Kaneria to put country ahead of county in 2006

Published: Tuesday, March 7, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:Pakistan leg spinner Danish Kaneria will limit his appearances for English county Essex after being ordered to remain as fresh as possible for his country's tours to Sri Lanka and England.

Pakistan play three One-day internationals and two Test matches in Sri Lanka from March 17 before heading to England in July for a four-Test, five ODI series.

''I will make a decision on how many matches I should play for Essex after the Sri Lanka tour,'' Kaneria told Reuters today.

''I will probably only be able to appear for them for a month this season.'' The 25-year-old has taken 148 wickets in 34 Tests and is regarded by Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq as a key bowler for this year's overseas tours.

Inzamam has already made it clear he wanted Kaneria to stay fit and motivated for the England tour and not get worn out by playing too much county cricket.

''I will speak to my captain because Essex has played a big role in my development as a bowler,'' added Kaneria, who joined last season's National League One-day title winners in 2004.

''I will definitely play for them for a limited time frame. It will help me get accustomed to English conditions.'' The leg-spinner said he was keen to do well in Sri Lanka, where he felt conditions assisted the spinners.

''It is an important tour for me because I have never played a Test there. If I can do well in Sri Lanka, it will put me in the right frame of mind for England,'' he added.

Despite playing a major role in Pakistan's 2-0 home Test series win over England at the end of 2005, Kaneria is struggling to nail down a permanent place in the One-day squad, having appeared in just 15 matches and taken 12 wickets.

Kaneria, however, is confident that he can become more involved with the Pakistan limited-overs side.

''There is definitely a role for a wicket-taking bowler in One-day cricket,'' he added.

''My ambition remains to play in the 2007 World Cup.''

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