Comeback likely for Inzamam

The Pakistan Cricket Board's selection committee has called up Inzamam-ul-Haq for fitness trials for the forthcoming Test series at home against South Africa. Inzamam's fitness will be ascertained at a week-long fitness camp ahead of the Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa in September.

"We have decided to invite a few players including Inzamam-ul-Haq to check their fitness for the Test series against South Africa," Salahuddin Ahmed, the chief selector, told The News.

Considering the fresh rethinking on the part the board, the chances of Inzamam making a comeback to the national team for Test matches now look good. Inzamam was not given a central contract by the board and the official reason for his omission was his retirement from ODIs after the World Cup. The board was keen to award contracts to only those who could play both forms of the game.

"It all depends on his fitness," Salahuddin said. "If Inzamam proves his fitness, he could be selected for the series against South Africa.

"We have decided to arrange a one-week training camp ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup as it would be too difficult to have an idea of players' fitness at the eleventh hour of the start of the series."

Salahuddin said some of the players who have had fitness problems would be given the opportunity to prove their fitness in the camp.

Meanwhile, the cricket selectors have called up the entire World Championship provisional squad -- barring four playing cricket in England -- for the third phase of the national camp which is to get under way at the National Stadium in Karachi from July 27.

The four leading players, Yasir Arafat, Younis Khan, Danish Kaneria and Zulqarnain Haider have been exempted from the camp. All the 26 probables have been asked to report in Karachi on July 26 for the ten-day training camp. Salahuddin added that the probables would mostly be involved in trial matches.

"They could play just four matches in Lahore. However, in Karachi these probables would be involved in trial matches. At least eight to ten Twenty20 matches will be played during the camp in Karachi."

The first phase of the training camp was held in Abbottabad followed by the second phase that concluded in Lahore on Monday.

Probables for the third phase: Shoaib Malik (captain), Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Yousuf, Yasir Hameed, Fawad Alam, Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Rao Iftikhar Anjum, Imran Farhat, Khurram Manzoor, Khalid Latif, Mohammd Hafeez Misbah-ul-Haq, Naved Latif, Faisal Iqbal, Shahid Yousuf, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Irshad, Najaf Shah, Abdur Rehman.