Rawalpindi Express set for India tour

Published: Thursday, October 25, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Multan: Paceman Shoaib Akhtar is set to earn selection by Pakistan on Friday for their tour of India having completed a 13-match suspension.

"Shoaib has bowled impressively in a domestic first class game and unless something dramatic happens he is inked into our list of 15 players for India," a national selector told reporters on Thursday.

The fast bowler's ban for misconduct ends after Pakistan's fourth one-day international against South Africa in Multan and he becomes eligible for the fifth and final game in Lahore on Monday.

Pakistan, who will name their squad for the first half of the tour on Friday, will play five one-day internationals in early November in India before three Tests in New Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore.

"Mohammad Asif is also cleared for the tour," the selector said. Paceman Asif has struggled with an elbow injury and missed the first three one-day internationals against South Africa.

Shoaib, Pakistan's most senior bowler, has played only one Test and four one-dayers since February 2006 due to fitness problems and disciplinary issues.

"He looked a bit rusty but was good in his strides and is keen to make a comeback for the Indian tour," the selector said.

Pak arrival postponed: Security concerns have made the Pakistan cricket team to postpone their arrival in Guwahati for the inaugural ODI of the five-match series by a day and will be now reaching the city on Nov 4, a day ahead of the tie, reports UNI from Guwahati

The Indian team will also be arriving on the same day as had been announced earlier.

The Pakistan team was originally slated to reach on Nov 3, but security concerns in this North Eastern state of Assam is believed to have led to the postponement, though sources in Assam Cricket Association (ACA) neither denied nor confirm the reason.

The sources, without confirming whether security was the reason for the postponement, said it could be an issue with the visiting team. ''But we have made adequate security arrangements and the ACA,the government and all concerned parties are working in coordination to ensure a smooth match,'' he added.

As per revised schedule, the Pakistan team will arrive in the afternoon from New Delhi, where they will take part in a practice match. The Indian team will fly from Kolkata at about noon.

Meanwhile, ACA officials informed that the trophy for the series would be unveiled at a city hotel on Nov 4, in the presence of both the captains and other officials.

The PSU major, Indian Oil, will be sponsoring the series and the trophy would be named as Indian Oil Cup.


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