Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman out of New Zealand tour after developing COVID-19 symptoms

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  • Pakistan will play three T20Is and two test matches against the hosts New Zealand.

  • The selectors will not name Zaman's replacement for NZ tour.

Fakhar Zaman (Pic Source: Twitter)

Pakistan opening batsman Fakhar Zaman has been sidelined for the upcoming New Zealand tour as a precautionary measure after he developed potential Covid-19 symptoms. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Sunday announced in a press release that Zaman was tested negative on Saturday, but after suffering from high fever while on isolation at a hotel in Lahore, he was left out “keeping the health of the rest of the squad members as a top priority.”

“Fakhar’s COVID test report was received on Saturday which came out negative but today he picked up fever. As soon as his condition was reported, he was isolated from the rest of the squad in the team hotel,” said Sohail Saleem, the team doctor.

“We are constantly monitoring his condition and remain hopeful of his quick recovery; however he is not fit to travel with the squad and as such has been withdrawn from the touring party.”

A regular face of Pakistan in limited-overs cricket, Zaman has featured in 47 ODIs and 40 T20Is.

The selectors will not name Zaman’s replacement for NZ tour because Abdullah Shafique and Haider Ali, both of them batted at the top during Pakistan’s recently concluded T20I series against Zimbabwe, are likely to be the frontrunners to partner captain Babar Azam as an opener.

Pakistan will play three T20Is and two Tests against New Zealand, starting December 18. The tour will begin with two four-day practice games against New Zealand A.

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