Lahore, Apr 19(ANI): Defending Twenty20 World Cup champions Pakistan have suffered a major blow, as fast bowler Umar Gul and all-rounder Yasir Arafat have been ruled out of the Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies due to injuries.
Gul, Pakistan's leading wicket-taker in the previous two editions of the Twenty20 World Cup, hurt his shoulder during a training camp at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore earlier this month, while Arafat is struggling with a calf injury.
Both players failed to clear their final fitness tests conducted at the Gaddafi Stadium here.
"In mutual agreement with captain and coach, we have decided that we will not take a chance with half-fit players," The Daily Times quoted Mohsin Hasan Khan, Pakistan selector, as saying.
"We have recommended the names of fast bowlers Mohammad Sami and uncapped Mohammad Irfan as replacements for the injured players. We have picked Sami from the list of five reserves we had kept for the World Cup," he added.
Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi admitted that the absence of Gul is a major blow, but stressed that the team will manage with the players they have.
"Umar is our best bowler, but we have to cope with it and now Sami has to replace him and perform," he said. (ANI)