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Blow for Pakistan as top batsman returns home

Pakistan suffered a major blow in their Test series against South Africa when their most experienced batsman, Mohammad Yousuf, was ruled out and was due to fly back home, team manager said today.

world Updated: Nov 12, 2010 17:21 IST

Pakistan suffered a major blow in their Test series against South Africa when their most experienced batsman, Mohammad Yousuf, was ruled out and was due to fly back home, team manager said on Friday.

The 36-year-old had to pull out of the ongoing first Test, which started here on Friday, just minutes before the toss after the recurrence of a groin during practice.

"Its an old injury Yousuf sustained before the one-day series last month and since it will take two weeks to heal we are sending him back and there will be no replacement," team manager Intikhab Alam said.

Yousuf was originally named in the five-match one-day squad but stayed at home after he suffered the groin injury last month. He returned to play the fifth one-day match in the series which South Africa won in Dubai last week.

"It is indeed disappointing because Yousuf has been Pakistan's most reliable batsman and we needed him for this series," said Alam.

Yousuf has so far played 90 Tests, 288 one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches during an illustrious career which began in 1998.

The second Test between Pakistan and South Africa starts in Abu Dhabi from November 20