Champions Trophy 2013 May 3, 2013

Pakistan regroup for Champions Trophy camp

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Pakistan's six-day conditioning camp ahead of the Champions Trophy began on Friday in Abbottabad. On the opening day at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium, the team had a two-hour session, spending most of it in physical and fielding drills.

The stadium is at an altitude of 1260 metres above sea level, surrounded by hills, and the players wanted to ensure they acclimatised themselves with the conditions first. The forecast suggests that temperature will stay pleasant through the day, but could drop to single figures at night.

"The mood is pretty good here," Dav Whatmore, the Pakistan head coach, told reporters. "We are very keen to extract as much as we can in the six days by training in the conditions, which are similar to where we are going to play much of our cricket in the next two months.

"We decided to come to Abbottabad, with its obviously cooler conditions, as it's very warm in Lahore at the moment. We have also prepared pitches with grass on them to try and simulate conditions like those in England. While one cannot recreate it exactly, this is the best we have."

The day started with fielding drills as Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez and Asad Shafiq had a rigorous slip-catching session while rest of the players went through regular fielding practice. There wasn't much bowling as the groundstaff worked on preparing the centre pitches for batting practice on Saturday.

Except Junaid Khan, all players picked for the Champions Trophy arrived for the camp, while five emerging fast bowlers were also called in to train with the national squad. Junaid, who lives in Swabi, about two hours away from Abbottabad, is expected to join the squad on Saturday.

Thirty minutes into the camp, Javed Miandad made an appearance. He said he was there to motivate players and had come on the request of the PCB chairman.

One of the sidelights of the day was the race between Nasir Jamshed and Saeed Ajmal. The usual sprinting drill was amusingly converted to a competition between the two, with the 35-year-old Ajmal beating the 23-year-old Jamshed by a big distance, leaving the latter out of breath.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Saqib_Sheraz on May 5, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    @Abbas_G Azhar Mehmood is no more a Pakistani Citizen, he is a British citizen. Good luck Team Pakistan and D Whatmore. PS Misbah! "Don't trust on over reliant spin bowling."

  • Pak_Guru on May 5, 2013, 6:07 GMT

    Mr Whatmore and Mr Misbah, hope you see this.

    A ODI bowling option - Irfan - Junaid - Riaz/ OR Asad - Ajmal - Amin - Hafeez - Shoaib. ........................... Enough power to bowl 50 over.

    Best XI for CT - Batting line up - Mohammad Hafeez - Nasir Jamshed - Asad Shafiq - Misbah-ul-Haq - Umar Amin - Shoaib Malik - Kamran Akmal - Wahab Riaz OR Asad Ali Saeed Ajmal - Junaid Khan - Mohammad Irfan,

    I think by doing the basics right, this team has the potential to win CHAMPION TROPHY.

  • dummy4fb on May 5, 2013, 2:22 GMT

    Why PCB ruled out shaid AFRIDI?

  • t20cric on May 4, 2013, 20:03 GMT

    @Nadir Rahim: I agree with u, normally people are complaining that Pakistan aren't thinking about the future and should give young players a chance and then they complain when they don't see Younis Khan/ Afridi/ Abdul Razzaq. These guys are all in there 30s and its only if u can consistently play at Ajmal's level that u deserve to play at 35. This time Pakistan have pretty young players who will have some experience by the time of 2015 world cup.

  • QASIM_cricket on May 4, 2013, 15:04 GMT

    Abbottabad is a very beautiful city to play cricket. pakistan team came here previously as well. i hope this ground is going to host future international cricket in pakistan.

  • dummy4fb on May 4, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    I don`t understand Pakistani fans. First we cry for a need of young team. Now people are saying bring back the old ones. Alright Farhat`s inclusion might be wrong, but the rest of the team seems perfectly good. Afrdi won us one world T20. Doesn`t mean he`ll do the same everytime. Have some faith.

  • dummy4fb on May 4, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    I don't understand why people are insisting to bring back Razzak and Afridi .. How many more chances we'll give them ?? People have to understand that there is age factor .. People must see the performance of Afridi in recent series, except that 88 against SA, he has no good performance and Afridi and Razzak are no more a match winners..

  • Abbas_G on May 4, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    Azhar Mehmood was a good option, but how can he be selected when he opted to play for other T20s leagues instead of his national duty. so the selection seems very good on papers but truly depends upon on field performance. best of luck to team pak

  • Taha_Farrukh on May 4, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    Afridi, Ahmad Shahzad, haris sohail should b in....in the place of Imran Farhat and umer amin i don't know on what basis farhat is in CT team.....

  • dummy4fb on May 4, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    Nasir is not a good runner. infact seems a bit funny when he fields and proved in article that he was beaten by 35 yr old ajmal when ajmal has gained some weight in past few months.

    Thats the best fun bit there.