Pak selectors likely to recall Mushtaq Ahmed

Published: Tuesday, July 18, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Islamabad:Veteran leg spinner Mushtaq Ahmed has received the backing of Pakistan selectors for a possible recall to the injury-hit side for the second Test against England next week.

The 36-year-old has not played for Pakistan since October 2003, but he is seen as an option for the remaining three Tests by captain Inzamam-ul-Haq in view of his bowlers' fitness problems.

Pakistan, who ground out a draw in the first Test at Lord's yesterday, are without pacemen Shoaib Akhtar, Rana Naved and Mohammad Asif for the second Test at Old Trafford from July 27.

Mushtaq, who has taken 185 wickets in 52 Tests, has forced his way back into the reckoning for a recall following a good run of form with English county Sussex.

''It all depends on the team's planning for the Test. Inzamam knows Mushtaq better than anyone else. If he wants to play him because of special circumstances, we will support him,'' chief selector Wasim Bari told Reuters today.

''We have four to five injuries in the team and we have to look at things very differently and we need special thinking. By and large we support the captain.'' Bari added that a possible recall for Mushtaq would depend on how Inzamam wanted to attack England's batsmen.

He pointed out that in the first Test, the pitch had been dry and the weather good, helping spinners Danish Kaneria (Pakistan) and Monty Panesar (England) grab wickets.

The chief selector said Asif and all rounder Shoaib Malik, who returned to Pakistan earlier in the week with elbow injuries, would require at least four weeks to make full recoveries.

''I am keeping options open for the One-day series because they are good players,'' he added.

The five-match One-day series begins on August 30.

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