Team announcement delayed by a day

Published: Tuesday, February 15, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has delayed by a day the announcement of the 16-member team for the India series to allow foreign trainers to examine the fitness of players including paceman Shoaib Akhtar.

The team was ealier scheduled to be named on February 18 but now it will be announced a day later, PCB said on Monday.

"The foreign trainers - Daryl Lifson and Murray Stevenson - will be available in Lahore on February 19. After taking the fitness tests of the probables, the trainers will report to the selectors who will then decide on the players," PCB's director (operation) Saleem Altaf said from Lahore.

The PCB-appointed foreign trainers left for private vacations on February 9 and are scheduled to return on February 18.

On Shoaib, Altaf said the bowler did not play in the Patron's Trophy because he "still has niggles in his hamstring" but he would appear before the physical trainers.

Altaf, however, dismissed reports that the selection committee meeting had been delayed solely because of Shoaib.

"I think, it's for everyone. But I assure you once again that any player not fit will not be considered for selection."

Shoaib's rehabilitation programme, chalked out by Lifson and Stevenson, ends on February 18.

The PCB director said if selected, Shoaib will not play in the Patron's Trophy.

"The third round of the Patron's Trophy will be played between February 21 and 24 while the Pakistan team leaves on February 24."

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