Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board has permitted four leading national team players - captain Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal - to take part in a Twenty20 match in Toronto ahead of Pakistan's tour to Sri Lanka.
Misbah and Afridi, who are currently in Bangkok for a commercial shoot, along with Ajmal and Hafeez, have been given permission by the PCB to skip the first part of the conditioning camp, which is all set to commence from May 11, under the watchful eye of coach Dav Whatmore, for the tour to Sri Lanka.
The four players will play in the Twenty20 match for an Asian or World XI in Toronto on May 12. The board has given them permission as it supports any effort to promote the game in North America, said a board official, adding that the players would join the camp after a few days.
The national selectors are due to announce the touring squad for Sri Lanka on May 9, after which the conditioning camp will take place.
Meanwhile, Intikhab Alam, who heads the board committee set up to recommend a bowling coach for the national team, confirmed to PTI that the appointment would be made before the camp begins in Lahore. We will shortlist the candidates this week and then give the names to the chairman [of the PCB, Zaka Ashraf] to take a final decision and negotiate with the prospective candidate, Alam said.
Alam said that the committee is keen on having the bowling coach before the camp starts so that he could work with the bowlers during the camp and also establish an understanding with Whatmore and fielding coach Julian Fountain.
According to sources, Pakistan's former Test leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed, who has worked with the England team as a bowling consultant, has emerged as the front-runner, as he himself is keen to get back into Pakistan cricket. Another candidate who has good chance of bagging the job is former Test pacer Mohammad Akram. But Mushtaq appears to have an edge since he has already met the PCB chairman twice.