Pakistan select Iqbal to replace banned Inzamam
Wednesday 04 October 2006
Faisal Iqbal has been drafted into Pakistan's ICC Champions Trophy squad as a replacement for Inzamam-ul-Haq. The captain was suspended for four one-day internationals last week after being found guilty by the International Cricket Council of bringing his sport into disrepute.
The country's selectors have opted to bring Iqbal into the party for the tournament in India, which means Inzamam would be unable to return for the final, should Pakistan make it.
Younis Khan, who has replaced Inzamam as captain for the event, believes his team will respond well. "Inzi will be missed. Any team would miss a class player like him," Younis said. "But it has made us even more determined to do well. We want to win the Champions Trophy for him."
Inzamam received the four-game ban after his side failed to take the field during the fourth Test against England at the Oval in August. The Pakistanis were protesting at being penalised for ball-tampering - a ruling rejected at Inzamam's disciplinary hearing last week.
The coach, Bob Woolmer, echoed Younis' sentiments on Inzamam's absence. "Losing Inzamam is a big setback, because he is such an experienced player and top-class batsman," he said. "But I hope the boys will put all that behind them."
Iqbal, 24, has played 17 Tests and 17 one-dayers but has not featured in a limited-overs international for three years.
On the domestic front, the county champions Sussex have offered contract extensions to key players as they seek to build on their successful 2006. Extended deals are available for Matt Prior, Michael Yardy, Murray Goodwin, Robin Martin-Jenkins, Chris Nash and Carl Hopkinson while the academy player Tom Smith has been offered a one-year contract. Their coach, Mark Robinson, said: "We are keen to ensure the club continues to be successful not only next year but for years to come."
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