Pak bowling coach Waqar Younis to miss 2nd Test against NZ

Pakistan bowling coach Waqar Younis will return home after the first Test against New Zealand — which will be played from December 26-30 at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui — to meet his family, whom he has not met since June.

Waqar had requested the team management to be granted leave so that he can spend additional time with his immediate family, which will be in Lahore before returning to Sydney, Australia, on January 17, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement on Tuesday.

He will rejoin the side in time for the series against South Africa, which starts with the first Test in Karachi on January 26.

“Considering Waqar has not seen his family since June and taking into account that our home series against South Africa, which follows the series against New Zealand, doesn’t finish until February 14, we took a pragmatic view of his request and have allowed him to return home early so that he can spend additional time with his wife and children,” said Pakistan manager Mansoor Rana.

“If he had returned to Lahore with the side after the second Test, he would have only got a week to spend with them. For all of us, families always come first and we have in the past made similar exemptions so that our team members are able to achieve the correct work-life balance,” he added.

Pakistan has already announced a 17-member squad for the first Test of the two-match series against the Black Caps. Captain Babar Azam and opener Imam-ul-Haq have been ruled out and in Babar’s absence, Mohammad Rizwan will lead the side.

Babar had fractured his right thumb a day after Imam had fractured his left thumb during training sessions in Queenstown last week. Both are yet to return to nets with the team’s medical staff closely monitoring their progress.

Decision on their participation in the second Test, which commences in Christchurch from January 3, will be made closer to the time, a PCB statement earlier read.