Pakistan legspinner Shadab Khan has been given a two-week course of medication by doctors in England, along with a prescription of complete rest, in an attempt to cure the virus that ruled him out of their forthcoming series. He will now return home from London and undergo another round of blood tests in Lahore next month to determine his fitness for the World Cup.
Shadab was originally named in both squads for the England series and World Cup only to be ruled out two days after the announcement after failing a blood test. He was subsequently replaced with fellow legspinner Yasir Shah, while the PCB arranged an appointment with a London-based gastroenterology and hepatology specialist.
The possibility of being without Shadab, a key player over the last two years, would be major dent ahead of the World Cup, although the PCB is optimistic that he may still recover in time. The PCB can make changes to the squad without seeking ICC permission until May 23. After that date and through the tournament, the ICC's technical committee will process any replacement requests.
Shadab was the only frontline spinner named in Pakistan's original 17-man squad to tour England, however, the presence of Mohammad Hafeez, back after a thumb injury, and Imad Wasim gives them options in the spin department for a one-off T20I and a five-match ODI series between May 5 and 19.
Pakistan also have Mohammad Amir pushing for a World Cup spot, having been named alongside Asif Ali as the two men outside the World Cup 15. Amir's form over the past 18 months hasn't been good enough to win selection in the preliminary squad but he has the chance to restate his case in familiar conditions - the country where his last ODI high point occurred in the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy.