Champions Trophy 2013 May 5, 2013

Abdur Rehman banks on county experience


Picked in the Champions Trophy squad alongside Saeed Ajmal and part-time options like Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik, Abdur Rehman may not be a certainty in Pakistan's first-choice XI. However, the left-arm spinner who last played an ODI in September 2012, said he was optimistic about his chances of playing in England because of his county experience.

"I am not concerned about being in the playing XI, as it is a decision they [coach and the captain] take after reading the conditions before the match," Rehman said during the ongoing training camp in Abbottabad. "But spinners have a definite role in England. Every team has at least two spinners and they have as equal an opportunity to take wickets as fast bowlers. If I get a chance to play, I will definitely make a difference."

Rehman, 33, had experience of English conditions during his short stint for Somerset last summer. In four championship matches he took 27 wickets at an average of 14.18. His best performance came against Worcestershire, when he picked up nine wickets in the first innings and finished with a 14-wicket haul in the match. He also took nine wickets in three CB40 matches, with a personal best of 6 for 16 against Nottinghamshire.

"I have gained plenty of experience from my county stint last year and this gives me an edge," Rehman said. "Though I haven't played international cricket in a long time, I have been practising regularly. I know I will play in the shadow of Saeed Ajmal, but I will try my best to contribute to the success of the team."

Rehman made headlines last year when he was banned for 12 weeks after testing positive for cannabis during the county season. He completed his ban in December, but missed the tour to India and the Champions League T20 for his side Sialkot Stallions. He was part of the squad for the tour to South Africa but was not picked for any of the Tests or ODIs.

"During the South Africa tour, I didn't play in the team as it was a decision taken by the team management and I have no hard feelings," Rehman said. "The combination that played there was the best possible one. As far as I am concerned, I didn't lose hope and was equally active in South Africa and here."

On the third day of the Abbottabad camp, there were a few rain interruptions but the batsmen had ample practice. Mohammad Hafeez's back-foot punch, perhaps his favourite shot, has brought him many runs but he has generally struggled against seam bowling outside the subcontinent. On Saturday, Hafeez had an individual batting session with assistant coach Shahid Aslam and worked on facing swinging deliveries.

"I am working on my normal technique," Hafeez said. "It's not like we are here to do something special in these five to six days, but the main objective is to acclimatise with the conditions that we will face in the next one-and-a-half months.

"As players, we have to improve performances ourselves with the help of the support staff. We have a good blend of young and experienced players in the team who are capable of producing a good result."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 7, 2013, 0:18 GMT

    Abdur Rehman's is an excellent bowler but his main problem is that he is playing in the era of Saeed Ajmal. This is the same reason Mc Gill did not get enough chances while Warne was playing although Mc Gill has a better record when both played together.

  • Stark on May 6, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    I've never understood his preference over Raza Hasan!!

    Raza Hasan is young and has potential, hence needs to be given the opportunity to mature and become a world class spinner but Rehman should be a regular in the Test team (for now).

    Lastly, would it not be a better choice to have Afridi over Rehman? Afridi can bat and was the second highest run getter on the tour of SA.

  • Shahab on May 6, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    Not a bad idea to play Rehman in place of Wahab....... of-course the conditions have to be first considered. He looks a complete team man and can be handy with bat as well.... though he lacks confidence in his batting.

  • Danish on May 5, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    @Muhammad Ashraf..hahaha.I completely agree. Anyways, I think when pakistan do well,they always win. The preparations etc dont matter at all when its comes to the pakistani team. Pakistani players dont play county cricket that much and thats a huge problem.County cricket is the best form of domestic cricket in the world of cricket,undoubtedly. With all the hype surrounding an indian t20 domestic cricket tournament,which i'm strongly against,County cricket still remains on the top and that says a lot in itself. I am a huge fan of A.Rehman's bowling but its his bad luck that misbah is the captain and saeed ajmal is such a world class spinner that Rehman will always have problems. I again strongly demand that Shoaib Malik,Misbah,Kamran Akmal and Umar gul be banned from cricket.The reason being,they're not talented enough to play for pakistan and have lost pakistan more matches than they've won pakistan.cheers.

  • zaf on May 5, 2013, 18:19 GMT

    Rehman/Ajmal are the best for test series only. PCB should pick AFRIDI over Ajmal and Rahman, because AFRIDI prefect fit for UK condition. Ajmal didn't perform in SA tour either. County, League & T20 series like IPL, totally changed ODI format, now 300 & more is normal score in 50 overs. For high scoring match India added 6 special ODI batsmen for UK tour, PCB should think what that means? PCB should add at least 4 more ODI specialist batsmen and fast playing allrounders for UK tour. The current selected team can't win a single match. PAK current batting line so weak they don't have ability to chase any score. If PCB still sleeping, then mark my words a huge defeat waiting for Misbah/Mr. tuktuk.

  • Dummy4 on May 5, 2013, 17:15 GMT

    when players like sir s.malik can be selected for ct, one can imagine the decline of batting talent in pak. otherwise the guy who avg. somewhat 7.83 from last two years would never have been selected even at domestic level ,leave out intl. level. when would pak. Selectors wake up."""" Cheers from j & k""".

  • Cricket on May 5, 2013, 16:00 GMT

    As long as Ajmal is fit and doing fine, I dont see A.Rehman getting into the final eleven for any shorter version games. There are just too many spinners in the ODI team. If a spinner had to be included who could be usefull with the bat then Afridi is the obvious choice. Also Afridi is an excellent fielder. The Message is clear. In England A.Rehman will be only a back-up spinner, just in case Ajmal gets injured or something of that sort.


  • Dummy4 on May 5, 2013, 14:47 GMT

    He certainly deserves a chance in playing eleven

  • Dummy4 on May 5, 2013, 14:32 GMT

    He had pretty good session in England's county. He should be given a chance to play CT.