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July 14, 2020

Pakistan players ‘getting back into the groove’

Sports

July 14, 2020

KARACHI: The touring Pakistan squad on Monday moved its training camp from Worcester to Derby after completing a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period.

Pakistan’s squad, preparing for the three-Test series against England, took a two-hour trip to Derby where they will stay till their departure for Manchester on August 1. The Test series will begin at Old Trafford from August 5.

Just like Worcester, England’s cricket authorities have set up a bio-secure bubble for the Pakistani squad in Derby with the visiting players and officials staying at the hotel within the premises of the cricket ground.

Pakistan’s team management has released a training programme till July 30 according to which the players will feature in two four-day intra-squad practice matches in Derby during the final leg of their preparations for the Test series against England.

Pakistan have been training in England since the start of this month but there are fears that they might be under-prepared when the Test series begins at Old Trafford. That’s because unlike the past, Pakistan won’t have the luxury of a series of warm-up games against local county teams. Instead they have to make do with practice matches from amongst players from their own squad.

However, a team official shrugged aside such fears, stressing that Pakistan will be fully prepared for the Tests. “The players are in good shape. Over the last two weeks they have attended a series of training sessions and are now getting back into the groove,” the official told ‘The News’ on Monday.

Pakistan’s players were heartened to see West Indies toppling favourites England in their first Test in Southampton on Sunday. “Though our players didn’t see that Test properly as they were busy playing in their own practice match, they did follow it. They were glad to see West Indies giving a brilliant performance,” the official said.

He added that Pakistan’s players have also set their sights on winning the upcoming series, which is part of the ICC World Test Championship. “Our players are completely focused. Each and every player is aware of his role and is working hard to ensure that he gives his best.

“The presence of highly experienced coaches including Misbah-ul-Haq (head coach), Waqar Younis (bowling coach), Younis Khan (batting coach) and Mushtaq Ahmed (spin bowling coach) is really helping the players. Each and every one of them is keen to learn from the coaching quartet.”

Meanwhile, according to the training programme, Pakistan will hold training sessions in Derby on July 15 and 16. The squad will play a four-day intra-squad practice match from July 17-20. The side will play another four-day intra-squad practice match from July 24-27. The team will train in derby on July 29 and 30 before moving to Manchester on August 1.