PAKISTAN TOUR OF SOUTH AFRICA, 2018-19
Sohail has been prone to injuries since he made his debut for Pakistan in July 2013 © Getty
Middle-order batsman Haris Sohail will undergo rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore from next week to nurse an injury in his right knee which recurred during a three-day practice match against Cricket South Africa Invitation XI and ruled him out of the South African tour.
“It is never a great feeling to abort an international tour due to an injury,” Sohail said. “It was actually heart-breaking as I was looking forward to the Tests, until I had a recurrence during my innings of 73 not out against Cricket South Africa Invitation XI in the build up to the Centurion Test.”
Sohail did not bat in the nets ahead of the first and second Test. On the eve of the latter, he was declared unfit for the entire duration of the tour. “We had anticipated that I will recover in time for the second Test, but after it emerged that the injury will take more time to heal, it was appropriate for me to return home and start my rehabilitation programme in Lahore. I am hopeful that I will recovery completely within the next four weeks.”
Sohail was omitted from the playing XI for first Test at the eleventh hour in what was deemed as a big blow to Pakistan’s batting plans as till then the left-handed batsman had been the highest run-getter for Pakistan in 2018 with 550 runs at 39.28 per dismissal.
But, his replacement, Shan Masood, made a mark with a fighting 120-ball 65 in the second innings of the first Test. Thus far, Masood has been the highest run getting in the series, from both sides, and has looked the most comfortable on surfaces that have challenged techniques of the visiting batsmen. Due to his prolific run with the bat, Masood was included in the squad for five ODIs which follow the Test series.
Sohail has been prone to injuries since he made his debut for Pakistan in July 2013. It is his chronic knee injury that has seen him in and out of the side over the past few years. He would have made his international debut in early 2013 when Pakistan were on the tour of South Africa. But, an ankle injury had ruled him out of the tour back then.
“The disappointment of missing out on the Tests was compounded by some misreporting in a section of the press,” he said. “I want to assure to all my fans, colleagues and selectors that I am fully committed to my cricket and the Pakistan cricket team, and will leave no stone unturned during my rehabilitation programme so that I am back on to the field fully fit.”