Mohammad Asif ruled out from the first Test

Published: Wednesday, July 12, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:After Shoaib Akhtar and Rana Naved-ul Hasan, up and coming fast bowler Mohammad Asif was also ruled out from the first Test against England beginning at Lord's tomorrow.

Mohammad Asif received an elbow injury during a four-day game against England A last week and his exclusion effectively blunts the Pakistan pace attack which is already devoid of its spearheads -- Shoaib and Rana.

The hosts have called for young medium pacer Samiullah Niazi from Pakistan but Woolmer said it was highly unlikely he would play at Lords.

''He (Niazi) would be here tomorrow. But with just putting him in the team for the first Test is unlikely. We will have to rely on Mohammad Sami, Umar Gul, Shahid Nazir and Abdul Razzaq as the team's fast bowlers,'' the coach was quoted as saying by the News.

Woolmer also ruled out the possibility of veteran leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed making a comeback at Lord's, saying, ''I dont think we will call Mushtaq for the match. We will have to do with the bowlers we have here with us.'' Pakistan are yet to name their team for the opening Test with manager Zaheer Abbas saying that the announcement has been delayed in order to give Asif some more time to recover.

''We are not announcing the team because what will happen if we omit Asif and he gets fit,'' Zaheer said even though Woolmer made it clear that the paceman had not recovered yet and was not going to be included in the playing eleven.

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