The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pathan cleared for World Cup
- He needs to bowl more: vengsarkar

Calcutta: Irfan Pathan was cleared to play in the World Cup after proving his match fitness on Sunday.

The 22-year-old allrounder overcame a bad first spell to take two for 48 off 8.4 overs for West Zone against Central Zone in a Deodhar Trophy match in Ahmedabad.

“Pathan’s trip to the West Indies is certain. There will be no alteration in the 15-man squad selected for the World Cup,” chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar said after watching Pathan’s bowling performance.

Vengsarkar had one-on-ones with Pathan, both before the match and during the break. He stressed that Pathan needed to bowl more “in match conditions” to get his rhythm back.

Vengarkar said: “It is very difficult to gauge anybody’s fitness in such a short time. Pathan had not played for a month and needs to bowl more. There is not much time left for the World Cup and Pathan will be bowling in the nets and will also be playing in the warm-up matches in the West Indies.”

Pathan played just one of the eight ODIs at home recently against the West Indies and Sri Lanka.

Pathan, who opened the bowling for West Zone on Sunday, conceded 30 runs without taking a wicket in his first spell of five overs. Central’s left-handed opener Faiz Fazal was particularly severe on Pathan, smashing four boundaries.

The Baroda seamer came back in the 38th over of the match for his second spell and bowled two overs for eight runs without any success.

When Pathan came on for his third and final spell, Central Zone had been reduced to 165 for eight. He took the wickets of Abbas Ali and R P Singh in the 48th and 50th over, respectively.

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