Reports: Haris Rauf ruled out of first Test against Australia after testing COVID positive

Rauf in all likelihood was gearing to make his Test debut at the fixture in Rawalpindi, beginning March 4th.

Haris Rauf
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Haris Rauf. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

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In what can be called a major development, Pakistan’s fast bowler Haris Rauf has tested positive for COVID. As a result, the fast bowler would be missing out on the first Test against the touring Australian side, which gets underway on March 4. This means Naseem Shah, who is currently in the traveling reserves, is now the potential inclusion in the squad. Rauf in all likelihood was gearing to make his Test debut at the fixture in Rawalpindi, the venue for the first Test.

The 28-year-old is seen as a vital cog in the wheel for Pakistan’s future plans and his absence from the first Test would surely come off as a disappointment to both him and his team. The bowler has recently featured in the Pakistan Super League where he was a part of the Lahore Qalandars. His latest outing was in the PSL 7 finals against the Multan Sultans, which the Qalandars won convincingly with Rauf contributing to his team’s cause with the ball.

Meanwhile, Rauf burst onto the scenes on the back of racking some quick pace with the ball in hand. He was first noted in the cricketing circles, playing for the Melbourne Stars in his debut Big Bash League season, BBL 2019-20. He picked up 20 wickets in 10 matches for Melbourne Stars, including a hat-trick. The right-arm bowler has since represented Pakistan in the ODI and T20 formats of the game.

Faheem Ashraf and Hasan Ali also to also miss the first Test

Besides Rauf, the other important members of Pakistan’s Test bowling unit included Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf. However, both Ali and Ashraf have already been ruled out of the first Test owing to their respective injuries, thus further magnifying Rauf’s omission. Notably, the Australian Team would be visiting the Pakistani shores for the first time since their 1998/99 tour. The series that is being touted as being historic will constitute three Tests, three ODIs and one T20I.