Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez withdrew from the dengue-hit National T20 Championship on Wednesday, raising suspicions about the upcoming T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
Hafeez, who will turn 41 next month, is currently receiving treatment at his home in Lahore, and it remains to be seen whether he will be fit for the mega ICC event starting on October 17.
“It depends on the severity of the dengue virus, but it is a disease that weakens a person and it takes a month for the platelets to regenerate and fully heal,” said a local doctor.
A reliable source in the Pakistan Cricket Board said the board’s medical team was in touch with Hafeez and was closely monitoring his treatment and recovery.
The Pakistan World Cup squad for the World Cup is expected to depart on October 14.
He initially complained of food poisoning while staying at a team hotel in Rawalpindi as the first leg of the Hobbes National Championship, but when his health did not improve he went to Lahore where he was diagnosed with dengue fever.
Hafeez is one of Pakistan’s senior players after Shoaib Malik played in 55 Tests, 218 ODIs and 113 T20 internationals.
With the former captain now retiring from Test and ODI cricket, his latest form has not been good, but he was seen as an automatic choice for the World Cup after scoring runs in the T20 Internationals in late 2019 and 2020.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has set October 10 as the last day for nations to make changes to their squad announced earlier this month.
Since the ICC bill stipulates only 15 players and eight officials per team, teams are allowed to have travel reserves with them at their own expense.
Habees recently had a disagreement with the PCB after he ended his contract with the Guyana franchise early and asked to return home early from the Caribbean Premier League.
The former captain has never been happy with the situation as he has been given a deadline of September 12 to return to Lahore or drop the risk for the World Cup.
The board previously issued the NOC to all players to play in the CBL and report to the domestic series against New Zealand by September 17.