LAHORE: Talent hunters at the Pakistan Cricket Board have a pressing task on their hands: filling the void created after the retirement of legendary duo of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, who retired together at the end of the West Indies tour earlier in May, leaving some big boots to fill.
Former Pakistan spinner and current head coach of the National Cricket Academy (NCA), Mushtaq Ahmed, is doing just that: keeping a sharp lookout for possible replacements of the two batsmen.
Speaking to media on Thursday, during the PCB high-performance training camp underway at the NCA, Mushtaq said one of the objectives of the camp’s rigorous program is to find and prepare replacements for Misbah and Younis.
“Players attending the camp are being put through rigorous training. We are also on the lookout for contenders to fill the positions left behind by Misbah and Younis. We are working hard on the players’ fitness and skills, it is up to them also to work hard and get the maximum out of the camp,” the former spinner said.
The camp is also focusing on building upon skills of all-rounders, he added.
The high-performance camp continues up to September 9, with the last two weeks dedicated to practice matches.
The following 27 players are participating in the camp:
Openers: Sami Aslam, Fakhar Zaman, Imam ul Haq, Sahibzada Farhan
Middle-order batsmen: Umar Amin, Haris Sohail, Usman Salahuddin, Asif Zakir, Umar Akmal
Fast bowlers: Usman Shinwari, Sameen Gul, Mohammad Irfan, Mir Hamza, Rumman Raees
Spinners: Mohammad Asghar, Shadab Khan, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Irfan, Usama Mir
Fast bowling all-rounders: Amir Yamin, Fahim Ashraf, Ammad Butt, Hussain Talat
Spin bowling all-rounders: Mohammad Nawaz, Agha Salman
Wicket-keepers: Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Hassan.