Afridi, Butt to miss practice matches

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Lahore, Aug 3 (UNI) Senior all-rounder Shahid Afridi and Salman Butt will miss a series of practice games to be played next week before Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) name their final 15-man squad for September's Champions Trophy.

A PCB spokesman yesterday announced the names of 40 players for the three-day-and-night practice games to be played from August 5 to 9 at Gadaffi Stadium here. He said Afridi and Butt would not be playing in the matches because of fitness problems.

The players playing in the County Cricket, namely, Yasir Arafat, Bazid Khan and Azhar Ali are also invited for these matches and special invitation has been issued to Danish Kaneria, who was also playing County Cricket in England.

National selectors will witness the games that include two one-dayers and twenty20 match before naming the Champions trophy squad on August 11.

Chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed said he and fellow selectors would judge the fitness of all players especially that of comeback pacers Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul.

''The practice games will be a good platform for the players to prove their form and fitness,'' said Salahuddin.

The players: Shoaib Malik, Salman Butt, Nasir Jamshed, Khalid Latif, Khurram Manzoor, Ahmed Shahzad, Yasir Hameed, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Bazid Khan, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Hafeez, Raheel Majeed, Fahad Iqbal, Ali Asad, Asad Shafiq, Umar Amin, Yasir Arafat, Mansoor Amjad, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Mohammad Ali, Rao Iftikhar, Sohail Khan, Abdul Rauf, Wahab Riaz, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Aamer, Kamran Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Abdul Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Talha, Naeem Anjum and Yasir Shah.

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