Hamilton, Jan 06 (Agencies): Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal will not play in the opening Test of the three-match series against New Zealand starting tomorrow due to the sudden death of his father back in his country.

Ajmal’s father passed away on Tuesday after being taken to hospital for treatment of fever and the off-spinner is flying back to Pakistan to attend the funeral.

“He is devastated by the sudden death of his father who expired after being taken to hospital, complaining of fever in the cold weather,” a PCB official said.

 Ajmal had played in the three-day match against New Zealand Cricket XI, which ended on Tuesday but did not bowl in the second innings of that game.

Pakistan are likely to play left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman in Ajmal’s place.