Pakistan may have separate Test, one-day cricket squads
Pakistan are considering having separate squad for Tests and one-dayers following a spate of injuries to some of their key players ahead of the opening Test against England at Lordâ€™s from Thursday (tomorrow).
Injuries to players like speedster Shoaib Akhtar, medium pacers Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Mohammad Asif have perturbed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan who blames them on â€œtoo much cricketâ€.
â€œThese boys have been virtually playing non-stop cricket,â€ Shaharyar told â€˜The Newsâ€™ here on Tuesday. â€œTo me that is the basic reason behind their fitness problems. When they are not playing Tests, then they are figuring in one-day matches and when they are not playing for Pakistan then some of them are playing for county teams. It is simply too much cricket,â€ added the PCB chief who is here to watch Pakistanâ€™s four-match Test series against England.
Shaharyarâ€™s remedy for the problem is to cut down the playersâ€™ workload. But with the International Cricket Council (ICC) not ready to make any concessions in its controversial and demanding Future Tours Programme, Shaharyar believes Pakistan might have to follow in Australiaâ€™s footsteps and start having separate teams for the Tests and one-dayers to reduce pressure on their players.
â€œIt is an option that has come under consideration because of these latest injuries,â€ he said.
Shaharyar pointed out that Pakistan will have to accept the fact that with the international cricket schedule becoming more and more hectic some of their players simply cannot continue to play both forms of cricket. He said that some of the players are either a bit old or do not have the sort of fitness that can get them going.
And with the World Cup just about eight months away, Pakistan are pondering over ways to reduce their playersâ€™ workload.
Shaharyar pointed out that after spending almost two-an-a-half months in England, Pakistan would play in the Champions Trophy in India this fall and then host the West Indies for three Tests and five one-day matches. They will later tour South Africa early next year and then travel to the West Indies for the World Cup which gets underway in March.
â€œThere is simply no time for proper rest,â€ he said. Shaharyar said that if Pakistan decided against having separate squad for Tests and one-dayers then they would certainly implement a strict rotation policy.
â€œWe would rest two or three of our players each time Pakistan play in a Test series or an international tournament. That would give the players an opportunity to avoid any burnout.â€
Shaharyar is hoping that Pakistan wuld win the series even with pacers Shoaib Ahtar and Rana Naved unlikely to play in the series.
â€œWe have some of our players injured but look at England. They are in a worse condition with most of their players out. I believe Pakistan is still in a good position to win the series here.â€
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