Pakistan have suffered a big blow before the start of their much-anticipated Test series in Australia as spinner Abrar Ahmed was ruled out of the series opener in Perth due to a knee injury. Abrar's availability was in doubt after he left the field, feeling severe pain in his right leg during Pakistan's only warm-up match against Prime Minister's XI in Canberra last week.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed on Sunday that Abrar Ahmed would be unavailable for the first Test. The board also said it would take a call on the spinner's availability for the remainder of the series at a later date, saying Abrar would 'undergo an intervention in Perth' on Monday. The first Test between the two teams gets underway on December 14.

While Nouman Ali is the only other spinner currently with the Pakistan squad in Australia, the PCB named Sajid Khan as Abrar's replacement for the first Test.

"Abrar will undergo an intervention in Perth on Monday, after which conservative rehabilitation under the supervision of the team's medical staff, will continue

his road to recovery. He has not been ruled out of the test series yet, but keeping the player's wellbeing in mind for this and future tours, further assessment before the second test will ascertain his availability on this tour," a statement from PCB said.

Abrar Ahmed bowled 27 overs over 2 days, including 8 overs on Day 3 of the warm-up match against PM XI in Canberra before he walked off the field with pain. The warm-up match ended in a draw after the fourth day's play was washed out due to rain. Abrar had picked up a wicket and conceded 80 runs across his long spells.

Abrar, who made his Test debut in December 2022, was the frontrunner for the spinner's spot in the XI. He has 38 wickets from 6 Tests, having done well at home against England and New Zealand last year and playing a key role in their series win in Sri Lanka earlier this year.

Left-arm spinner Nouman Ali has also been in fine form, but the 37-year-old will be tested, considering his lack of experience in Australian conditions. Nouman did not play the warm-up match in Canberra.
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