Pakistan in England 2006 July 25, 2006

Rao Iftikhar leaves squad after father's death

Cricinfo staff



Rao Iftikhar Anjum returned home after hearing of his father's death © Getty Images

Rao Iftikhar Anjum, the Pakistan fast bowler, has returned home mid-way through Pakistan's tour of England after hearing news of his father's death on Sunday.

Zaheer Abbas, Pakistan team manager, said that the entire Pakistani squad was saddened by the death of Rao's father and the management made hectic efforts to send the player back to his home town.

Rao came to England as a replacement for the injured Mohammad Asif. He did not play the first Test at Lord's in which Pakistan played Mohammad Sami and Umar Gul but took two wickets in Pakistan's seven-wicket win in the tour match against Northamptonshire. Zaheer said that Pakistan would not be asking for any replacement for Rao.

"Almost everybody who can be in the Pakistan team is here and if any such player is not already with us, that means he is injured. I mean, we don't have anybody left to try out any more," said Zaheer.

Pakistan decided against net practice at Old Trafford on Monday in a bid to give their players some much-needed rest ahead of the second Test starting on Thursday. "Some of our players needed more rest so we have decided to have the nets tomorrow," said Zaheer. "The boys have now fully settled down. Players like Younis Khan, who faced injury problems earlier on this tour, are now completely fit and looking forward to play in the next Test."

Younis did not play in the Lord's Test because of a knee injury he sustained earlier this month. Zaheer said Abdul Razzaq, who suffered from a minor back problem on the final day of the Lord's Test, was also almost completely fit and would take part in the nets session on Tuesday.

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