Waqar worried about Australia series prep

waqarPakistan coach Waqar Younis and captain Misbah-ul-Haq are not happy with the delay in announcing the squads that will take on Australia next month in the UAE and ESPNcricinfo understands that they are concerned the team will land in the UAE “under-prepared”.

The captain and coach had apparently suggested that a 10-day training camp be organised before the team’s departure for the tour that begins on October 5 with a Twent20, followed by three ODIs and two Tests. Instead, the PCB has remained focused on organising the ongoing 18-team national Twenty20 competition, which is believed to have been planned with newly-signed sponsor Haier – one of the potential bidders for the now-postponed Pakistan Super League – with whom the PCB signed a lucrative deal, in mind. Several star players are turning out for their regional teams and, it is believed, had the PCB announced the team for the Australia series beforehand, the competitiveness of the tournament might have come down a notch.

Waqar met with PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan on Thursday to brief him about his plans for preparation for the Australia series and the World Cup. The coach was reportedly annoyed with the timing of the T20 competition, which according to the captain and coach isn’t the best way to prepare for Australia. According to sources, Waqar had suggested that players be selected and sent to the UAE at least a week before the series so that they could play several practice games there to adjust to the conditions.

A player also expressed his frustration to ESPNcricinfo at there being a delay in the squad announcement. “See we lost to Sri Lanka and rather than working on our problems we are standing around. This isn’t the best way to prepare as these upcoming series in the UAE are the only opportunity to give our player ample practice for the World Cup. Playing against Australia is never easy. I am afraid with such a short time we will remain under-prepared to take on Australia.”

A PCB spokesman, however, said the T20 competition itself provided the players with ample preparation. “Why not have the T20 cup, it is a perfect way to give players practice and after all they are playing competitive cricket here, that is giving them the preparation.”

The team will be announced in due course, he said. “We recently announced the captains and the team will be announced soon as well.

“There are so many factors that play a part, as the PCB wanted to start the domestic season on a good note instead giving it a dull start. Sponsors are obviously important for the game of cricket these days, they are major source of income and their involvement is obvious.”

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