Haris Rauf ruled out of 1st Test against Australia, Naseem Shah added to Pak squad

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Naseem Shah on Tuesday was included in the Pakistan squad for the first Test against Australia, beginning here on Friday, after Haris Rauf was ruled out due to Covid-19.

Rauf helped Lahore Qalandars win the PSL final on Sunday evening and as a result, he joined the squad on Monday. However, in a test on Tuesday, he was tested positive for the virus. As a result, Naseem, who was originally a travelling reserve, has been added to the squad.

The 28-old pacer will now remain in isolation for five days following the positive test and will rejoin the squad once his quarantine is over.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also confirmed that the rest of the squad and support staff were retested following Rauf’s positive result with all tests coming out negative.

“Following Rauf’s positive test on Tuesday, the rest of the squad members and support personnel were retested. All these tests have come out negative,” the PCB said.

Even though Rauf has never played a Test match for Pakistan, he is now a regular member of the white-ball squads and was in running to make his debut in red-ball cricket in Rawalpindi following injuries to Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf.

On the other hand, the 19-year-old Naseem, whose last Test appearance came in January 2021 in Christchurch, is now likely to battle it out with Mohammad Wasim Jr for a spot in the playing XI for the first Test.

The three-Test series is the first time Australia will play in Pakistan since 1998.

Squad for the first Test: Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-capt), Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Zahid Mahmood.

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