Pakistan look to tame minnows Zimbabwe sans injured Yasir - GulfToday

Pakistan look to tame minnows Zimbabwe sans injured Yasir


Yasir Shah

Pakistan take on Zimbabwe without key leg-spinner Yasir Shah in a two-Test series which starts in Harare on Thursday, but are “confident” after beating South Africa earlier this year.

Yasir has been an integral part of Pakistan’s Test bowling attack since making his debut in 2014, only missing two tours -- to Ireland for a single Test and a two-match visit to England -- both in 2018.

Yasir, who has taken 235 wickets in 45 Tests, is absent with a knee injury.

The visitors will also be without frontline seamer Mohammad Abbas, now starring for Hampshire in English county cricket, who lost favour with selectors early this year.

The Babar Azam-led Pakistan will instead rely on the pace trio of Shaheen Shah Afridi (15 Tests), Hasan Ali (11) and Faheem Ashraf (eight), while Nauman Ali (two Tests) is the frontline spinner.

They also have leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood and off-spinner Sajid Khan to chose from, who both have not played a Test yet.

Hasan’s 10 wickets anchored a victory over South Africa in Pakistan’s last Test in Rawalpindi two months ago.

Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq believes his team can kick on from that 2-0 series win.

“Our confidence level is good after winning the home series against South Africa so we hope to carry that good performance,” Misbah told AFP.

“Yes, we don’t have Yasir but the back-up spinners, like Sajid and Mahmood, are good and in the absence of Yasir they have a good opportunity to perform.”

Pakistan’s batting will revolve around veteran Azhar Ali, Babar, Fawad Alam and in-form wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan.

Zoysa banned: Former Sri Lanka fast bowler Nuwan Zoysa has been banned from all cricket for six years after being found guilty of violating the International Cricket Council anti-corruption code.

The ICC issued a statement Wednesday saying the ban for Zoysa is backdated to Oct. 31, 2018, when the former test left-arm paceman was provisionally suspended.

An independent anti-corruption tribunal last November found Zoysa guilty of breaching three counts that included failing to disclose full details of any approaches or invitations received to engage in corrupt conduct under the code.

The charges related to the T10 League in the United Arab Emirates in 2017 when Zoysa was a Sri Lanka bowling coach.

“Contriving to fix a game betrays the basis of sporting principles. It will not be tolerated in our sport,” Alex Marshall, general manager of the ICC’s integrity unit, said in a statement.

“Nuwan played 125 matches for Sri Lanka, attending a number of anti-corruption sessions during a decade-long international career.

“In his role as a national coach, he should have acted as a role model. Instead, he became involved with a corrupter and attempted to corrupt others.”


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