LAHORE: The Pakistan cricket team will attend a week-long training camp from the third week of May in Birmingham to prepare for next month’s ICC Champions Trophy.
The tournament, which sees the world’s top eight ODI sides clash against each other, begins in the UK from June 1 and there is more at stake for the Men in Green than just the prestigious tournament itself.
The tournament provides Pakistan with a great chance to further cement their position in the top eight ODI sides as they look to avoid the ignominy of having to go through the qualification round in order to play in the 2019 World Cup; also taking place in the UK.
Pakistan need to be in the top eight come September if they are to ensure automatic qualification. Knowing this, the management has decided to hold a training camp beginning from May 18 to help the player acclimatise to conditions in the UK.
The camp also provides the team management with the opportunity to assess the fitness level of the players taking part in the Champions Trophy.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has instructed seven team members — Mohammad hafeez, Umar Akmal, Imad Waseem, Shoaib Malik, Junaid Khan, Fakhar Zaman and Fahim Ashraf — to report to the National Cricket Academy on May 15, from where they will be flying to Birmingham. The other eight team members — skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, Ahmad Shahzad, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan and Wahab Riaz — will join the camp from the West Indies where they are currently part of the Test side that is playing the Calypsos.
Chief selector Inzamamul Haq has confirmed there is no change in the 15-member team and, barring injury or some unforeseen circumstances, the players that were announced will be featuring in the ICC mega event.
“The 10-day camp in Birmingham will be an opportunity for the team to regroup after a break,” said former captain Inzamam, while talking to The Express Tribune. “The boys will get the opportunity to adjust to the weather as well. Playing in English conditions has always proven tough for us, but I am optimistic that we will be able to do well there. I am planning to visit the side during the camp as well since I would be unable to go for the event due to Ramazan.”