Gul to return home after aggravating injury

Published: Thursday, November 29, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Kolkata: Pakistan paceman Umar Gul will return home because of back trouble and the injury-hit side have sent an SOS back home seeking replacements ahead of the second Test against India starting on Friday.

"Gul is going back," Malik told reporters.

"He bowled all out yesterday (Wednesday) at practice, but felt pain today, so he is being sent back. We've called for replacements and given the selectors a few options. We're hoping they will reach today."

Gul missed the first Test due to the injury but was cleared by the Pakistan medical team.

Malik is also doubtful for the match due to an ankle injury picked up while playing soccer on Monday after India won the first Test by six wickets.

"I walked and jogged but felt pain," he said. "I'll take a fitness test tomorrow and decide." Strike bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami also did not bowl at the nets for the second consecutive day due to chest infection, but Malik said both were recovering well.

Asked who were the replacements, Malik said, ''That is confidential. We have given a list of names and it is for the selectors to decide.'

With its key players in the injured and indisposed list, the woe of Pakistan camp, desperate to win the second Test to remain alive in the series, simply overflowed.

While Shoaib Malik himself is doubtful for the Test morrow with an ankle injury, Umar Gul was packed off to Pakistan as he needed prolonged treatment. There is also a big question mark over new-ball bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Sami as both were recovering from a viral infection.

Misbah ul Haq, who is down with throat infection is also to appear for a fitness test tomorrow before the match commences. However, he is expected to do well.


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