Lahore, Aug.26 (ANI): Pakistan cricket coach Intikhab Alam has backed the selection of fast bowler Mohammad Asif in the 15 member squad for the ICC Champions Trophy saying his presence will add 'fire' to the team's bowling line up.
"I think Asif's presence in the team will lend experience and sharpness to the bowling attack especially on the South African pitches where pace bowlers usually have a good time. And don't forget Asif has a good record in South Africa," Alam said.
Alam rejected views of several former Pakistani cricketers that Asif's selection was a 'big gamble.'
"No I don't think Asif's selection is a gamble because he is in good shape and working hard to be 100 percent fit for the big tournament," The Daily Times quoted Asif, as saying.
Alam also hailed Shahid Afridi's appointment as the vice-captain of the national team replacing Misbah-ul-Haq.
"Afridi is one of the most active, energetic and motivated performers in the side and his appointment as vice-captain will be a positive move for other players," he said.
Referring to reports that some players such as Mohammad Yousuf may skip the conditioning camp starting from September 1 because of the fasting month of Ramazan, Alam said no such exception would be made.
"No exception would be made for any player including Yousuf. They all have to attend the camp because the Champions Trophy is a very important tournament which we have never won before," Alam said. (ANI)