| SAQLAIN: Back in contention after Kenya debacle
Islamabad: Already smarting under a string of humiliating defeats, Pakistan players got another jolt when the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said it would go for wholesale changes for the ICC Champions Trophy as punishment for their poor performance.
A meeting of the selection committee has been convened by the PCB chairman in the next 48 hours to make the necessary changes, according to a local daily Thursday. Though Pakistan have qualified for the ongoing tri-series final in Nairobi, they drew a lot of flak for back-to-back humiliating defeats at the hands of Australia.
Pakistan play Sri Lanka in the opening game. Indications were that Misbah-ul-Haq, initially overlooked for the Colombo meet, would be included in place of Imran Nazir who has been a total flop in the last four weeks. Haq, a middle-order batsman, managed to withstand the Australian onslaught while his senior colleagues fell like nine pins.
Allrounder Shoaib Malik’s berth also appears to be under threat. Selectors plan to recall off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq who was keen to play in Colombo but was overlooked after he refused to tour Nairobi to be with his pregnant wife.
Lehmann declared fit
Australian batsman Darren Lehmann was cleared on Thursday to rejoin the Australian team for next week’s Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka as well as the three Test series with Pakistan.
Aussie, Pak agree
Meanwhile, Australia and Pakistan have agreed to play next month’s three match Test series on neutral soil, say reports from Sydney.
The Australian Cricket Board announced on Thursday it had accepted a proposal from the Pakistan Cricket Board to split the series between Sri Lanka and Sharjah.