Pakistan's Mohammed Irfan doubtful for World Cup quarter-final

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Karachi, Mar 16: Pakistan pacer Mohammad Irfan remains a doubtful starter for the cricket World Cup quarter-final against Australia on Friday. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in a statement today confirmed that Irfan has been experiencing pain in his right hip region and was also rested for this reason in the match against Ireland.

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"Late Monday afternoon, Irfan underwent an MRI scan. According to Team Pakistan physiotherapist Brad Robinson, the detailed report from the radiologists would be available on Tuesday," the statement said.

File photo of Mohammed Irfan

"A decision will then be taken on his availability for the forthcoming quarterfinal against Australia," Robinson said in the statement. Earlier Pakistan's head coach Waqar Younis said that the 7 feet 1 inch tall pacer had been carrying a niggle since landing in New Zealand and Australia for the 50-over showpiece event but had been playing with proper treatment.

Irfan has been Pakistan's main strike bowler and an official in the board said that every effort was being made to provide him best medical care so that he can be fit for the Australia game.

"But obviously we will not take any risks with his long term fitness," the official said. Pakistan played pacer Ehsan Adil instead of Irfan against Ireland and were able to defeat the minnows by 7 wickets to enter the knockouts.

Irfan has a history of fitness issues and was unavailable for selection for Pakistan for nearly five months after suffering a hip injury during a T20 match against South Africa in late 2013 in the UAE.

Some television channels flashed alerts that left arm pacer Junaid Khan had been alerted in case Irfan's MRI scan report was bad. But the PCB official said they were no plans to rush Junaid to Australia since he himself has just recovered from a knee problem and was due to undergo a fitness test at the national cricket academy in Lahore on Tuesday along with allrounder Muhammad Hafeez.

While Junaid was ruled out of the World Cup even before the squad left for Australia due to an injury sustained in a practice session after he was named in the original squad, Hafeez returned home before the start of the quadrennial extravaganza due to a hand injury from New Zealand.

PTI

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