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Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez out of national T20 World Cup with dengue

KARACHI

Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez was on Wednesday ruled out of the ongoing National T20 Championship after contracting dengue and has also been rendered doubtful for the upcoming T20 World Cup within the UAE.

Hafeez, who will turn 41 next month, is now under treatment at his home in Lahore and it remains to be seen if he will gain fitness in time for the mega ICC event, starting October 17.

“It depends on the severity of the dengue virus that one has contracted but yes it’s an illness that leaves one pretty weak and it takes around a month to regenerate platelets and make a full recovery,” an area doctor said.

A reliable source within the Pakistan Cricket Board said that the medical panel of the board was in touch with Hafeez and keeping an in-depth watch on his treatment and recovery.

The Pakistan World Cup squad is expected to leave around October 14 for the World Cup.

Initially, Hafeez had complained of food poisoning when he was staying at the team hotel in Rawalpindi for the first leg of the National championship but when his condition didn’t improve he went to Lahore where he was diagnosed to have contracted dengue.

Hafeez is one of Pakistan’s most senior players after Shoaib Malik having appeared in 55 Tests, 218 ODIs, and 113 T20 internationals.

His recent form has not been good but he was seen as an automatic selection for the World Cup after scoring a heap of runs in late 2019 and 2020 in T20 internationals as the former captain has now retired from Tests and ODIs.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has set October 10 because the deadline for the World Cup participating nations to form changes in their squads was announced earlier this month.

Teams also are allowed to have traveling reserves with them within the tournament at their own expense because the ICC is footing the bill for only 15 players and eight officials for each team.

Hafeez recently was in disagreement with the PCB after he was asked to prematurely terminate his contract with the Guyana franchise and return home early from the Caribbean Premier League.

The former captain wasn’t amused with the situation as he was given a deadline until September 12 to return to Lahore or risk being dropped for the World Cup.

The board had earlier given NOCs to all or any players to play within the CPL and report back for the home series against New Zealand by September 17.

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