Gul ruled out for final Test

Agence France Presse

Lahore, April 10:

Injury-hit Pakistan suffered another blow when medium pacer Umar Gul was ruled out for the series-deciding third Test against India because of back trouble. Gul took a career best 5-31 to help Pakistan win the second Test in Lahore and draw level with India at 1-1 in the three-match series. The final encounter is due to start on Tuesday in Rawalpindi.

"We have to name a 17-man squad after injuries to some key players with Gul also ruled out due to a back problem," chief selector Wasim Bari said. Fast bowler Shabbir Ahmed is nursing a shin injury, while experienced wicket-keeper Moin Khan and allrounder Abdul Razzaq were earlier ruled out of the final Test after failing to regain fitness. Moin and Razzaq played in the first Test at Multan but pulled out of the second Test with the former suffering a groin injury and the latter hit by back ache.

Bari admitted he was concerned with the injuries to frontline players ahead of the crucial Test. "The injuries are worrying but I am confident the boys will put this behind them and display the same standard of cricket that earned them victory," Bari said. India won the first Test at Multan by an innings and 52 runs while Pakistan levelled the series with a nine-wicket win in Lahore. Pacers Rao Iftikhar Anjum, Fazle Akbar, Abdul Rauf, and allrounder Rana Naveed-ul-Hasan have been recalled as back ups.