In a surprising turn of events, Pakistan spinner Noman Ali has been ruled out of the ongoing Test series against Australia due to acute appendicitis. The 37-year-old cricketer, who did not feature in the opening Test in Perth, complained of sudden and severe abdominal pain on Friday. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) issued a statement, confirming the diagnosis:
“Noman Ali complained of sudden and severe abdominal pain yesterday, leading to examinations and scans in emergency that confirmed a diagnosis of acute appendicitis.”
Mohammad Nawaz Steps In as Replacement
Responding swiftly to the setback, the PCB announced that left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz, already part of the T20I squad against New Zealand, will replace Noman Ali in the Test series against Australia. Wahab Riaz, chief selector men’s cricket team, explained the decision:
“It is really unfortunate that Noman Ali is not available for the Test matches. Due to logistical challenges, including visa issues for any new player, and considering the requirement for a left-arm spinner, Nawaz was the best available choice for the side.”
Team Management Optimistic About Abrar Ahmed
While dealing with Noman Ali’s absence, the team management remains hopeful about the return of spinner Abrar Ahmed for the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, scheduled to begin on January 3, 2024. The PCB stated:
“On Abrar Ahmed’s availability, the team management is hopeful that Abrar will be available to the side for the third Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground, commencing on Jan 3, 2024.
Series Faces Bowling Woes
This setback adds to Pakistan’s bowling challenges in the Test series against Australia. The team had earlier lost pace bowler Khurram Shahzad, who impressed on his debut in Perth but was ruled out due to a stress fracture in the ribs and an abdominal muscle tear. The absence of Naseem Shah, omitted from the tour due to a long-term injury, had already weakened Pakistan’s bowling lineup.
As Pakistan faces setbacks in the ongoing Test series against Australia, the team showcases resilience in adapting to unforeseen circumstances. The addition of Mohammad Nawaz as a replacement and the potential return of Abrar Ahmed offer glimpses of hope as the team looks forward to the upcoming matches in Melbourne and Sydney.*