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Mohammad Hafeez out for West Indies ODIs

LAHORE: Pakistan opening Mohammad Hafeez has been ruled out of the limited-over series against the West Indies owing to a calf muscle injury and is a doubtful for the Test matches in the United Arab Emirates next month.

Hafeez, who had to return home from the England tour after the first one-day international due to the injury, has been advised a further three weeks rest to complete his rehabilitation process.

“He is undergoing a rehab program at the national cricket academy but needs a further three weeks to make a complete recovery,” Dr Muhammad Riaz who is on the Pakistan cricket board medical panel said.

Pakistan’s head coach, Mickey Arthur is believed to have taken a strong stand on sending Hafeez back to Pakistan from England after he complained off a calf injury just before the second one-day international after having failed again in the first ODI.

Arthur also played an instrumental role in having Hafeez dropped for the fourth and final Test in England after the experienced all-rounder had struggled for form in the first three matches.

The national selectors are also said to be unhappy with Hafeez’s reluctance to take a bowling assessment Test with the ICC although he is eligible for this after having completed a 12-month ban from bowling in international cricket in July.

A source close to the selectors told PTI that Hafeez could face problems securing a place in the Pakistan team again unless he took the bowling assessment Test.

“The selectors believe that Hafeez’s utility to the team is only complete if he can bowl again. Because his batting form has not been impressive in recent months,” he said.

The source said that Hafeez has the backing of Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq but Arthur and chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq had developed a good working relationship and were taking decisions on the team selection collectively.