Practice games performance not a criterion: Bari

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul haq might have asked Shoaib Akhtar to prove his fitness in the practice games but chief selector Wasim Bari has made it clear that the proposed matches will have no consequences on the team selection for the tour of England next month.

The conditioning camp is starting here from today where a few practice games might be held as proposed by the Pakistani captain in a bid to provide speedster Shoaib Akhtar a platform to prove his fitness. But Bari's statement has put a question mark on the 'Rawalpindi Express' return to international cricket.

''It's a good idea to have a few practice matches during the camp,'' Bari told ''TThe News'' adding, ''But to think that a player can stake a claim for a place in the national team on the basis of his performance in those games would be wrong.'' ''Such practice matches would just be a way to assist players like Shoaib get back in rhythm and that it. Nobody should expect that if a bowler who takes some wickets in those games would be selected in the team for England ahead of pacers like Muhammad Sami or Rana Naved-ul-Hassan,'' Mr Bari added.

The selection committee will announce the team on the basis of the players' performances in the recent past, he said adding as far as the players' fitness is concerned, the selectors would decide on it on the basis of the reports given by the team's fitness trainers after the 12-day exercise.

Meanwhile, Mr Bari agreed that such practice matches would help players like Shoaib regain match fitness ahead of the crucial England tour.

Pakistan will play four Tests and five ODI's during their tour of England.

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