Vol. 5 Num 591 Thu. January 26, 2006  

Malik Loses Father
Pakistan recall Naved & Gul

Pakistan opener Shoaib Malik has been left out of the squad for the crucial third and final Test against India after the death of his father.

And captain Inzamamul Haq is also in doubt for the game, starting in Karachi on January 29, with an inflamed disc.

But paceman Navedul Hasan was declared fit after a shoulder injury.

Pakistan Cricket Board boss Shaharyar Khan said in an open letter to Malik: "We realise that you were away on national duty on the tragic day and share your grief."

Malik left the side on Sunday night for Sialkot in Punjab to be with his father, Malik Faqir Hussain.

But he was called back to Faisalabad on Tuesday in case he was needed to bat in the second innings on the final day of the second Test.

In the end he was not needed as Pakistan secured a draw.

The home side recalled seamer Umar Gul and Faisal Iqbal, nephew of former great Javed Miandad, as cover in a 16-man squad for Karachi.

Chief selector Wasim Bari said both Iqbal and Gul were drafted in as cover for Inzamam and pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar.

"Inzamam has improved but we will only know about his chances of playing the final Test in the next three days, so Iqbal is a good back-up," Bari told AFP.

Bari said Akhtar was also carrying a niggle in his right ankle.

"Akhtar is not a major worry but as a precaution we have included Gul. Hope Akhtar gets fully fit for the Test which could decide the series," Bari said.

Inzamamul Haq (captain), Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Sami, Salman Butt, Navedul Hasan, Kamran Akmal, Arshad Khan, Danish Kaneria, Imran Farhat, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Faisal Iqbal.