Karachi: Pakistan’s Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq and some other senior players have been told that they can’t be allowed to tour England next month with the Pakistan ‘A’ team.
Misbah and some other players including Azhar Ali, who leads the national one-day squad, had requested the Pakistan Cricket Board to allow them to tour England with the ‘A’ team to play a few games so they could get acclimatised to English conditions before the senior team’s tour in late June.
“Chairman Shaharyar Khan had a discussion with chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq and it was felt it would be unfair on the upcoming and bench players if seniors were accommodated in the ‘A’ squad,” a well-informed source told PTI.
“The consensus was that the Pakistan ‘A’ team’s tour to England was being organised with the sole purpose of giving exposure to the upcoming and bench players,” he said.
Misbah and company wanted a chance to play some matches in England before the senior team’s tour since the national team is not slated to play too many tour games before the first Test starts on 13 July.
Misbah had also tried to get a short-term contract with any English county, but he was unsuccessful.
The source said that Shaharyar had also voted against sending the senior team a week or 10 days in advance to England to get acclimatised to the conditions.
“The team will now leave as scheduled as per itinerary agreed with the England and Wales Cricket Board,” the source said.
The PCB has, however, agreed to give maximum opportunity to the players to play matches with the pink ball in preparation for Pakistan’s day and night Test in Australia in December.
“The PCB has already planned some day and night first class matches in the coming season and is also awaiting a response from the West Indies board which has been requested to play a day and night Test in Abu Dhabi in September-October,” he added.
The PCB wants the West Indies to play one day and night Test when the two teams meet in the UAE this year.
Misbah and other senior players have backed the concept of day and night Tests but say players require time to get used to playing with the pink ball under lights.
The PCB has held at least three finals of its premier first-class competition under lights in recent times with orange and pink balls.