DOWN WITH POX
Mohammad Amir wasn’t selected in Pakistan’s provisional squad for the world cup © Getty
Mohammad Amir will not turn up for Pakistan in the third and fourth ODIs against England in Bristol, with his chances of featuring in the 2019 World Cup reduced significantly, with an initial medical examination suggesting that the fast-bowler might be suffering from chickenpox.
Amir is currently not travelling with the team, but is with his family in London, where he was checked by a doctor. He had missed the second one-dayer in Southampton due to the illness.
Amir was left out of Pakistan’s preliminary 15-man squad. He, however, was made a part of the group of 17 which came to England to play limited-overs series against the hosts in the run-up to the World Cup.
Since teams are allowed to change their line-ups until May 23 by the ICC, Amir, despite picking only five wickets in 101 overs since the Champions Trophy final in 2017, remains an integral part of Pakistan’s plans for the showpiece event because of his ability to keep a lid on the flow of runs, as explained by the team management and the selection committee. Prior to the side’s departure from Pakistan, Sarfraz Ahmed and Mickey Arthur had said that the left-arm pacer will be auditioned in the England series. He was made a part of Pakistan’s playing XI for the first ODI, but it was curtailed to only 19 overs due to rain.
The five-match series between England and Pakistan wraps up on Sunday. The team management would want Amir to be fit for the last game at least to make his case for World Cup selection.
This is a second such blow for Pakistan after their premier spin bowler, Shadab Khan, was ruled out of the one-off T20I and five ODIs against England after picking up a virus. He is said to be making recovery and will undergo final tests this week which will determine his availability for the World Cup.