Injured Irfan ruled out of Pakistan’s World Cup squad
ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Irfan was ruled out of Pakistan’s squad on Tuesday ahead of the World Cup quarterfinal against Australia due to a stress fracture of the pelvis.
The 7-foot (2.1-meter) tall fast bowler had medical scans on Monday which revealed a stress injury, but weren’t considered conclusive.
Pakistan team physiotherapist Brad Robinson ordered further scans Tuesday, which confirmed the full extent of the injury.
“This injury rules Irfan out of the World Cup,” Robinson said in a statement.
The Pakistan Cricket Board said it will wait until the result of Friday’s quarterfinal before deciding on whether to send a replacement for Irfan or not.
“The Team Pakistan think tank is not immediately asking the selection committee back home for a replacement, but shall wait until the result of the Friday’s quarterfinal encounter against Australia to do so,” the PCB said in a statement.
The 32-year-old fast bowler has a history of fitness problems since he made his international debut in 2010. He suffered a hip injury in late 2013 during a Twenty20 international against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates before making a comeback against Sri Lanka in August 2014.
Pakistan had several bowling problems ahead of the World Cup with Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Umar Gul and Junaid Khan all ruled out due to either suspension on injuries.
Pakistan had high hopes from Irfan to trouble strong Australian batting line-up in the quarterfinals and in local media he was nicknamed “Tower of Terror” for batsmen in the World Cup.
Former test cricketers Mohammad Yousuf and Azhar Mahmood said Irfan’s injury would be a big blow to Pakistan’s chances against Australia and wanted legspinner Yasir Shah to replace the tall fast bowler in the playing XI.
“It’s a huge loss to Pakistan,” Yousuf told television channel Geo News in Pakistan. “The whole nation will be disappointed with this news because we had high hopes from Irfan.”
Mahmood said Shah, who played in just one group match against India, could be an ideal choice to replace Irfan.
“When your key player gets injured, it gives other player a chance to step up,” Mahmood said. “Yasir Shah is there and it’s a best chance for him to perform.”