Pakistan to heal the rift

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As England A tomorrow become the first English side since Mike Gatting's embittered team eight years ago to play a Test on Pakistani soil the Pakistan Board has moved to heal the rift that has cast a pall over cricketing relations between the two countries.

Arif Abbasi, the Pakistan Cricket Board's chief executive, revealed that in a new era of "interaction" and reconciliation, England has been targeted to help improve standards of umpiring and coaching.

The official also announced that the umpire Shakoor Rana - whose stand- off with Mike Gatting in 1987 at Faisalabad set the tone for further controversies - "would never stand in another Test".

Significantly, Don Oslear, the English umpire who accused Pakistan of ball-tampering in 1992, has been invited on a lecture tour of the country.