Camp for Windies tour opens today

LAHORE - The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced that a training camp for the Pakistan cricket team is being commenced from today (Monday) for the upcoming West Indies tour here at the Gaddafi Stadium.

All players would participate in the three days training session, organized in Gaddafi stadium The players are expected to focus on their physical fitness and endurance during the camp. According to sources, special attention would be given to the fielding which has been criticised by critics during the World Cup as Pakistan showed extremely poor fielding skills during the whole tournament where the national team dropped abundant catches, missed run outs and stumpings. According to head coach Waqar Younis the main focus would be to improve the catching skills of the players as they were guilty of dropping crucial catches in the semi-final of the World Cup 2011 against arch rivals The team led by Afridi is expected to depart for the Caribbean on April 14.

The team will play a solitary Twenty20, five One Day Internationals and two Test matches.

Pakistan has dropped four senior players to bring young blood in the team. The dropped players include middle-order batsman Younus Khan, wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, pacer Umar Gul and all-rounder Abdul Razzaq. According to sources, Gul had requested the selection committee not to be considered for the WI series as he wanted to spend some time with family after a hectic World Cup campaign.

The omission of wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal was always on the cards because of his utterly disappointing performance behind the stumps throughout the year.

Many had called for his ouster from the national team after he dropped a barrage of catches in Pakistan’s match against New Zealand during the group stage of the World Cup but the touring management did not deem it appropriate to play the remainder of the tournament without a genuine wicketkeeper. Akmal has been replaced by M Salman who will be making his international debut in this series.