Pakistan will be forced to cope without Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, who have taken 538 Test wickets between them, for the first of the two Tests against Sri Lanka in Colombo tomorrow. Wasim is nursing an injured bowling arm, a result of excessive cricket, and Waqar has a fractured toe which has ruled him out of the tour.
It means that Pakistan's new-ball attack will consist of the inexperienced Mohammad Zahid and Shahid Nazir. Wasim's replacement as captain is Rameez Raja.
Pakistan have already called for another fast bowler Mohammad Akram as Waqar's replacement, but have the knowledge that the new fast bowlers were responsible for an innings and 13 runs win over New Zealand last November.
Sri Lanka have included one newcomer, Russell Arnold, in their 15-man squad. Arnold, a left-hand batsmen who also bowls off-spin, beat Aravinda de Silva's record aggregate for a Sri Lankan domestic season in 1995-96. He will play if their opener, Roshan Mahanama, fails to recover from a chipped left toe.
Graeme Hick warmed up to renew his challenge for a Test place with 178 for Worcestershire against Somerset in a 50-over practice match at Taunton yesterday. Hick hit nine sixes, two of which went over extra cover off Andy Caddick, and 19 fours.
Warwickshire are confident that their new captain, Tim Munton, will be fit to lead his side in next Wednesday's Britannic Assurance County Championship opener against Glamorgan at Cardiff, despite a recurrence of his back injury.
Munton, who missed half of the 1995 season because of a chronic back problem, was ruled out of yesterday's friendly against Nottinghamshire. Munton is expected to play in another friendly at Northampton on Monday.Reuse content