Islamabad - Pakistan's left-arm paceman Junaid Khan has been ruled out of the upcoming
one-day series in New Zealand because of a leg injury, fuelling doubts about
whether he will play in next month's World Cup.
The Pakistan team leaves for New Zealand late on Tuesday to play two one-day
internationals on January 31 and February 3, with all-rounder Bilawal Bhatti
replacing Junaid in the 15-man squad.
The 25-year-old, who is one of his country's most promising young seamers,
sustained his injury during a short training camp in Lahore last week.
Chief selector Moin Khan said Bhatti's inclusion for the World Cup would
depend on his performance and Junaid's fitness.
"The inclusion of Bhatti for the World Cup 2015 shall be contingent on
his performance in the scheduled matches in New Zealand as well as Junaid's
recovery," Khan said in a statement.
"If Junaid recovers, he will join the World Cup squad," he added.
Team physiotherapist Brad Robinson and the Pakistan Cricket Board's medical
chief Sohail Saleem agreed that Junaid had not recovered well enough from his
thigh injury and recommended recuperation.
Junaid has taken 75 wickets in his 48 one-day outings at 25.90 apiece.
Bhatti, 23, has played seven one-day internationals, the last in March 2014.
Pakistan will also play two warm-up matches in Australia on February 9 and
11. They start their World Cup campaign with a highly charged match against
arch-rivals and title-holders India in Adelaide on February 15.