Pakistan quick Naseem Shah has been cleared of serious injury after he complained of pain around his left rib cage on day three of the first Test against Bangladesh in Rawalpindi.
The 16-year old, who became the youngest player to take a Test hat-trick on the third day of the Test, went off the field two balls after achieving the feat, with Mohammad Abbas completing the rest of the over. Naseem underwent an MRI scan and did not take part in the remainder of the Test, which ended on day four after Pakistan wrapped up an innings win.
“This is nothing serious,” Naseem said after the match. “It’s only a strain in muscles and as a precaution, I didn’t bowl today. I will take two days to start again.”
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Naseem’s bowling workloads have been the subject of scrutiny given how young and new he is – he has only played seven first-class matches outside of the four Tests. After debuting in the first Test of the series in Australia last year, he missed the second Test, as much as a precaution as the niggle in his knee which was hindering him in the nets before the Test. And before he broke through, in 2018 he was sidelined for a large part of the season with a back injury – it forced him to miss the PSL that year.
Naseem was named Man of the Match for his hat-trick, in which he dismissed Najmul Hossain Shanto, Taijul Islam and Mahmudullah and surpassed former Bangladesh legspinner Alok Kapali as the youngest player to achieve this feat.
Kapali held the record for nearly 17 years, having taken his hat-trick against Pakistan at the age of 19 in August 2003. Abdul Razzaq was previously the youngest Pakistani to have taken a Test hat-trick, aged 20, against Sri Lanka in 2000.
The second and final Test of this series is scheduled to be played in the first week of April, after the PSL.