The Pakistan cricket team commenced their training camp for the upcoming Test series against Australia, set to start on December 14, 2023, at the Pindi Cricket Stadium.
The first day at the camp unfolded with several notable moments.
Amidst slip-catching drills, Babar Azam lightened the mood by humorously christening Saud Shakeel as ‘Chota Don’ (‘Little Don’) after Saud Shakeel impressively secured a catch.
Babar’s playful reference drew from the comedic character ‘Chota Don’ portrayed by Rajpal Yadav in the Indian movie ‘Partner,’ humorously alluding to the character’s small stature.
Aside from the jovial banter, Babar Azam engaged in warm-up activities, jogging around the ground with Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Rizwan. Despite stepping down from captaincy, Babar showcased dedication, focusing on honing his batting skills during the net practice session.
Following the training, Umar Gul, Pakistan’s fast-bowling coach, discussed the team’s preparation for the Australia tour.
He highlighted the team’s focus on adapting to Australian conditions by practicing on pitches tailored to replicate those they will encounter Down Under.
Additionally, the PCB incorporated three more pacers, Sameen Gul, Ali Shafique, and Muhammad Ali, into the camp. Chief Selector Wahab Riaz had earlier announced the inclusion of seven additional players for the training session, augmenting the 18-member Test squad for the Australia series.
However, Shahnawaz Dahani has been declared unfit to bowl, leading the PCB to transfer him to the National Cricket Academy for rehabilitation, aiming for his swift recovery.
Furthermore, the board granted permission for Babar Azam, Sarfaraz Ahmed, and Usman Qadir to attend Imam-ul-Haq’s wedding following today’s practice. However, these players are expected to partake in tomorrow’s training session.
The Pakistan squad for the Australia Tests :
- Shan Masood (Captain)
- Aamir Jamal
- Abdullah Shafiq
- Abrar Ahmed
- Babar Azam
- Faheem Ashraf
- Hasan Ali
- Khurram Shahzad
- Mir Hamza
- Mohammad Rizwan
- Mohammad Wasim Jr
- Nauman Ali
- Saim Ayub
- Salman Ali Agha
- Shaheen Afridi
- Saud Shakeel
- Sarfaraz Ahmed
The Australia tour schedule comprises a four-day match between PM’s XI and Pakistan at Manuka Oval, Canberra, from December 6-9.
The Test series includes matches at Perth Stadium from December 14-18.
Melbourne Cricket Ground from December 26-30, and Sydney Cricket Ground from January 3-7.