Karachi practice camp for Twenty20 World Cup July 29, 2007

Practice matches schedule revised to avoid burnout

Shoaib Mailk and Talat Ali agreed the camp schedule needed to be revised © AFP

Pakistan cricket officials have revised the schedule of practice matches at the preparatory camp for the Twenty20 World Championship after players complained that playing two matches a day was too tiring. Talat Ali, the Pakistan team manager, said that according to the new schedule the camp trainees would play a match a day and will get a rest day after every two days of matches.

According to the initial plan, the 26 players attending the Karachi leg of the training camp had to play two matches every alternate day. On Friday, which was the opening day of the 11-day camp, two matches were played which left most of the players completely drained.

Later, Shoaib Malik, the Pakistan captain, said he and other senior players would request the team management to revise the schedule. Talat confirmed that he and the other officials had a meeting with the players following the opening day's matches after which it was unanimously decided that the schedule would be changed.

"The aim is to prepare them for the Twenty20 World Cup and it doesn't matter if we play two games every day or restrict the schedule to just a daily match," Talat said. "As long as the players are finding their rhythm in these matches, it is fine with us."

Meanwhile, fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar will be featuring in today's practice game at the National Stadium after joining the camp on Saturday. Talat said that Shoaib has reported for duty after missing the opening day's matches.

The camp will continue till August 6 after which the national selection committee will meet in Karachi to name Pakistan's 15-man squad for the Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa from September 11 to 24.

The final phase of training will take place at the National Cricket Academy from August 19 to 26 in Lahore.