in the 18-member squad being Noman Ali, who has 47 scalps in 15 Tests at 33.53 and returned his best figures of seven for 70 in the last Test Pakistan played.
It is, however, Abrar, who made a terrific start to his Test career a little over a year ago against England with 11 wickets, upon whom the tourists were pinning their hopes to form a bowling attack with four fast bowlers. In six Tests, Abrar has 38 wickets at 31.07.
Sajid has played seven Tests in Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Pakistan in 11 months from April 2021 till March 2022 and picked up 22 wickets at 37.81. Sajid’s recent red-ball assignment was Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in which he took 18 wickets in six matches at 30.83 for Peshawar.
Sajid is currently in Karachi playing the ongoing National T20 for Peshawar in which he has picked up two wickets in two matches.