Pakistan call up pacer Niazi for England Tests

Published: Monday, July 10, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:Pakistan have called up uncapped left arm pacer Samiullah Niazi before the first Test against England due to a series of injury problems.

Chief selector Wasim Bari today told Reuters touring team management had asked for Niazi to be sent to England immediately.

''The selectors understand this is a difficult situation for the touring team, because of the many fitness problems,'' Bari said. ''And we want to support them anyway we can.'' Pakistan are already without fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar and lost experienced pacer Rana Naved for the Tests after specialists advised him to have surgery to rectify a groin problem.

''It is a setback for them before the Test. We have told them we are willing to send anyone as a reinforcement,'' Bari said.

Pacers Mohammad Sami and Mohammad Asif also picked up knocks in the drawn game against England A in the lead up to the first Test from Thursday.

Niazi played recently for Pakistan A in a six-nation tournament in Abu Dhabi.

Bari declined to confirm if team management had spoken to him about recalling seasoned leg spinner Mushtaq Ahmed to bolster the bowling resources.

Mushtaq, who has not played for Pakistan since 2003, has been in good form for English county side Sussex and captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has suggested he could be a strong option for a recall.

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