LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced a training camp for players who couldn’t retain their place in the squad for the upcoming tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe. The purpose of calling these players is to have the national coaches work on their development.

These seven players include Amad Butt, Faisal Akram, Khushdil Shah, Muhammad Imran, Naseem Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani and Zahid Mahmood.

According to PCB media department, this decision has been taken on direction of Chief selector Muhammad Wasim.

Being part of the pre-departure camp for the white-ball cricketers provides an opportunity for Shahnawaz and Zahid, who received maiden call-ups in the Test side last week, to find their rhythm before they embark on journey for Zimbabwe with the Test players on April 12.

Meanwhile, the men’s national selection committee has also invited Azam Khan and Sohaib Maqsood at the National High Performance Centre in Lahore as the selectors continue to reward the top domestic performers and expand the pool of players. The pair will work with the world-renowned NHPC coaches.

Following the departure of the white-ball squad for South Africa on 26 March, the players who have been dropped from the national side but remain in consideration for the national team will also be invited at the NHPC where they will work on various physical and technical aspects of the game.

Chief selector Muhammad Wasim regarding this decision said,“The decision to invite these nine players, seven to work with the national team and two at the NHPC, is a continuation of our ambition to keep our elite cricketers in rhythm and provide them the desired skill work so they are ready for the national side whenever they are called up.

“Previously, we had conducted a camp of 25 players, who remain at the periphery of the men’s side, during the HBL Pakistan Super League 6 with the same idea. I am certain that these players will benefit from the presence of top-quality coaches and these off-season initiatives will help them enhance their skill-set.”

Cricket experts are considering this a positive step as in the past players dropped were neglected completely. This gives them an opportunity to work on their weakness and make a comeback to the national team.

The author and former editor of correspondent.pk has been working in the field for 15 years, focusing on sports, crime and investigative reports.

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