Wed, Nov 08, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Rookie Samiullah Niazi named in Pakistan squad

AP , ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN

Pakistan included a rookie fast bowler in a 15-member squad it named on Monday for the first two cricket Tests against West Indies in a home series against the Carribbean Islanders.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced the team for tests scheduled in Lahore and Multan.

The West Indies team arrived on Monday for three Tests and five one-day internationals against Pakistan in a first series between the two sides since 1997.

The two sides play the first five-day match from Saturday at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore, the headquarters of the PCB, a board statement said.

The Test in Multan is scheduled for Nov. 19-23. The third Test will be played at the National Stadium in Karachi from Nov. 27, the PCB said.

Middle-order batsman Yasir Hameed has been called back for the two Tests while stroke player Shahid Afridi is missing from the squad that the PCB announced on Monday.

Rookie left-arm fast bowler Samiullah Niazi has been named to the Pakistani squad and the PCB said he has been performing well in domestic cricket.

"He is an upcoming fast bowler. We have lots of hopes from him. He has a lot of potential," PCB spokesman Amir Bilal said.

Pakistan's pace attack suffered a major setback after speedster Shoaib Akhtar and fellow fast bowler Mohammed Asif were banned last week for doping.

A PCB tribunal banned Akhtar for two years and Asif for one year for using the banned steroid Nandrolone. The two had earlier been pulled out of the recent ICC Champions Trophy tournament in India.

Akhtar, 31, was the first bowler in cricket to bowl more than 160kph and Asif, 23, had a promising start bagging 30 wickets in just six Test matches.

On Monday, Asif filed an appeal against the ban as the PCB named a three-member panel to hear appeals by the two banned players. The PCB did not say when the appeals panel will begin its proceedings.

Pakistan and the West Indies play the first one-day international on Dec. 5 at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, the limited overs match will be on Dec. 7 in Faisalabad and the third ODI is scheduled for Dec. 10 at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore. The two remaining ODIs will be in Multan and Karachi on Dec. 13 and Dec. 16 respectively.

Team:

Mohammed Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Yasir Hameed, Younis Khan (Vice Captain), Mohammed Yousuf, Inzamam-ul-Haq (Captain), Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq, Faisal Iqbal, Kamran Akmal, Shahid Nazir, Umar Gul, Samiullah Niazi, Danish Kaneria, Abdul Rehman.

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