August 25, 2001

Saqlain misses Asian Test

Off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq will miss the Asian Test Championship opener between Pakistan and Bangladesh starting at Multan from Aug 29. The chairman of selectors, Wasim Bari, who watched the first day's proceedings in the three-day match involving the visitors, told newsmen that Saqlain would return on Sept 13.

Bari said Saqlain had some pressing domestic commitments in England. He, however, clarified that his engagement had nothing to do with English county Surrey.

The chief selector said the team for the Multan Test would be handed over to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Sunday. He said it would then be upto the establishment when to release the squad to the media. Nevertheless, Bari hinted that the team for the match had already been decided. "There are question marks against a couple of players. But we have been discussing the team amongst ourselves while Waqar Younis has already been consulted."

The chief selector said the playing lineup would be selected by the captain as his committee's job would end with the picking of 15 players. Until last year, the selection committee used to decide the playing lineup. But the change has probably come after Waqar Younis threatened to quit if his views were not given due consideration while finalizing the playing lineup.

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