Injury worries add more to Pakistan’s troubles

Taunton: In yet another blow to Pakistan ahead of the two Twenty20s and five one-day internationals against England, four key players of the team suffered injuries during their warm-up match against Somerset here.

Pakistan are already without Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir, all three of whom are implicated in a ‘spot-fixing’ scandal.

And compounding the team’s problems were injuries to four important players ahead of and during the practice match which the visitors won narrowly by eight runs.

In-form batsman Umar Akmal had a concussion after suffering a blow in the nets before the match while seamers Umar Gul and Wahab Riaz ended up with up finger and shoulder injuries respectively.

Both, however, are likely to be fit for Sunday’s first Twenty20 match against England.

Abdul Razzaq’s back injury, suffered during practice, is a cause for concern for the tourists, as the all-rounder’s absence will mean Pakistan taking the field without three of their frontline pace bowlers against England.

There was, however, some consolation for Pakistan as the warm-up match ended in a victory for them yesterday after Butt’s replacement, Shahzaib Hasan, notched up a century for the visitors.

“That team fully firing might have cleaned us up a bit earlier but when you saw the death period and business end of game you could see they were well drilled in what they had to do,” Somerset’s stand-in captain Peter Trego was quoted as saying by ‘The Daily Telegraph’.

“If there is any cloud hanging over those guys it needs to be addressed. The shame is it is three exceptionally good players they have lost and might detract away from the quality of the series with England. But on the whole with the issues around it is best they are out of the limelight now.”