LAHORE: Lanky Test fast bowler Mohammad Irfan has been recalled to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) to keep him away from playing further domestic Ramazan cricket, as he is most likely to be included in the national squad for the forthcoming ODI series in Sri Lanka.
The national ODI squad is likely to be announced during the third Test against Sri Lanka.
Chief selector Haroon Rasheed told Dawn that the selectors had watched Irfan’s performance in the recently concluded Ramazan Cup in Faisalabad where he looked quite fit.
However, in order to save the lanky paceman from any injury, the selectors have decided to place him at the NCA to continue his practice under the PCB vigil.
According to Haroon, if Irfan retains his good form and fitness he is likely to be included in the ODI squad for the five-match ODI series in Sri Lanka. But the chief selector said: “It is not appropriate for Irfan to play in low-profile domestic tournaments anymore.”
Irfan, having an abnormal height of 7-feet plus, needs extra care to keep himself fit for the game. He was injured during the 2015 World Cup. Later, after missing the tour to Bangladesh and the recent limited-overs home series against Zimbabwe, he has the chance to stage a comeback in the international arena.
Haroon said though the selection committee was doing initial work in choosing ODI squad for the Sri Lanka series, the recent injuries to Wahab Riaz and Haris Sohail have forced the selectors to wait till the final medical report of the duo, before giving final shape to the squad.
“As initial reports have disclosed that both Wahab and Haris will take two to three weeks to recover, so the selectors have to wait for a final medical report about their physical fitness before taking any decision in this regard,” Haroon said.
Commenting on the ongoing Test in Colombo, Haroon hailed Pakistan batsmen for staging an impressive comeback after trailing by 177 runs in the first innings. He said it was a very healthy sign for Pakistan cricket that the batsmen, who in the past would crumble under pressure, had made a valiant comeback.
Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2015