Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan and all-rounder Shoaib Malik have been declared fit to play in the second semi-final of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup against Australia in Dubai. The duo had earlier woke up on Wednesday morning with “light flu and low fever” and skipped the team's training session.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) medical panel on Thursday declared wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan and veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik fit to play the second semi-final of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup against Australia in Dubai.
Rizwan and Malik have been one of the star performers with the bat in the tournament so far. Rizwan scored a memorable 79 not out against arch-rivals India. The 29-year-old scored as many runs against Namibia and has been one of the reasons behind Pakistan's unbeaten run at the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021.
As far as Malik is concerned, the 39-year-old played an important role in his team’s victory against New Zealand as he stitched an unbeaten of 48 runs with Asif Ali (27*). The veteran all-rounder went on to score the joint fastest fifty of the ongoing ICC showpiece event against Scotland as he amassed 54 unbeaten runs in just 18 balls. KL Rahul from India also scored an 18-ball fifty against the Kyle Coeter-led side.
According to the report, the two players woke up on Wednesday morning with “light flu and low fever” and were first advised to delay practice but were later allowed to give it a miss.
They were initially asked to delay training but eventually they missed the training altogether. The team is only too concerned about their condition and will assess their status on Thursday.
“Both players were tested for COVID-19 and both tested negative,” ‘ESPNCricinfo’ reported.
“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,” it added.
“Pakistan are not overly concerned at the moment about their participation in Thursday’s game, and will be reviewing their status in the morning again,” the report said.
Rizwan has amassed 214 runs in five games with a marvellous average of 71.33 and a strike-rate of 127. On the other hand, Malik has scored 99 runs in as many games with an average of 99 and a strike-rate of 186.79 as he has batted mostly in the slog overs.
In case both the players miss out, Pakistan have replacements ready for them. Former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed can keep wickets, whereas Haider Ali can be replaced as a middle-order batsman which means Fakhar Zaman could be asked to open the innings alongside Babar Azam.