ICL: Indian Cricket League

Fresh Faces in Camp for Sri Lanka Tour

Written by Kashif Aziz on March 2nd, 2006   (475 views)

The national selection committee, headed by Wasim Bari, has in a bold step invited five uncapped players to attend the national training camp being set up for the tour of Sri Lanka from March 8 in Lahore.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), announcing the list of probables for the camp on Wednesday, also said the three members of the Pakistan Under-19 team which recently won the ICC Youth World Cup in Sri Lanka, would also attend the camp so that the captain and coach could look at them and it should also prove to be an incentive for them.

“They initially will not be the part of the selection process but the idea is to have a closer look at them and give them some encouragement for their fine performances,” a PCB official said.

The three juniors are the new-ball pair of Anwar Ali and Jamshed Ahmed and batsman Akhtar Ayub.

The selectors have clearly indicated, by calling up four new bowlers, that they are concerned with the lack of more spinners in the national team and with the spate of injury problems being faced by the pace bowlers.

Among the five invitees, Mohammad Irshad and Sarfraz Ahmed are pacers while Abdul Rehman is a left-arm spinner and Tahir Khan an off-spinner. Rifatullah Mohmand, the opener from Peshawar and Habib Bank, attended the camp for the Indian tour.

And among these Sarfraz, a tall left-arm pacer, who has taken a lot of wickets for WAPDA and Sialkot, could turn out to be the surprise package of the camp and even make the Sri Lanka tour as he bowls with an orthodox action and has a knack of taking wickets with the new ball.

Tahir Khan is a genuine all-rounder with his sharp fielding skills, steady off-spin bowling and consistent batting down the order while Rehman, who plays for Habib Bank and Sialkot, has been around for a while now.

Pakistan has struggled to find a good left-arm spinner for years now with Iqbal Qasim who is a national selector the last one to play regularly for the national team.

Since then Pakistan has sparingly played Nadeem Khan, Masood Anwar and Shakeel Ahmed but none could cement their places in the team.

Apart from the five uncapped players, the selectors have also recalled batsmen Bazid Khan and Asim Kamal who were dropped for the India series but have since then played consistently at the domestic level and are also appearing in the Twenty20 Cup.

The training camp for the Sri Lanka tour starts from March 8 for a four-day period with the final touring squad to be announced on the 10th.

Indications are that with the inclusion of two new spinners in the training camp coupled with the presence of leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, veteran off-spinner Arshad Khan might find it difficult to get a berth in the touring squad despite having remained part of the team since last year’s tour to India. “Arshad could become a casualty but for the moment his name has been included for the camp,” a source said.

The source said the selectors had held some discussions with captain Inzamam-ul-Haq on the list of probables and it was only approved by the PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan on Wednesday after lying with him for two days.

A Board official made it clear that there was no difference of opinion between the Board and selectors over the list of probables and the delay was due to the chairman’s other commitments. “The Board, as a matter of policy, does not interfere in the selection matters and that policy stands even today. The list should be approved by the chairman on Thursday morning,” the source stated.

The Pakistan probables:

Inzamam-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Malik, Faisal Iqbal, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Danish Kaneria, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Rana Naved, Mohammad Sami, Rao Iftikhar, Bazid Khan, Rifatullah Mohmand, Mohammad Irshad, Abdul Rehman, Tahir Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed, Arshad Khan and Asim Kamal.

Under-19 players: Anwar Ali, Akhtar Ayub and Jamshed Ahmed.

Source: The News

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Technorati Tags: PCB, ICC, World Cup, Sri Lanka, Mohammad Irshad, Sialkot, Habib Bank

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