Cricket: Aamir discarded by Pakistan

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AAMIR SOHAIL, who captained Pakistan to successive series defeats at home against Australia and Zimbabwe, has been dropped from the forthcoming tour of India.

Aamir, who had already been replaced as captain by Wasim Akram, was not included in the 16-man squad announced yesterday for the tour. No reason for his omission was given by the Pakistan Cricket Board, although he has stayed away from a preparatory training camp at Karachi on health grounds.

Pakistan leave for India next Thursday for a tour already mired in controversy, after threats by India's right-wing Hindu Shiv Sena party to disrupt the first Test series between the neighbouring states since 1989. The itinerary has already been altered, after Shiv Sena activists dug up the Delhi pitch where the first Test was due to be played. It will now be played in Madras.

PAKISTAN SQUAD (Tour to India): Wasim Akram (capt), Moin Khan (vice- capt), Saeed Anwar, Wajahatullah Wasti, Mohammad Naveed, Ijaz Ahmad, Salim Malik, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Yousaf Youhana, Shahid Afridi, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, Azhar Mahmood, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmad, Nadeem Khan.

The first black cricketer to play for South Africa, Makhaya Ntini, is to appear in court in South Africa today charged with raping a student in December.

The third one-day international between New Zealand and India was abandoned because of rain in Wellington yesterday. It will be played today.