Right-arm seamer Diana Baig has been ruled out of Pakistan’s tour of South Africa with a left-thumb injury.
She underwent surgery after sustaining the knock during a training session and will face a spell of up to 10 weeks on the sidelines. Her loss will be keenly felt, with Baig having played a key part in Pakistan’s series win over West Indies, their most recent assignment.
She took 4/34 and 3/42 in the second and third ODIs, both of which Pakistan won to claim the series 2-1. Despite that result, they currently sit sixth in the ICC Women’s Championship table, one point and one place behind South Africa, against whom they will contest three Women’s Championship matches.
Whichever team wins the series will overtake New Zealand to sit in the top four positions, which guarantee qualification for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021, while the loser will almost certainly remain behind the White Ferns in the stakes.
Baig has been replaced by uncapped 17-year-old quick Fatima Sana in the squad. The three-match ODI series kicks off on Monday, 6 May, and will be followed by three T20Is, with the series coming to an end on Sunday, 19 May.