Sarfraz Ahmed’s men beat Ireland in the one-off Test at Dublin before squaring the two-match series against England at 1-1. They then completed their tour of the UK with comprehensive victories over Scotland in the two T20Is.
One of the key aspects of their success on the tour was the performance of the bowling unit with pace spearhead Mohammad Amir leading the line with aplomb. However, concerns had once again risen over the pacer’s fitness after his chronic knee injury surfaced during the Test matches with England.
With the 2019 World Cup in England on the horizon, a special plan will be charted out for Amir to ensure that he is fully fit for the global showdown.
“I am going to sit with Mohammad Amir and Inzamam-ul-Haq soon and we are going to map out a future for him. After our discussions, Inzamam will present the plan to the selection panel and then to the player,” the South African was quoted as saying.
“The fact is that we need all our bowlers firing when it’s time for the 2019 World Cup so that we are in a position to choose the best possible squad we can have for that tournament. We also want to make sure that those players are not tired, and ready to deliver their best performances over that period for us,” he added.
Amir had picked up 12 wickets in the three Tests against Ireland and England and sat out the final T20I against Scotland.
The 32-year-old senior leg-spinner missed Pakistan’s tour of Ireland, England and Scotland due to a hip injury with Shadab Khan taking his place in the side.
While doubts still remain over whether the Zimbabwe tour will go ahead due to the ongoing match fees and salary dispute between Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) and the country’s board, Pakistan are nevertheless preparing for it in earnest.
Along with Yasir Shah, Babar Azam, Rumman Raees and Imad Wasim will also be undergoing fitness tests.
Head coach Mickey Arthur and the team’s physiotherapist will be supervising the fitness tests of the four players at the NCA. The team is set to depart for Zimbabwe on June 28 where they will take on the hosts in a five-match ODI series which gets underway on July 22.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board will sit down with Arthur and chief national selector Inzamam-ul-Haq soon to decide the 25 players who will be awarded central contracts from July 1.
The board had earlier been awarding contracts to 35 players at a time but has decided to cut short the number for this year in a bid to improve the financial remunerations for the contracted players.
England openers Jason Roy (82) and Jonny Bairstow (139) gave the hosts a flying start. After Roy was run-out for 82, Bairstow registered his century in just 69 balls as the hosts took complete charge.
One-down batsman Alex Hales continued the onslaught as he slammed 147. England broke their own record of 444-3 set at the same venue.
In reply, the Aussies were bowled out for 239 in 37 overs with Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali picking up seven wickets between them for a 242-run win.
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