ICL: Indian Cricket League

Pakistan may name injured pacers in World Cup squad


Pakistan are expected to select their injured pace duo of Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul in a 15-man squad for the World Cup today after getting an assurance from the International Cricket Council (ICC) that they can replace unfit players ahead of the quadrennial spectacle.

“We have been assured by the ICC that Pakistan will be able seeks replacements for any injured players from the World Cup technical committee,” Saleem Altaf, the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCBs) Director of Operations told ‘The News’ on Monday.

Pakistan are grappling with major fitness problems with Shoaib, Gul and two more pacers - Mohammad Sami and Shabbir Ahmed - nursing injuries. They were scheduled to name the World Cup squad on Monday after PCB’s request to extend the February 13 deadline for team announcement was rejected by the ICC Last week. But because of the extended injury list, they decided to delay naming the side by a day.

The team will be announced by chief selector Wasim Bari, who is scheduled to return home from South Africa early this morning. “Bari has had consultations with team captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and coach Bob Woolmer in South Africa and would talk with the members of the selection committee after returning home tomorrow before naming the World Cup squad,” said Altaf a former Test cricket.

He said that Pakistan can think about selecting some of their key players on the injury list following the ICC assurance. According to Clause 6.5 of the Participating Nations Agreement for the World Cup players can be replaced only in accordance with the World Cup Technical Committee and Medical Regulations after the February 13 deadline.

After March 2, if the WICB Medical Committee certifies that the player is injured under the medical regulations and a team management applies for a replacement, he can be replaced only with approval of the Technical Committee.

According to former Test cricketer Iqbal Qasim, a member of the national selection committee, Pakistan would seriously consider making use of this clause while naming the World Cup squad.

“Shoaib and Gul are two of our important bowlers and if there is any hope of their getting fit before the World Cup then I believe they should be named in the team,” he said. He said that there are conflicting reports on Shoaib’s knee problem, adding that a clearer picture will emerge following Bari’s return.

If either Shoaib or Gul is not selected then Pakistan might pick pacer Mohammad Sami, also on the injury list because of a back problem. Injuries to key bowlers and a four-match suspension on all-rounder Shahid Afridi is likely to pave the way for leg-spinner Danish Kaneria return to the squad for the World Cup.

An integral part of Pakistan’s Test squad, Kaneria is not considered to be a good one-day bowler but because of limited bowling options, Pakistan are expected to include him in their World Cup line-up.
Source:The News

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