Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez could miss the World Cup later this year after undergoing a second surgery on his fractured right thumb in Manchester earlier this week.
Hafeez will be advised to rest for two weeks before he can start training again.
However, with head coach Mickey Arthur having set April 14 as the deadline for all the players to undergo a fitness test before the World Cup squad is picked, Hafeez could find himself out of contention for the selection process.
Pakistan are expected to head to England around about April 24 to play practice games before going up against England in a one-off Twenty20 International and five-match ODI series, which will take place between May 5 and 19.
They will then play two World Cup warm-up matches against Afghanistan and Bangladesh on May 24 and 26 respectively before kicking off their World Cup campaign against the West Indies in Nottingham on May 31.
“Hafeez had to go for the second surgery as the fracture in his left thumb had not healed properly and the surgeon Mike Hayton had advised him for a follow-up procedure,” a source close to the 38-year-old was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.
However, there may be hope for Hafeez as a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said that Arthur and chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq can allow Hafeez to take the fitness test at a later date.
The official added that it will be tough for Hafeez to make a full recovery prior to the fitness test being held on April 14.
“There is still plenty of time before the World Cup begins, so it all depends on how Arthur and Inzi handle the issue,” the official said. “If they feel Hafeez’s selection is important for the team’s chances in the World Cup, then most probably they will give him ample time to recover from his injury.”
Hafeez sustained the injury when attempting to take a catch off his own bowling while representing the Lahore Qalandars against the Karachi Kings in the fifth match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
With scans revealing the fracture and Hafeez having to undergo surgery, he was ruled out for the remainder of the tournament.