Naved-ul-Hasan out of Test series, flies back home


Injured medium-pacer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan flew back home from here on Monday after his efforts to regain fitness ahead of the second Test against England at Old Trafford were cut short by an aggravated groin problem.

Pakistan manager Zaheer Abbas told ‘The News’ that Rana left for home after it became clear that he will need at least four to six more weeks to get back in shape for international cricket. He said that the team management has requested the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to send young pacer Samiullah Niazi as Rana’s replacement. However, Zaheer was not sure whether Niazi would be able to join ahead of the opening Test at Lord’s.

“There are just two days to go in the opening Test and we believe Niazi’s visa has still to be processed. So let’s see whether he makes it in time.” Zaheer said that Rana’s ouster was a blow for Pakistan.

“It is naturally a big setback for us because we were expecting Rana to be fit for the Old Trafford Test match,” Zaheer said. “He had been showing a lot of improvement and had even started bowling in a bid to be fully fit,” the former Test cricketer added.

Zaheer said that it seems highly unlikely that Rana would be able to play in the four-match Test series and might even miss the five ODIs to be played during August-September. Rana suffered from a groin injury while playing a county game for Sussex earlier this summer. His hopes to play in the Test series were boosted when an English specialist said he would not need a surgery for his groin problem.

Zaheer said that Rana complained of “a lot of pain” after bowling on the third day of the four-day game against England A at Canterbury. “Rana had been shaping up well before Saturday. He probably stretched himself too hard while bowling in the nets that further aggravated his groin problem.”

Rana was with the Pakistan squad at Canterbury and the team management was hopeful of having him back in the side ahead of the Old Trafford Test. Zaheer said that with speedster Shoaib Akhtar also doubtful for the Test series, the pressure was on second string pacers like Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul to perform in England this summer.

“It’s a perfect opportunity for bowlers like Sami and Umar Gul to tell the world that they too are wicket-taking bowlers,” said Zaheer. The team manager said that Pakistan are going to face problems in the series without Rana and Shoaib but said that he had great hopes in the team’s other pacers as well as spinner Danish Kaneria.

“Our attacks looks a bit week on paper but it won’t be so if these youngsters live up to their potential,” he said. Pakistan’s first Test against England gets underway at Lord’s this Thursday.
Source:The News

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Written by Team CricketViewer on July 11th, 2006 with no comments.
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