Growing injury list major cause of concern for Pakistan

Pakistan are concerned over the growing injury list in their camp ahead of March’s World Cup in the West Indies and would take all the possible steps to assure that all the top string players are ready for the quadrennial spectacle in the Caribbean islands, a PCB official said on Wednesday.

“Some of our key players have unfortunately got injured and it is one major area of concern for us in the build-up to the World Cup,” Dr Ahsan Hameed Malik, PCB’s Director of Communications, said here at the National Stadium.

Malik said that the PCB intends to use a brief break after the conclusion of the away series against South Africa to help its World Cup squad attain peak fitness for the all-important assignment.

“We have formed a medical commission to examine the fitness of the injured players and later specialists would supervise their recovery process,” said Malik.

Pakistan faced a major injury crisis during the best part of 2006 and the problem has spilt into the New Year.

It began with all-rounder Abdul Razzaq missing the tour of South Africa earlier this month because of fitness problems and was compounded after medium pacer Umar Gul and all-rounder Shoaib Malik got injured ahead of the opening Test against South Africa at Centurion earlier this month.

Another major blow came when a ‘fit-again’ Shoaib Akhtar broke down with a hamstring injury midway into the second Test in Port Elizabeth after taking a four-wicket haul in the first innings.

Meanwhile, according to reports coming from South Africa, Shoaib Malik has almost recovered and is expected to play some role in the one-day series against the hosts starting from February 2.

Malik also spoke on various other issues ranging from a pension scheme for former Test cricketers to the itinerary of South Africa’s tour of Pakistan later this year.

South Africa would be playing just two Tests on their tour, a sort of treatment that is normally meted out to lowly Test-playing nations by higher-rated visiting teams.

However, Malik said that South Africa would be playing a shorter series in Pakistan because of a tight international schedule.

“South Africa would come to Pakistan after hosting the Twenty20 World Cup in September and just weeks after their arrival, our team is scheduled to tour India so there is not enough time to squeeze in three Tests,” he said.

Malik said that the PCB has planned to send the national under-19 team to Australia in March and England in July to gain international experience and exposure.

He said that former Test players would start getting their pensions within a week or so and added that currently the PCB is working on getting them a tax exemption.

The PCB has worked out a pension scheme for the benefit of Test cricketers who retired before the Kerry Packer era.

Malik said that the Board is now working on the second phase of the scheme that would benefit the newer generation of Test players as well as associate staff like umpires and match officials.

He said that the PCB would receive the approved document of a new constitution from the President House any time now and would start implementing it soon. The Board is supposed to start implementing the new constitution by January 31.

Malik said that Shoaib Akhtar’s has been punished for his altercation with Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer during the second Test in Port Elizabeth and the case is now closed.

“The Board does not intend to take any more action against Shoaib who has been fined by team manager (Talat Ali) as per PCB Code of Conduct,” he said.
Source:The News

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Written by Team CricketViewer on January 25th, 2007 with 57 Views

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