Gul`s absence in Pak team will not be felt: Cheema

Updated: Apr 07, 2011, 09:28 AM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan’s main fast bowler Umar Gul’s replacement in the one day and Twenty20 squad, Aizaz Cheema, has said that Gul’s absence in the team will not be felt.

Pakistan selector Mohsin Khan decided to rest Gul and give a chance to pacer Cheema to show what he can do in international cricket.

Cheema, a right arm pace bowler who plays for Pakistan International Airlines, has been a consistent performer in Pakistani domestic cricket and has been close to national selection on several occasions.

Speaking to a Pakistani cricket website, Cheema explained how in his estimation, chances to play for Pakistan had all but disappeared and his thoughts on the call up.

Gul’s loss to the squad will be a huge blow, especially given that he had been in fine form up until the World Cup semi final at Mohali, but Cheema feels that there is enough talent and ability amongst the other bowlers selected to overcome the absence of Umar Gul.

"Yes Gul’s absence is a big loss, but I feel that if you look at the other bowlers who have been selected, I think we can overcome the absence of Umar (Gul). The opportunity is there for others to show what they are made of and to show that they can lead the bowling attack and perform in the absence of a strike bowler," he said.

Cheema has taken 221 wickets in 62 matches in first class cricket.

Pakistan’s tour of the Caribbean commences on 18th April with a warm-up match against the Vice Chancellors XI, with the only Twenty20 fixture due to be played on 21st April.