2 Key Pak Batsmen Unwell Before Crucial T20 Match

SRINAGAR: Participation of Pakistan cricket team’s two batting main stays, wicketkeeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan and middle order batter, Shoaib Malik are doubtful for the semifinal clash against Australia in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup later in the evening.

As per a report appearing in ‘ESPNCricinfo’, both the batters are down with “mild flu” which could put their participation in jeopardy. The two batters missed the team’s training session on Wednesday, although both have returned negative results for the Covid-19 tests.

“Both players were tested for Covid-19 and both tested negative. As with the rest of their squad, they have cleared regular Covid-19 testing through the tournament, including one a couple of days ago. That is part of the ICC’s policy to encourage teams to test as often as possible,” the Cricinfo report said.

The report added that both players woke up in the morning with “light flu and low fever”. They were initially advised to delay training but were allowed to give the training a miss.

Their participation status although not confirmed, will be reviewed on Thursday morning, as per the report. “Pakistan are not overly concerned at the moment about their participation,” the report read.

Both the players have played key part in Pakistan’s unbeaten streak in the World Cup so far. Shoaib Malik, apart from contributing in key moments in the campaign, hit the world cup’s fastest fifty in the last match against Scotland, scoring 54 runs off 18 balls with six sixes. Rizwan on the other hand has been the tournament’s third leading run scorer, behind Babar who was pipped by Jos Butler as the tournament’s leading run scorer in yesterday’s match against New Zealand.

Pakistan and Australia will fight for a place in the final against New Zealand who defeated the tournament favourites, England in yesterday’s semifinal match. If Pakistan manages to beat Australia, this would be their third appearance in the T20 world cup finals and their first since they won the World Cup in England in 2009.

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