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Babar out of England series with forearm fracture

LONDON: Pakistani batsman Babar Azam will miss the remainder of the two-match series against England after fracturing a bone in his left forearm on the second day of the first test at Lord’s on Friday.

The 23-year-old righthander top-scored with 68 to help the tourists reach 350-8, a lead of 166, but retired hurt before the close of play after being struck by a Ben Stokes delivery.

 “In that last session we took him off the field because he couldn’t grip his bat properly, we treated him for pain,” Pakistan physiotherapist Cliffe Deacon said in an interview on the Pakistan Cricket Board’s official Twitter account.
 “We decided to do a precautionary X-ray at the end of the day’s play … when we got to the hospital the X-ray confirmed that there was a fracture of the forearm, just above the wrist.”

“Normally with these sort of fractures (recovery) varies between four to six weeks.”

With Azam ruled out, Pakistan will look to replace him with someone from the likes of Usman Salahuddin, Fakhar Zaman or Sami Aslam – the other specialist batters in the squad.

Azam’s injury comes across as a huge dent to Pakistan’s ambitions after the solid right-hander showed great promise at the crease. Although he’s yet to stand out in the longer format of the game, his pedigree cannot be doubted largely because of his success against the white-ball where he has averaged 51 and 53 in ODIs and T20Is respectively.

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