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PCB chief's son dropped from team

Pakistan pulled its cricket chief's son from a 15-man squad against New Zealand a day after his controversial selection triggered media criticism.

india Updated: Nov 30, 2003 01:49 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Pakistan Cricket Board Saturday pulled its chief's son from a 15-man national squad against New Zealand a day after his controversial selection triggered a wave of media criticism.

The selectors "accepted a request" from Junaid Zia, son of PCB chairman Tauqir Zia, and pulled him from the Pakistan team for the five-match one-day series against New Zealand to be played between November 29 and December 7, a PCB statement said.

"Junaid's place was awarded to Umar Gul who had been initially selected in the Pakistan A team for next month's tri-nation one-day series in India," the statement said.

"Junaid requested the selectors that he may be relieved from the one-day series so that he could appear in his academic examinations and would now replace Gul in Pakistan A squad for the December 13 to 21 event in India."

Junaid was chosen from outside the pool of 23 probables after he took 35 wickets in four matches of a non-first class tournament.

Leading Pakistani dailies called his selection "controversial" and "shocking" as he was picked over other notable performers, including Waseem Khan (36 wickets in six matches), Abdul Rauf (34 in four) and Gul (20 in three).

Junaid's selection for four one-day games against Bangladesh two months ago also sparked media outrage.

He was later dropped against a formidable South African side.

The first two matches of the Pakistan-New Zealand series will be played at Lahore on November 29 and December 1, while Faisalabad will host the third match on December 3.

New Zealand arrives in Pakistan on November 28.

First Published: Nov 22, 2003 19:21 IST