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Pakistan says Rana Naved may miss England tour

Published: Thursday, June 15, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Karachi:Pakistan fear that seamer Rana Naved-ul Hasan may miss their four-match Test series against England starting next month due to a serious groin injury, an official said.

The 28-year-old Naved, who has played eight Tests and 45 one-day internationals, suffered the injury during the ongoing English county season and returned home last week.

"Naved is a doubtful starter as he has been advised six weeks' rest and his groin injury seems very serious," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) director Abbas Zaidi told AFP on Thursday.

"The PCB medical commission examined the reports and has advised Naved to fly to England on Saturday where he has an appointment with a Sussex doctor two days later," said Zaidi. "We hope all ends well for him."

It is the latest blow to Pakistan's build-up for the tour after fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar was ruled out of the Tests last week due to an ankle injury.

Naved took 34 wickets in five matches for Sussex in the English season and received a special cash award for taking 27 wickets in the month of May.

His exploits in the county season were seen as a major boost for Pakistan before the Test and one-day series.

Zaidi said the PCB had sought foreign expertise to get Naved fit.

"We are also contacting experts in England to get him fit early and hope that he takes part in some matches on the tour. It's disappointing news for us," said Zaidi, who added that Rao Iftikhar or Samiullah Niazi may replace Naved in the 16-man squad.

Naved also missed Pakistan's two-match Test series against Sri Lanka due to family problems in March-April this year.

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer was concerned by Naved's injury.

"We are worried about it. We are still not sure what it is but as soon as I heard about him picking up the niggle I thought it might be serious," said Woolmer.

"If it's serious then he might need surgery."

Pakistan now have Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Sami, Shahid Nazir and Umar Gul as their pace line-up on the tour, which begins with a three-day match against Leicestershire from July 1.

The first Test starts at Lord's in London on July 13. The five match one-day series will follow the Tests.

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