NZ series camp ends with injuries to Misbah, Tanvir


LAHORE: The camp training of the New Zealand bound Pakistan cricket team ended here on Wednesday with injuries to Sohail Tanvir and Test captain Misbahul Haq.
The injury to Misbah was of minor nature but left-arm bowler Sohail Tanvir has been ruled out of the tour to New Zealand with a knee injury. Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam said: “He tried his best in the camp but is not fit enough to carry on. He requires time to recover.” “The injury to Misbah is of minor nature and he is recovering. As you have seen he was in the field and training but not stretching and will be available for the Test on January 7,” he added.
He said that the selection committee will take the decision on him later because he was in the Test team. “We are not going to take risk on unfit players and would try to induct fresh players instead. This will not only give us fresh talent but also save the injured players from aggravating their injury,” he added.
The former World Cup winning coach said that the national cricket team’s focus for the forthcoming tour of New Zealand was on physical fitness and fielding. “The training camp was the requirement after the tour of UAE and the idea was to get all the players gel together for some important preparation before flying to New Zealand.
The emphasis has been on physical fitness and fielding, and we have achieved that. The camp has been a short one, but a very productive one,” Alam said. The fielding and fitness level of the Pakistan squad during the tour of England earlier this year were criticised after many catches were dropped.
In addition, the ground fielding in England came under fire despite the presence of fielding coach Ijaz Ahmed throughout the tour. Alam stated that he was happy with the fielding drills that he had witnessed at the Gadaffi Stadium. “The people given the task of looking after the fielding drills have done a very good job,” he said. Batsman Asad Shafiq has been called up to play in the three Twenty20 matches in place of the unfortunate 26-year-old Tanvir, who last played a Test match over three years ago and failed to recover completely from a knee problem that required surgery last year in Australia.
Despite the loss in UAE to South Africa, Alam believes Pakistan’s chances of winning against New Zealand are high. “New Zealand is presently under pressure after losing to Bangladesh and in India and I think we have a good chance of defeating them in the coming series,” he said. Pakistan will play three T20 games, starting on Dec 26 in Auckland, followed in 2011 by two Tests and six one-day internationals.