Sarfraz Ahmed returns home to be with ill mother

Pakistan suffered yet another blow ahead of the start of the five-match ODI series against Australia with wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed returning home to be with his seriously ill mother.

Sarfraz Ahmed

The Pakistan Cricket Board is yet to announce Sarfraz Ahmed's replacement for the ODI series.   -  AP

Pakistan suffered yet another blow ahead of the start of the five-match ODI series against Australia with wicketkeeper-batsman >Sarfraz Ahmed returning home to be with his seriously ill mother. Pacer >Mohammad Irfan was also forced to return home on Monday due to the death of his mother.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is yet to announce Sarfraz's replacement for the ODI series, but reliable sources in the board said that the selectors are talking to the team management to accept discarded wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal, who last played a ODI for Pakistan in June 2013.

The national selection committee, headed by Inzamam-ul-Haq, had wanted to include Kamran in the original squad that was announced late last month but ODI captain Azhar Ali and coach Mickey Arthur were not in favour of having him.

Kamran, who has played 53 Tests and 154 ODIs, scored seven centuries in domestic cricket this season.

The selectors have already had to send two >back-up and replacement players — experienced all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez and left-arm pacer Junaid Khan — to Australia on the request of the team management. Junaid has been called up for Mohammad Irfan.

Pakistan will play the first ODI against Australia on January 13 at Brisbane. Pakistan need to do well in the upcoming ODI series to avoid a further slump in the ICC ODI rankings. Presently it is place at a lowly eighth spot in the table.