Gul out of England Test series due to thigh injury

Karachi: The down and out Pakistan side received a huge blow today when their star-performer pacer Umar Gul was ruled out for the remainder of the series against England.

Pakistan manager Yawar Saeed confirmed from Birmingham that MRI scans and ultra sound tests have shown that Gul has a muscle rapture in his thigh which would take three to four weeks to heal, leaving him out of the remaining two Test matches.

“He is out of the Test series. We will have another check up in 10 days time to know exactly how soon he can return to international cricket,” Yawar said.

Gul tore his thigh muscle during the second day of the second Test against England at Edgbaston leaving the already struggling Pakistan team in dire straits.

“It is a big blow to the team because Gul has been in good form in this series and was also batting well,” Yawar said.

He said any decision on seeking a replacement for Gul would be taken later by the tour selection committee as at the moment, the focus was on the under-progress Test match.

“But we have two back-up pace bowlers, Tanvir Ahmed and Wahab Riaz in the touring squad so we are not short in the pace bowling department,” Yawar said.

The tall and lanky bowler has a history of fitness issues and in 2004 and 2005 remained out of the action for some 16 months due to a back stress fracture.

He also had an elbow problem that kept him out of the Twenty20 World Cup and the Asia Cup before the England tour.

Pakistan`s chief selector, Mohsin Khan said the selectors were keeping a tab on things in England and Gul`s injury had come as a big disappointment.

“So far the tour selectors have not called for any replacement and since the third Test begins from August 18 there is time for them to take a decision,” he said.

Yawar said that if need arose, Pakistan also have the option of calling leg-spinner, Danish Kaneria who had been released after the first Test to play for his county, Essex.

“It is not a correct assumption that Danish is out of the series. We want him to keep himself fit by playing in county cricket and we can call him whenever we need him in the series,” the Pakistan manager said.


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