Injury-hit Pakistan seeks World Cup squad extension
by Cricket Archive Staff Reporter

Player:Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Shabbir Ahmed, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Sami, Azhar Mahmood, Iftikhar Anjum

DateLine: 12th February 2007


Pakistan will ask the International Cricket Council (ICC) to reconsider its decision not to allow the country more time to finalise its squad for the World Cup, an official said Saturday. The ICC has set a February 13 deadline for naming the squads for the World Cup which starts in the West Indies from March 13. Pakistan said it required more time to assess the injuries to four players who sustained knocks during the ongoing tour of South Africa. "We don't have enough time to ascertain the extent of injuries to the players as the team returns from South Africa on February 15," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) director of operations Salim Altaf told AFP. "There would be little time for examination of the injuries so we still want the extension," said Altaf, adding that the new appeal would be made before the ICC's technical committee. The injured cricketers include key fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar (hamstring), Umar Gul (ankle), Shabbir Ahmed (hamstring) and Mohammad Sami (back). Akhtar, Umar and Ahmed have already returned to Pakistan from South Africa. Mohammad Asif, currently on the tour, is also threatened by an elbow injury. Altaf said Pakistan faced difficulties as players injured had to be examined before announcing the team. Pakistan sent Azhar Mahmood and Rao Iftikhar as replacement after injuries to Ahmed and Sami before the on-going five-match one-day series. Akhtar was originally sent as a replacement for Gul but he tore his hamstring after bowling just 12 overs in the Port Elizabeth Test last month. The spate of injuries has forced the PCB to constitute a three-member medical commission to examine the injuries. The ICC has a policy which allows the injured players to be replaced during the World Cup but only after clearance from the technical committee.