ISLAMABAD: As selectors are set to name Pakistan probable players for three-match Test series against Australia on or around February 8, the second phase of the national camp is likely to be shifted to Pindi Stadium.
Since the Pakistan Super League (PSL) VII action will move to Lahore from February 8, the change in camp venue looks imminent.
‘The News’ has learnt from well-placed sources that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) plans to shift the second phase of the Test probable camp to Rawalpindi. “We are planning to shift the second phase to Pindi Stadium. Though the first phase will start shortly at the NCA Lahore once the PSL action moves from Karachi to Lahore, the second phase will move to Rawalpindi,” a PCB official said.
“We want a few weeks’ break for the National Stadium Karachi to prepare the venue for the first Test of the forthcoming series. Fresh pitches will be prepared for the opening Test against Australia and as such curators will require time to get everything fixed. Definitely, hectic engagements of the PSL first phase will take its toll on the square at the National Stadium which requires a proper break,” he added.
Pindi Stadium will host the second Test of the series in the first week of March. “Since the second Test is scheduled for the Pindi Stadium, it is important for the players to spend a couple of weeks at the venue to get themselves ready,” the official said.
Reacting to the PSL franchises hue and cry over the PCB decision not to release a few of the Test players for the seventh edition, the official said that these players were never on their priority list during the players draft or even for the backup options. “Now when we have decided to establish a camp, which indeed is a requirement, we cannot release these Test specialists. They will continue to train for the Test series. We have got enough T20 backup within Pakistan and these franchises are free to pick from the available pool of players,” he added.
The PCB, meanwhile, awaits the report from Cricket Australia (CA) on Mohammad Husnain’s bowling action. The speedster went through a biomechanics test on his bowling action a few days back. The report has been submitted by the experts to Cricket Australia. “Since Husnain’s action was reported in Australia, the speedster’s test report has been submitted with CA,” said the official.
“The CA will officially announce the outcome after fulfilling all the requirements including taking the ICC in confidence. The PCB awaits the outcome of his action test. Hopefully, it should be with us within the next two weeks’ time.”