Pakistan call up Gohar as back up for Yasir


Pakistan are hoping that Yasir Shah recovers from his back spasm in time for the first Test against England on Tuesday, but have called up Zafar Gohar as cover for the rest of the series.

Shah was helped off the training field on Monday with a back injury, after his spiked caught in the turf and he fell. As one of Pakistan's most in-form players, this will be a huge blow if he's not ready.

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq said on Monday: "We want to wait until tomorrow and hoping for the best. He got a back spasm and let's see [how his recovery goes] overnight.

"His loss could be a big blow but we are hoping that he will be a fine as he is our key player and we are very much concerned about him.

"Obviously we are looking into it [a replacement]. In case if he won't recover then we need to have someone and we are working on that. Hopefully we will get someone for tomorrow morning.

"Considering the injury to Azhar Ali, now if Yasir couldn't make it, it will be a tough challenge for us.

"It will be hard for us to cope without him but this is exactly the same scenario, we are already playing against a top team and we knew we have to come hard so it will be more challenging."

Gohar is unlikely to be back in the UAE before the match though, as he'd returned to Pakistan after playing in the warm ups. He will at least be able to carry some drinks though.

Chief selector Haroon Rasheed told Cricinfo: "Team management required a replacement as a precaution and we are making sure that a player should be sitting on bench before the Test match starts."

If he's not there in time, Pakistan could pick an extra paceman as the pitch is not the worst when it comes to fast bowling.