Karachi, Feb 27: Pakistan's experienced all-rounder Faheem Ashraf and pacer Hasan Ali were on Sunday ruled out of the first Test against Australia, beginning on Friday, due to fitness issues.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that batter Iftikhar Ahmed and young all-rounder Muhammad Wasim junior will replace the two in the Pakistan squad for the first Test in Rawalpindi.
Both Iftikhar and Wasim will reach Islamabad on Sunday night and start their three-day isolation at the team hotel after which they will undergo COVID-19 tests before joining the rest of the squad.
The absence of Faheem and Hasan will be a big blow to Pakistan as they have been regular members of the Test side in the last 12 months. Faheem missed Islamabad United's eliminator match against Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League due to his injury while Hasan has been struggling for form and fitness.
Both Faheem and Hasan are expected to regain full fitness before the second Test that will be played in Karachi from March 12 to 16.