Pak­istan rests Azhar Ali af­ter knee in­jury

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - SPORT -

PAK­ISTAN has rested Azhar Ali for the five-match one-day series against Sri Lanka start­ing in Dubai next week to give the opener time to re­cover from a knee prob­lem, se­lec­tors said yes­ter­day.

The 32-year-old is fea­tur­ing in the sec­ond and fi­nal test in Dubai only af­ter hav­ing in­jec­tions to re­lieve the pain.

Pak­istan have made only one change from the side which won the Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy in Eng­land in June this year, bring­ing in un­capped 21-year-old opener Imam-ul-Haq in Ali’s place.

“Imam has been se­lected in the squad keep­ing his per­for­mance in the do­mes­tic cir­cuit in view and to give a chance to a young­ster in the home con­di­tions,” the Pak­istan Cricket Board said. Sar­fraz Ahmed will lead the side. The first of five one-day in­ter­na­tion­als starts in Dubai on Oc­to­ber 13, fol­lowed by matches in Abu Dhabi (Oc­to­ber 16 and 18) and Shar­jah (Oc­to­ber 20 and 23).

Pak­istan and Sri Lanka will also play three Twenty20 in­ter­na­tion­als, two in Abu Dhabi (Oc­to­ber 26 and 27) and the last in La­hore on Oc­to­ber 29, sub­ject to se­cu­rity clear­ance.

The re­turn of Sri Lanka is of huge im­por­tance to cricket-mad Pak­istan. A deadly mil­i­tant at­tack on the Sri Lankan team in La­hore in 2009 fi­nally drove out cricket and other in­ter­na­tional sports from the coun­try af­ter years of se­cu­rity fears. – AFP

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