Shadab has been suffering from a viral ailment for the past week. It ruled him out of Pakistan’s forthcoming limited-overs series against England, two days after the announcement of the squad, after he failed a blood test.
He was replaced by fellow leg-spinner Yasir Shah, even as the Pakistan Cricket Board arranged for an appointment with a London-based gastroenterology and hepatology specialist. Shadab had also been named in their 15-man ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 contingent.
Shadab will now return home from London and go through another round of blood tests in Lahore over the next month, which will determine his fitness for the World Cup. Shadab was the only specialist spinner in Pakistan’s squad for the England series. However, they are not short of spin options, with both Mohammad Hafeez and Imad Wasim capable of providing back-up.Should Shadab not recover in time for the World Cup, it will come as a blow for a Pakistan side that has been heavily reliant on him as he has become a lynchpin of the limited-overs side. The PCB have until 23 May to name a replacement without seeking prior permission from the International Cricket Council. Following that deadline, all changes must go through the tournament’s event technical committee.