Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman ruled out of New Zealand tour due to fever

Batsman had tested negative for Covid-19 but excluded from touring party

Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman plays a shot during the first Twenty20 cricket match between Pakistan and Zimbabwe at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi on November 7, 2020. / AFP / Aamir QURESHI
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Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman was ruled out of the upcoming tour of New Zealand just a few hours before the team's departure after failing to recover from fever.

The 30-year-old left-hander tested negative along with 34 other players and 20 members of the squad but picked up a fever, forcing the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to withdraw him.

"The decision to withdraw Zaman from the tour was made keeping the health of the rest of the squad members as a top priority," said a PCB release.

It added: "Zaman was isolated in the team hotel in Lahore as soon as his condition was detected; the PCB medical panel is in touch with him."

"Zaman's Covid-19 test report was received on Saturday which came out negative but today he picked up fever. We are constantly monitoring his condition and remain hopeful of his quick recovery; however he is not fit to travel with the squad," team doctor Sohail Salim said in the release.

Since the squad is already larger than usual to counter Covid-19, no replacement will be announced.

Zaman has played three Tests, 47 ODIs and 40 T20s for Pakistan. The men in green will complete 14-day mandatory quarantine after arrival and start the three-match T20 series on December 18.

They also play two Tests on the tour.