Azhar Mahmood to replace Abdul Razzaq after knee injury
by AFP

Player:Abdul Razzaq, Azhar Mahmood
Event:ICC World Cup 2006/07

DateLine: 27th February 2007


Injury-hit Pakistan suffered a fresh World Cup blow Tuesday when allrounder Abdul Razzaq was ruled out for three weeks with a knee injury.


Razzaq was hit on the left knee by a ball during practice on Monday and doctors have advised him to take three weeks of rest, followed by another two to three weeks of physiotherapy.


"The reports say it's a suspected knee fracture and he'll be out of cricket for three weeks. Azhar Mahmood will take his place in the squad," Pakistan cricket team media manager Pervez Mir said.


"It is a major blow for us because Razzaq is one of our main players," said Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq.


The 27-year-old Razzaq missed Pakistan's Test series in South Africa earlier this year due to an ankle problem and only returned to play in the one-day series.


He has played 229 one-day internationals for Pakistan and has 245 wickets. As a lower middle order batsman he is known for his clean hitting, scoring 4,449 runs with two hundreds.


Coach Bob Woolmer said Razzaq would be missed in the World Cup.


"It is a big blow. We were celebrating Umar Gul's fitness boost when this sad news came," Woolmer told AFP.


Paceman Gul fully recovered from an ankle injury which had threatened his chances of playing in the World Cup. Gul was given the go-ahead by doctors on Tuesday.


Pakistan is already doubtful about key pacemen Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif for the World Cup, which starts March 13 in the Caribbean.


Akhtar is battling with a knee and hamstring injury, while Asif has a recurrence of an elbow injury sustained last year.


Pakistan fly out to the Caribbean on March 1.


Pakistan are in Group D alongside the hosts West Indies, Zimbabwe and first-timers Ireland. Their match against the West Indies at Jamaica kicks off the World Cup on March 13.

(Article: Copyright © 2007 AFP)