Sports psychologist to accompany Pakistan team to India, SA

Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board is leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to ensure that the national team produces successful results in India and South Africa.

The chairman of the board, Zaka Ashraf said yesterday that they will be sending a sports psychologist with the team to India.

"Dr Maqbool Babri has been working with some of our players in recent times and he will also go with the team to India which is going to be a high pressure tour," Ashraf said.

He said that the idea behind sending a sports psychologist was to keep the players focused and help them cope with the pressures of playing a bilateral series in India after such a long time.

Pakistan go to India on Dec 22 to play two T20 matches and three ODIs -- the first bilateral series between the two countries since 2007.

They also tour South Africa in January next year for a full Test and One-day series.

The PCB chief pointed out that Babri`s presence should help the youngsters selected in the T20 and ODI squads during the Indian tour.

Babri has held counselling sessions with Mohammad Aamir, who is serving a five-year ban for spot fixing, and some other players like Zulqarnain Haider, Ahmed Shahzad and Umar Akmal who have had behavioural problems in the past.

Ashraf also announced that Pakistan`s former captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq will be working with the players as batting consultant in the week-long conditioning camp, which will be set up in Lahore for the Indian tour.

"We wanted Inzamam to accompany the team to India but he has prior commitments with some media outlets for the series," another board official said.

He indicated that Inzamam might probably accompany the team to South Africa.


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