KARACHI:(Agencies) All-rounder Shoaib Malik and top-order batsman Azhar Ali, and pace bowler Sohail Tanvir have all been put on standby as Pakistan struggles with injury problems ahead of the World Cup.
“Malik, Azhar and Tanvir have been told to be on standby so that if some players have fitness issues in World Cup, the team management wants to be sure they can get quick replacements if required,” a source in the Pakistan Cricket Board told Press Trust of India.
According to the source, the decision was made after consultations with chief selector Moin Khan and the team management in New Zealand,
“The tour selection committee has given its consent for these players but will let the board know about the final two names when required.”
Sohaib Maqsood, Ehsan Adil and Wahab Riaz were the players facing some fitness issues and were being monitored closely, the official said.
“Malik and Azhar are both on the standby list as they can also bowl.”
Last week, the PCB termed reports about the fitness of captain Misbah-ul-Haq and paceman Junaid Khan as ‘nonsense’, reiterating that both players were vital to Pakistan’s prospects at the World Cup. While Misbah well and truly proved the reports wrong, smacking 107 and 88 in Pakistan’s two tour matches against New Zealand Board President’s XI, Junaid has been replaced by Bilawal Bhatti.
But according to PCB’s senior media manager Raza Kitchlew “will be flying out” for the World Cup as soon as the doctor advises.
Left-arm pacer Junaid, who was selected in the World Cup squad, was left behind as he had suffered a hamstring injury while bowling in the training camp in Lahore.
The source said the tour selection committee had made it clear that Junaid should only be sent when he was 100 per cent fit and cleared by the medical panel of the board.
“He is presently in a rehabilitation process and resting,” he said.