Umar to lead Patron's XI in South Africa warm-up

Published: Saturday, September 22, 2007, 17:40 [IST]
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Former Pakistan opener Taufeeq Umar will get a chance to reclaim his Test place when he leads a Patron's XI side in next week's three-day warm-up against touring South Africa.

The 26-year-old left-hander is being given a lifeline to resurrect his career as Pakistan search for a dependable set of openers for the two-Test series against South Africa.

The Graeme Smith-led South Africans will arrive here Wednesday and start their tour with the three-day game here from Thursday.

The first Test will start here on October 1 followed by the second Test in Lahore from October 8. The Tests will be followed by a series of five one-day games.

"Umar will lead the Patron's XI, and we have tried to accommodate some youngsters who have done well recently," chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed said Saturday.

Umar played the last of his 25 Tests on Pakistan's tour of England last year.

Another discard, left-handed batsman Asim Kamal, also gets a chance after being sidelined from the Test squad for nearly a year.

Top order batsman Ahmed Shahzad, who did well on Pakistan's Under-19 team's tour of England, is also part of the 15-man squad.

Patron's XI squad: Taufeeq Umar (capt), Asim Kamal, Fawad Alam, Khurram Manzoor, Yasir Arafat, Babar Naeem, Shahid Yousuf, Rizwan Ahmed, Adnan Raza, Sarfraz Ahmed, Junaid Zia, Anwar Ali, Ahmed Shahzad, Umar Ameen, Uzair-ul Haq

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