Pakistan team to have short camp ahead of Zimbabwe tour

Lahore: The Pakistan cricket team for next month`s tour of Zimbabwe will only undergo a short conditioning camp as it coincides with the holy month of Ramazan, according to PCB sources.

"Since Ramazan starts from around August 2 and the team has to leave for Harare around the 24th it has been decided to have a three-four days conditioning camp before the team`s departure," a Pakistan Cricket Board official said.

He said the schedule of the camp would be finalised once chief coach, Waqar Younis arrives here from Australia.

Waqar, who is based in Sydney, had delayed his arrival by 10 days due to ill health, but will now reach on Monday.

In his absence, the PCB has been organising fast-track camps at the national cricket academy for leading players, including members of the national team available in Pakistan.

Many of the leading players are presently busy playing county cricket in England.

"The fast-track camps continue till July end so there is no purpose having a full-fledged camp before the Zimbabwe tour," the official said.

Pakistan will play one Test, three one-day internationals and a T20 match during the three-week tour.

The official confirmed that before leaving, the board would also announce the revised list of central contracts for players.

"We were supposed to release the revised list of contracted players from July 1st and the list is final. We are just waiting for final approval from the board chairman who returns from abroad next week," the official said.

Indications are that the revised list will include more young players and some players would be dropped, including fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who retired from all cricket during the World Cup and former captain, Shahid Afridi, who has also announced his retirement from international cricket.

Both the seniors were placed in the category A of the last contracts list announced in January this year.

"There is also no chance of Danish Kaneria, Shoaib Malik or even Kamran Akmal getting contracts since while the first two are not cleared for selection by the integrity committee of the board, Kamran is out of favor with the national selectors," he said.

A source confirmed that the selectors wanted some new players to be included in the list.

The source also ruled out the possibility of senior batsman, Muhammad Yousaf getting a contract although he had been active in the domestic circuit.

Interestingly, the ICC Task team in its recent report, made one recommendation to the PCB that the number of contracted players should not be more than 20.


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