Pakistan wants a fully fit squad for the Aussie series

March 28th, 2009 - 10:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Shoaib Akhtar Karachi, March 28 (IANS) The Pakistan cricket team is facing fitness problems ahead of their One-day series against Australia in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in April.
The News reported Saturday that the Pakistan team management and the national selectors have decided to put the probables through extensive fitness tests next week before naming a 15-man squad for the April 22-May 7 series. Pakistan will play five One-day Internationals and a Twenty20 game against the Aussies during the series.

According to the report, the focus will be on controversial pacer Shoaib Akhtar. However, players like Umar Gul and bowling all-rounder Yasir Arafat will also be under the scanner.

The accent on fitness is because the grounds in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are sand-based and there even niggles can aggravate into serious injuries. Also, the Pakistanis want a fully fit side to have a crack at the 2009 Twenty20 World Championship in England in June.

As for Shoaib, he is itching to make yet another international comeback after being dumped following an unimpressive

return during the one-day series against Sri Lanka at home in June.

The ‘Rawalpindi Express’ has declared himself fully fit and says he is ready to play against Australia, but the national

selectors and team management are not convinced.

The News report said the suspicion is that Shoaib has not yet recovered from a knee injury for which he was advised surgery, but he has decided against it, saying the injury has healed without any operation.

Pakistan will train briefly in Lahore before leaving for Dubai more than a week ahead of the eagerly-awaited series.


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