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PCB imports Duke balls to prepare team for England tour

Karachi: After laying seaming pitches, the Pakistan Cricket Board has now imported Duke cricket balls to prepare the national team for the upcoming tour of England.

An official in the PCB told PTI that on the recommendation of chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq seaming pitches have been prepared for the skills camp underway in Lahore and now on the recommendation of new head coach Mickey Arthur the board had imported Duke balls. "Since Duke cricket balls will be used in the Test series in England the recommendation was that as much as possible English conditions should be simulated in Lahore," he said.

The official said the players in the skills camp were now holding nets on seaming pitches with Duke balls which are very different from the Australian made Kookaburra balls which are normally used by Pakistan. The skills camp is presently continuing in Lahore under the supervision of Inzamam with still no news on when Arthur will be joining the players and take up his new assignment.

"Arthur, however, has sent in some plans for the players which are being utilised in the camp now. He is expected to join the team next week but he is in constant touch with the board, captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Inzamam," the official said.

A media report today also claimed that Arthur who is waiting for his Australian passport might even join the team directly in England. Inzamam confirmed that the team would leave for England two weeks before the tour officially begins so that the players get more time to acclimatise to English conditions.

"The team will have two weeks in England before the tour officially begins," he added. Inzamam said the touring test squad would obviously be announced after consulting the new coach.

Inzamam said while senior batman Mohammad Hafeez was still out of the camp due to his knee problem but leg spinner Yasir Shah had joined the camp and took part in fitness regimes and also bowled for a while in the nets.

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