Senior leg-spinner Yasir Shah will undergo a fitness test this weekend in Lahore ahead of the tour to Zimbabwe, starting June 28.
Some apprehensions, though, remain whether the tour will take place. The ongoing dispute on salary and match fee issue between the Zimbabwe Cricket Union and the players doesn’t affect the Pakistan Cricket Board with its preparations and selection procedure.
A fitness test will be commencing on June 23 in Lahore and the team would be leaving for Harare on the June 28, a Board official said.
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Head coach, Mickey Arthur and the team physiotherapist will be supervising the fitness test for Yasir (all-rounder), Emmad Wasim, pacer Rumman Raees and Babar Azam.
The Test tour of Ireland and England were missed by Yasir owing to a hip injury, while Babar suffered a fracture in his arm while batting in the first Test at Lord’s in May.
Thereby, the team selectors are very much concerned over the fitness of Yasir Shah and Babar Azam, in particular, as they are the key players in the Test and ODI formats.
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Even Emmad and Rumman have been on the injury list for a few months now. The upcoming Asia Cup and the Test series against Australia and New Zealand lined up around the corner is causing a dilemma for the selectors.
Chief selector, Inzamam and Arthur will also sit down with the Board officials in the coming weekend to finalise the list of players who will be given fresh central contracts from July 1.
According to details, they are recommending the board to reduce the list of players from 35 to 25 and increase their monthly salary.
The experienced all-rounder, Muhammad Hafeez, who has recently been cleared to bowl again in international cricket, is likely to be retained in the new list of contracts, although he has been out of favour with the selectors and Arthur for a while now.