Pak squad train at military base

Pakistan's preliminary squad for Champions Trophy is been made to sweat it out at a military school in the Kakul base.

updated: July 26, 2008 12:55 IST
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Indiscipline has often been the bane of Pakistan cricket and the team management hopes to right the wrong by putting the players through a strict regimen at a military base to prepare them for international assignments including the Champions Trophy.

Team manager Talat Ali told PTI on Wednesday that the players who were named in the preliminary squad for the Champions Trophy are staying at the military physical training school in the Kakul base and have been made to follow all military discipline regimens in the week-long training camp that concludes on July 28.

"They are training with the assistance of military fitness trainers every morning under the supervision of our team trainer and they are also attending mess for meals in the proper dress codes. It is an exercise aimed at inculcating more discipline in them," Talat said.

The Pakistani players last year also attended a military type training camp in Abbotabad before going to the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa where they lost in the final to India.

"This time also our first assignment is the Twenty20 four-nation event in Toronto, Canada and we are confident this camp will prepare us for the challenges ahead," he added.

Pakistan, West Indies, Bangladesh and Canada are taking part in the four-nation event from August 14 to 17.

The national selectors are meeting with the team management tomorrow to finalise the touring squad for the Twenty20 event.

Talat said that only pacer Umar Gul had not bowled as yet in the camp during the evening net sessions as he was still recovering from his rib cartilage injury that forced him out of the Asia Cup tournament recently.

"But he is training in the morning and frankly speaking we don't want to put him under any pressure by asking him to resume bowling before time," Talat said.

The selectors have kept a 16-year old left arm pacer, Mohammad Aamir, in mind for the Twenty20 event because of the fitness issue with Gul and also since Mohammad Asif is suspended due to his positive dope test in the Indian Premier League.

There is also talk about including fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar in the Twenty20 squad as a 16th player to allow him a chance to train with the team and resume interacting with the other players as he has not played for Pakistan since last December due to disciplinary and fitness issues.

The board didn't pick Shoaib for the fitness camp in Kakul as they felt his fitness was not clear and it would be a risk putting him through a rigorous training schedule. Sources also say the board wants Shoaib to first pay the fine of seven million rupees imposed on him by the appellate tribunal last month.