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Ramiz suggests fast bowlers ‘to achieve fitness for five-day cricket first’

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KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ramiz Raja has suggested the fast bowlers of the country improve their fitness to the levels needed for red-ball cricket, saying, unlike other teams, Pakistan are bringing players from the T20 side to Test cricket

“We are asking our fast bowler to achieve the five-day fitness first,” he told reporters on Saturday during the opening day of the final Test between England and Pakistan.

“We are not only the team who are facing these concerns, the players all around the world are getting injured because of busy schedules,” he replied when asked about the growing number of injuries among the fast bowlers of the national team.

Speedsters Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah have been ruled out of the series due to injuries after playing the first Test in Rawalpindi. Meanwhile, star pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi was not included in the Test squad since he was going through a rehabilitation program after pulling a knee strain in the final of the T20 World Cup.

Chairman PCB also expressed his displeasure over the fact that Pakistan was bringing fast bowlers to the Test side from the T20 team.

“Ideally we have to take players from five-day cricket to white ball, but what we are doing is taking them from One-days and T20s to the Test,” he said.

Moreover, Ramiz dispelled the impression that team management forced the veteran batter to take retirement on the pretext of bringing radical changes to the team’s approach,  saying if our strength is occupying crease then we should continue with our strength.

“We knew beforehand that England were coming with a different mindset after they selected Liam Livingstone, a T20 specialist in the squad,” he said.

He added Pakistan had a very limited pool of players in Test cricket and we had to work to increase that pool.

“Home series is your best shot to try new players,” he replied when asked why Pakistan went with a number of debutants during the ongoing Test series against England.

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