Pakistan-Middlesex match abandoned due to wet field
By our correspondent
LONDON: Pakistan’s one-day tour match against county team Middlesex at Uxbridge on Thursday was abandoned due to wet conditions.
The tourists’ only warm-up game ahead of the one-day series against England that gets underway with a Twenty20 game at Bristol next Monday had to be called off without any play as overnight rains left the field too wet.
The side game was in jeopardy earlier this week as the Pakistanis threatened to pull out if it over ball tampering allegations levelled against them by umpires in the fourth Test against England at The Oval last Sunday.
But on Wednesday, the team management after discussing the issue with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan, decided to go ahead with the match that was to be played at a ground in the West London suburb of Uxbridge.
Speedster Shoaib Akhtar, still looking to regain full match fitness for the one-day contest, was all set to feature in the match.
Shoaib, 30, has recovered from a stress fracture of the ankle and is expected to make his comeback in the Pakistani line-up in the one-day series that includes five 50-over matches from August 30 to September 10.
He missed the four-match Test series because of fitness problems and though was fielded in a side game against the West Indies A side at Shenley earlier this month, he is yet to get ample opportunity to prove his match fitness. Also in line for Pakistan duty at Uxbridge was medium pacer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan who has not played for much competitive cricket since recovering from a groin problem. He is in Pakistan’s squad for the one-dayers.
The visitors were also planning to field all-rounder Shoaib Malik and uncapped middle order batsman Shahid Yousuf in the match against Middlesex.
The duo flew into London from Pakistan soon after the Test series in a bid to strengthen the team’s batting line-up for the ODI series.
Malik, who missed the Tests against England because of an elbow problem, is seen as a key player for Pakistan because of his prolific one-day form in recent times.
Though unlikely get any early chance in the one-day series, youngster Shahid Yousuf was
all set to play in the Uxbridge game.
The Sialkot player has been in good form in domestic events and on a Pakistan A tour of Australia earlier this summer.
“In spite of all that has happened during the last few days, we were looking forward to the game against Middlesex. It would have given some of our players the opportunity to get a bit of practice,” team manager Zaheer Abbas told this correspondent. “But the ground was too wet and there was no way any play was possible on it,” he revealed. The Pakistanis instead opted for a nets session at the Lord’s in the afternoon.