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Weakened Pakistan send replacements

Opener Taufeeq Umar and paceman Rao Iftikhar are to join Pakistan's injury-depleted squad in England.

india Updated: Jul 15, 2006 15:57 IST

Opener Taufeeq Umar and paceman Rao Iftikhar are to join Pakistan's injury-depleted squad in England as the visitors face an uphill struggle to save the first Test at Lord's.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official Abbas Zaidi told Reuters on Saturday that the two players were being flown to Britain within the next 24 hors to strengthen the side for the remaining three tests of the four-match series.

"There have been some unexpected injuries to the team and as a result of which, the management has asked the selectors to send some replacements," Zaidi said.

Left arm paceman Samiullah Niazi was already sent to England as a back-up to Pakistan's weakened bowling attack, missing leading quick bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who was ruled out of the tour because of a stress fracture to his ankle.

Paceman Rana Naved, who has enjoyed a lot of success with English county Sussex, suffered a groin injury after initially being announced in the touring squad and doctors have now advised him to rest for up to four weeks.

Also missing the first test are vice captain Younis Khan (knee), paceman Mohammad Asif (elbow) and all rounder Shoaib Malik, who were all ruled out with fitness problems.

Zaidi said Malik was still feeling the effects of elbow surgery underwent earlier this year in South Africa.

"The reports are that he might struggle to play in the tests," he added.

Malik had the surgery to help correct a bowling action that had been reported twice since October 2004.

Rao Iftikhar has played in one test and 18 one-day internationals while Taufeeq has appeared in 24 tests and 19 one-dayers, his last match coming against India in March 2005.

Going into the third day at Lord's on Saturday, Pakistan will resume on 66 for three wickets in reply to England's first innings total of 528-9 declared.