April 15, 2003

PCB invites 76 cricketers for two-day trials

The national selection committee Tuesday invited 76 cricketers to appear in the two-day trials to be held at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Wednesday and Thursday. Those impressing the selectors will be retained in a pool of 60 players, also likely to comprise cricketers who went to South Africa and Sharjah. These players will be equally divided into five teams for matches to be played from April 18 to 24 at Lahore. The schedule of the matches is being finalized by the PCB's Cricket Operations department.

"The idea for this exercise is to identify the talent and expose them before the newly-appointed selection committee. It (this process) would also help them in selecting Pakistan teams for forthcoming assignments," a spokesman of the PCB said.

Pakistan will tour Sri Lanka and England in the next two months and is also scheduled to host Bangladesh and South Africa between August and November.

The Chairman of Selectors, Aamer Sohail, said: "Some slots are still available for grabs in the Pakistan cricket team. Besides, we want to have, at least, two to three back up players for every place so that if a top performer is not available for any reason, the replacement is equally good."

Aamer said the five teams for the 15 matches will be announced on Thursday evening. "We have to blend youth with experience and until we are not sure of what is available, we can't proceed. The boys for the trials have been picked on their domestic performances and on the recommendations of match referees and umpires."

Aamer said some of the enterprising and talented players may also be recommended to attend coaching at the National Cricket Academy which is likely to get operative in May.

Aamer admitted that the names of some current Test players featured in the probables invited for trials, saying: "Players like Mohammad Zahid and Naved Latif were in the team for Sharjah but they didn't get the opportunity to play. Therefore, we just need to make sure if they are fit and how far they are technically correct. There is no element of disrespect to these players."

Probables (for trials):

Openers: Imran Nazir (Lahore), Imran Farhat (Lahore), Babar Naeem (Rawalpindi), Salman Butt (Lahore), Kamran Sajid (Lahore), Ali Naqvi (Lahore), Khalid Latif (Karachi), Adil Nisar (Lahore).

Middle-order batsmen: Naved Latif (Sargodha), Qaiser Abbas (Muridke), Bilal Asad (Islamabad), Bazid Khan (Lahore), Farhan Adil (Karachi), Saeed bin Nasir (Karachi), Yasir Hameed (Peshawar), Khaqan Arsal Raja (Lahore), Mohammad Wasim (Islamabad), Hasan Raza (Karachi), Sohail Idrees (Lahore), Sufyan Munir (Lahore), Rizwan Malik (Gujranwala), Usman Tariq (Bahawalpur), Naumanullah (Karachi), Asim Kamal (Karachi), Asim Munir (Gujranwala), Fahad-ul-Haq (Lahore), Salman Ali (Sheikhupura), Salman Qadir (Lahore), Shahid Yousuf (Sialkot), Faisal Khan (Sialkot), Shahnawaz Malik (Lahore), Asif Hussain (Faisalabad), Maisam Hasnain (Karachi)

Allrounders: Yasir Arafat (Islamabad), Junaid Zia (Rawalpindi), Raza Ali Dar (Lahore), Kamran Younis (Lahore), Atiq-ur-Rehman (Gujranwala).

Fast bowlers: Mohammad Zahid (Vehari), Jaffar Nazir (Muridke), Najaf Shah (Rawalpindi), Shabbir Ahmed (Khanewal), Abdul Rauf (Okara), Faisal Afridi (Sargodha), Tanvir Ahmed (Karachi), Waqas Ahmed (Lahore), Fazl-i-Akbar (Peshawar), Yasir Ali (Attock), Mohammad Asif (Sheikhupura), Wasim Khan (Lahore), Nawaz Sardar (Sheikhupura), Khurram Irshad (Lahore), Mohammad Irshad (Lahore), Tahir Mughal (Sialkot), Samiullah Khan (Sargodha), Fahad Masood (Lahore), Imran Ali (Lahore), Saad Altaf (Rawalpindi), Nadeem Javed (Sheikhupura), Irfan Fazil (Lahore), Umar Javed (Lahore), Wahab Riaz (Lahore)

Spinners: Azhar Ali (Lahore), Mohammad Aqeel (Faisalabad), Mansoor Amjad (Sialkot), Farooq Iqbal (Faisalabad), Abdul Shakoor (Azad Kashmir), Iftikhar Mahmood (Rawalpindi), Mohammad Hussain (Lahore), Yasir Shah (Swabi), Aftab Ahmed (Karachi).

Wicketkeepers: Atiq-uz-Zaman (Karachi), Kamran Akmal (Lahore), Zulqarnain Haider (Lahore), Humayun Farhat (Lahore), Amin-ur-Rehman (Karachi).

Samiul Hasan
General Manager - Media
Mobile + 92 300 8424 389
April 15, 2003