LAHORE - Deflected Pakistan cricket suffered another blow as it has lost its paceman Wahab Riaz for the two Test series against Australia.

The series against Australia has been costing Pakistan cricket dearly as it continued losing its key players through injuries, as besides Wahab, the fate of injured M Hafeez and Junaid Khan will be decided today (Tuesday) whether they will be part of Test squad or not. Therefore, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has delayed to announce the Test squad, which now, they said, would be named after the four-day match between Pakistan ‘A’ and Australia to be played from October 15 to 18 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The first Test will get underway at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on from October 22.

The PCB spokesman told this scribe that the chief selector sought approval for this delay from PCB Chairman Shahyar M Khan on Sunday in Abu Dhabi, who given the special circumstances concurred with the selectors on the issue. A tentative 18-member squad will, however, be named shortly.

Commenting on this situation, chief selector Moin Khan said: “The delay was forced on us owing to injuries to a bunch of frontline players like Hafeez, Junaid and Wahab. With a view to field the best possible team, the selectors would like to wait for an update on their fitness as well as on the form of the players featuring in the side match against Australia.”

PCB general manager sports medicine Dr Sohail Saleem also presented health bulletin on injured players Hafeez, Junaid and Wahab based here at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), under whose expert watch and supervision the trio is being put through recovery and rehab.

M HAFEEZ: “On October 3, 2014, Hafeez suffered a deep laceration to the base of the left thumb whilst fielding a firmly struck ball during a warm up 50 over match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The web space between the left thumb and index was deeply lacerated. “On examination, the wound required suturing while the underlying musculature appeared intact. He was taken immediately to Al Quassim Hospital in Sharjah where he received five sutures and the hand was appropriately dressed.

“I examined his wound on October 11, and removed the sutures. The wound afterwards looked dry and has healed well. There was neither any ooze nor any significant pain, so he was advised to start batting from Monday with the help of support. He was advised to protect his hand while fielding. “I will examine him October 14 in the nets and report findings accordingly.”

JUNIAD KHAN: “On October 6, 2014, Junaid twisted his right knee during a fielding practice session at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. He was unable to continue and was removed from the practice. “On October 7, scan results indicated a tear of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus with the presence of a mild joint effusion. “He was advised rest as a part of conservative management. He will be examined by me and an orthopedic surgeon on October 14 before we could take a decision on conservative or surgical management of his injury.”

WAHAB RIAZ: “On October 10, 2014, Wahab Riaz was unable to complete his second over during the second ODI match against Australia. Wahab felt that his foot got stuck at the crease and he hyperextended his left knee. He was unable to continue in the match.

“On October 11, he underwent an MRI investigation; he has significant osteochondral defects in the lateral tibial condyle (bone damage), advanced chondromalacia patella (damage to the cartilage under the knee cap) and suspicion of a tear to the anterior horn of the lateral meniscus (outer knee cartilage). The joint is also mildly swollen.

“Wahab Riaz has been advised by an orthopedic surgeon in Dubai to undergo a 2-3 week rest/rehab period before considering a return to impact and bowling. “Wahab’s condition will be ascertained in detail on his arrival shortly from the UAE. He will undergo a rehab period and a progressive return to play will be implemented at the NCA. In this regard, we will pursue a conservative approach to injury management/rehab programme.”