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Pakistan discard Fawad Alam switches over to SSGC

Pakistan discard Fawad Alam switches over to SSGC

KARACHI: Fawad Alam, the discarded Pakistan left-hander, is the prized recruit in the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) line-up for the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy National Cricket Championship that gets underway next Saturday.

Former national team skipper Shoaib Malik has been retained as captain with another Pakistan reject Umar Amin being the vice-captain.

Fawad has joined SSGC after being part of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) for many years. Also switching over NBP to SSGC are ex-Pakistan Under-19 seamer Zia-ul-Haq and gangling speedster Ahmed Jamal.

According to SSGC head coach and former Test wicket-keeper Atiq-uz-Zaman, his department has boosted by inclusion of Fawad and the two pace bowlers.

“Obviously, Fawad is a top-class player who has been performing consistently for the past several seasons. He brings a lot of experience into our squad and that will definitely make our batting quite strong this season,” Atiq told Dawn on Friday.

“And then our bowling has been strengthened by Zia and Ahmed Jamal since we are almost to be playing the championship without [Mohammad] Amir because of international commitments.

“So we have got our bases well covered heading into the domestic season.

“We are aware that there is no chance of Amir being available at all due to Pakistan’s involvement in T20, ODI and Test matches throughout the duration of the first-class programme as well as the one-day cup that follows in December,” Atiq added.

Atiq further said SGGC has engaged an English trainer as their strength and conditioning coach to ensure there are less casualties.

“Every season a couple of guys break down, particularly on the fast bowling front. To minimize this malaise, we decided to recruit a professional trainer from overseas.

“I have known Richard Stonier [a fitness consultant from Shelton] from my visits to England for a while. He is a fine trainer who has been here for a while and is working with the squad in pre-season training for the past couple of weeks,” Atiq revealed.

“Richard also works with the Stoke-on-Trent football squad back in England. He is thoroughly enjoying working in Pakistan and feels at home.

“He has also been a cricketer who has played as the batsman for the Whitmore club in the North Staffs and South Premier Division.”

SSGC have released fast bowler Tabish Khan, opener Usman Tariq and paceman Hasan Ali, who made his Pakistan debut in the limited-overs cricket during the England tour.

SSGC open their Pool ‘A’ campaign in the Quaid Trophy against Islamabad at the Diamond Club Ground in the federal capital.

Squad: Shoaib Malik (captain), Umar Amin (vice-captain), Fawad Alam, Babar Azam, Mohammad Amir, Sohail Khan, Saifullah Khan Bangash, Tariq Haroon, Zain Abbas, Aamir Yamin, Zafar Gohar, Awais Zia, Asif Zakir, Ali Asad, Maqbool Ahmed, Zia-ul-Haq, Ahmed Jamal, Nasir Malik, Muzammil Nizam, Wajid Ali, Usama Mir, Adnan Ghaus, Mohammad Irfan, Adil Amin, Saif Badar.

Team officials: Atiq-uz-Zaman (head coach), Saeed Asif (manager), Richard Stonier (strength and conditioning coach), Mohammad Asim (performance analyst), Aamir Ahmed (physio).

Published in Dawn September 24th, 2016

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