''Munaf is being sent back after he failed to pass a fitness test this morning and John Gloster advised against him continuing for tour,'' said BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah.
''Munaf Patel has been declared unfit with pain in the lower back. The Team Management has decided to send Munaf back and they have requested a replacement for him,'' added a BCCI release.
It is also learnt that Cricket manager Ravi Shastri has talked to the BCCI top brass about Munaf's non-availability after which came the prompt decision.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Selection Committee, Dilip Vengsarkar in consultation with his colleagues has decided to send young Ishant Sharma to re-enforce the team.
Munaf is the third cricketer after Manoj Tewari and S Sreesanth to go home. Manoj injured his right shoulder during a fielding practice and will undergo operation in Mumbai, while Sreesanth pulled his calf muscle that did not recover in time for the Tests and had to be sent back.
The 18-year-old Delhi pacer, who has 29 wickets from six first class matches in 2006-07 season, was earlier supposed to go to South Africa after Irfan Pathan was sent back home midway through the series. But that did not materialise as the team management decided to stick with the available 14.