'Shoaib, Asif's absence an advantage for WI' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Shoaib, Asif's absence an advantage for WI'

Lara says the absence of banned Pak pacemen would give them an edge over the home side in the upcoming series.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2006 18:11 IST

West Indies captain Brian Lara said the absence of banned Pakistani pacemen Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif would give them an edge over the home side in their upcoming series.

The West Indians team, which reached Lahore late last night for their first tour to Pakistan in nine years, will play three Tests and five one-day internationals and start their tour with a two-day practice game on Friday.

"Pakistan will feel the absence of Shoaib and Asif as they are quality bowlers. There is no doubt their absence gives us an edge over the home side. No team likes to lose its main bowlers," Lara told reporters in Lahore on Thursday.

Akhtar and Asif have been banned by the Pakistan Cricket Board's drugs inquiry tribunal after they were found guilty of using banned steroid nandrolone.

He, however, described the dope scandal as a disappointing and unfortunate episode which was not good for cricket.

The West Indian captain said the Champions Trophy final, which they lost to Australia on Sunday at Mumbai, was behind them and were now focussing on the Test series.

He said his team had adjusted to the sub-continent conditions in last one month and would quickly switch over from one-dayers to the longer version of the game.

"It is good we have come here after having played on similar pitches in India and the players are now used to the subcontinental conditions.