Champions Trophy 2013

Pakistan regroup for Champions Trophy camp

Umar Farooq in Abbottabad

May 3, 2013

Comments: 33 | Text size: A | A

The Pakistan cricket team during a training session at their conditioning camp in Abbottabad, Pakistan, May 3, 2013
The Pakistan team train against the picturesque hills of Abbottabad © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

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

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Posted by 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."

Posted by 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.

Posted by   on (May 5, 2013, 2:22 GMT)

Why PCB ruled out shaid AFRIDI?

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by   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.

Posted by   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..

Posted by 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

Posted by Shazli on (May 4, 2013, 11:49 GMT)

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

Posted by   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.

Posted by   on (May 4, 2013, 11:19 GMT)

@Jda123: agreed with you on shoaib and farhat but on same note Afridi? on what basis? these 2 were poor but afridi is also. all shouoldnt be in.

Posted by   on (May 4, 2013, 11:17 GMT)

yes pcb did well to organize it in abbotabab. though it can not be 100% to English conditions but the best which pak can do in pakistan.

Well squad is ok, only thing ahmed shehzad deserved to be in after good domestic season. has some experience in NZ. Nsir is talented but not looking good in SA series and in domestic. Plus they needed 1 medium pace batting allrounder as they dont need more spinners.

Posted by   on (May 4, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

@testindian: could not agree more.

Posted by   on (May 4, 2013, 10:24 GMT)

A good squad selected purely on performance.Farhatz a domestic performer thatxwhy he is selected..I would have liked to see Hammad Azam at place of Abdu rehman..!

Posted by   on (May 4, 2013, 8:43 GMT)

Atleast one can see pace bowlers at display in ct. namely junaid ,irfan,steyn, starc,morkel,southee,patison,malinga,anderson,finn and co. as i am folllowing ckt . only to watch tear away pace bowlers ,who can forget beast like pace bowlers Aktharr, lee, and bond , cheers.

Posted by   on (May 4, 2013, 7:38 GMT)

@testindian huh 2009 t20 forgot u na who made semi n final 50ssss for pak itz afridi afridi n razzaq make a difference in any where any time...\

Posted by Cricket_Man on (May 4, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

The practice venue is just magnificent. I would've picked Azhar Mahmood and Ahmed Shahzad. Shahzad performed well in T20s against South Africa and Mahmood is a SPECIALIST in English conditions as he has been regularly playing over there for a decade or so and has performed well in the English conditions.

Posted by   on (May 4, 2013, 7:10 GMT)

Abdul Razzaq must be in the side. But good decision by PCB by dropping Afridi, U Akmal and others.

Posted by getsetgopk on (May 4, 2013, 7:03 GMT)

If there is any place where we can simulate conditions like those in England, SA or Auss it has to be Abbotabad. The air and soil over there remains moist throughout the summer unlike the dry dust bowls of Lahore Karachi etc as temperature doesn't get too high in ABT. The swing and bounce in these conditions would be very good if not exactly like what it is in Eng. I suggest PCB make it a proper practice venue and regular matches are played here on green tops. Should be a great remedy for our teams poor batting overseas. Good initiative indeed.

Posted by PAKISTANiLive on (May 4, 2013, 6:26 GMT)

For those questioning & disappointed about AFRIDI, Razzaq, Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal's EXCLUSION,,,these all 4 were not part of PAKISTAN's winning side against INDIA in ODI series which is considered as one of the most biggest series victories recently,,,,,,,,,GO MISBAH, GO GREEN!!!

Posted by testindian on (May 4, 2013, 5:30 GMT)

Lot of people i think are getting emotional at afridis inclusion rather than being practical...afridi has been around for a long time and during the time pakistan have played 4 world cups and 6 champions trophy...and if i may add winning none .so it is not like afridi could had made a huge difference and also the tournament is being played in england where par score would be around u need sensible batsmen like misbah and jamshed to score runs not pinch hitters exactly.. and with this pakistan bowling you never an indian fan looking for a good clash with pakistan

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (May 4, 2013, 5:23 GMT)

Abbotabad stadium looks so wonderful...It is an utter shame that cricket is not being played in Pakistan due to mix of political, geographical and incompetency of ICC! Abbotabad scenary reminds me of our own Queenstown. As far Pakistani team, selection looked well balanaced.

Posted by   on (May 4, 2013, 3:19 GMT)

love watching these Pakistani and West Indian batsman for their stroke play and guts, but get sick of them generously giving wickets for charity. Umar Akmal, Imran Farhat are 2 obvious examples.

Posted by   on (May 3, 2013, 21:47 GMT)

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. :)

Posted by uahmed on (May 3, 2013, 20:55 GMT)

Usaf Ch - so what you're saying is that Afridi should be there to prevent batting collapses?

Posted by   on (May 3, 2013, 20:15 GMT)

good luck Misbah, good luck Pakistan team

Posted by Crick_Expert on (May 3, 2013, 19:23 GMT)

PCB should review team selection and announce team consist on ODI Specialist players. ODI now become fast game, and there will be no more relax time Mr. tuktuk. PAK can't win without fast playing players like, AFRIDI, Abdul Razzak, Ahmed Shahzad, Reza Hasan, Imran Nazir, Awais Zia, Shahzeb Hasan.

Posted by   on (May 3, 2013, 19:17 GMT)

Pakistan has no chance in this series. The only match they will win is when Nasir puts up big score. 0 pinch hitting in middle and lower order. I would not even bother with saying good luck to these guyz. Well done again selectors (cost us the series before it began).

Posted by   on (May 3, 2013, 18:48 GMT)

best of luck boys champion trophy is ours

Posted by Jda123 on (May 3, 2013, 18:46 GMT)

Have no interest in watching Pakistan get beat by India and South Africa...

Really Shoaib Malik... Farhat....

Pakistan will be laughed at once again when their batting line up collapses.

Really hoped Afridi would be in this.

Posted by   on (May 3, 2013, 18:40 GMT)

Nasir jamshed should work on his fitness as this articles clearly states that he is unable to beat ajmal.

Now i have only fielding concern only bowling is perfect batting is now good but just a lil bit worried for fielding

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (May 3, 2013, 18:09 GMT)

They must be having fun.. its such a lovely place.. PCB should invest more on this stadium and can have matches here in summer as well as it stays very pleasant there. Good luck boys.

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