Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali will miss the second Test against England in Dubai as he returned home following the death of his mother-in-law.
Azhar did not feature in the first Test in Abu Dhabi either as he was still recovering from a toe injury he suffered during the limited overs series against Zimbabwe earlier this month.
Meanwhile, it has also been confirmed that off-spinner Bilal Asif will join the Test squad as a cover for Yasir Shah, who missed the first Test due to back spasms.
Shah is expected to be fit for the second Test, but should things take a turn for the worse, Pakistan can call up Asif as his replacement.
Asif had his bowling action reported during the series against Zimbabwe and subsequently underwent a bowling action test in Chennai on Monday. Until the results of the test are released, Asif will be allowed to continue bowling.
Asif’s test results are likely to be known in a couple of weeks, but the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) general manager of cricket Geoff Allardice is hoping that the time between a bowler being reported and the results of his test being released will decrease in the near future.
“We are trying to get the turnaround times on reports a lot faster,” Allardice told reporters. “We have shortened the time that the player has to be tested by and that the report has to be presented.
“Yes, it may mean they play a match in between – certainly at an ICC event we can be quick as the players are all in the same place – but it’s a trade-off of having the scientific validity verses the turnaround time. At this stage, in-match testing I don’t think it will happen in a hurry – our testing centres will deal with it in the short to medium term.”