Rookie speedster among PCB probables list

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Islamabad: Underlining their intention of giving the new guns a chance, Pakistan's cricket selectors have ignored seasoned players Ijaz Ahmed, Aamir Sohail, Mushtaq Ahmed and Rashid Latif while drawing a preliminary list of 33 probables for the upcoming New Zealand and Sharjah tours. While a few of the veteran players - Wasim Akram, Saeed Anwar and Waqar Younis - have been retained, the list brims with debutants including a raw speedster, Muhammad Sami. The inclusion of Sami, who has been rated as the fastest bowler on the domestic circuit and has taken wickets consistently in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, highlights the PCB's dogged insistence on fast bowlers. The selection committee which met under the chairmanship of Wasim Bari on Wednesday discussed the upcoming tours before submitting the list to the Board, who will finally approve the list and announce the final names for the training camp to be held from January 22. The list also includes Karachi firebrands Hasan Raza and wicketkeeper Atiq-u-Zaman who were both sidelined after being involved in a scandal in August last year. According to sources, while the Board was generally in favour of giving another chance to Raza, it was reluctant about including Atiq, citing his attitude as the main problem. Before the selectors' meeting, there were indications that discarded players such as Ijaz, Sohail and Latif might be recalled, keeping in mind the humiliating 0-1 Test loss to England. The inclusion of two 'keepers - Atiq and Hamayun Farhat - sparks off speculation of a possible sacking of current 'keeper-captain Moin Khan, who was widely criticised for his controversial remarks and poor form during the England tour. Bari, however, tried to scotch such reports by saying they needed reserve wicket-keepers as the New Zealand tour was a pretty long one.

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