SYDNEY: Pakistan opener Mohammad Hafeez was Sunday ruled out of the World Cup after suffering an ankle injury, in yet another blow to the team before the mega-event, ARY News reported Sunday.
The 34-year-old suffered the injury during the second one-day international against New Zealand in Napier last week and has been advised to take three weeks’ rest.
AFP adds: “Hafeez has been ruled out of the World Cup and will return home with the first available flight and in his place Nasir Jamshed has been summoned,” a Pakistan Cricket Board spokesman told the wire service.
The latest injury is the fourth major blow for Pakistan before the 14-team World Cup which starts in Australia and New Zealand on February 14.
Paceman Umar Gul was not selected because of a knee injury in January, while another fast bowler Junaid Khan had to be withdrawn from the 15-man squad after he failed to recover from a leg injury.
Spinner Saeed Ajmal withdrew from the squad after he failed to correct his bowling action which was deemed illegal last September, although the International Cricket Council said Saturday he had been cleared after retesting.
Pakistan play their first match against India in Adelaide on February 15.