The team manager is hoping for big things from Umar Akmal, the batsman, Wahab Riaz, the left-arm pace bowler, and Zulqarnain Haider, the wicketkeeper.
Alam is backing Pakistan's youth to emerge
ABU DHABI // The Pakistan cricket team had their first training session in the UAE last night when they took the field under the lights at the Zayed Cricket Stadium as they complete their preparations for the series against South Africa, which begins tomorrow.
Pakistan arrived in the country in the early hours of Saturday, and were given the rest of the day off before the start of the series, which includes two Twenty20 internationals, five one-day internationals and two Test matches.
The South Africa team arrived last night, just two days after playing the their final match in Zimbabwe. The Proteas won two T20s and three ODIs in that series.
The Pakistan-South Africa series starts tomorrow with the first of two T20s at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Intikhab Alam, the Pakistan team manager, is hoping for big things from some of the younger members of the squad, particularly Umar Akmal, the batsman, Wahab Riaz, the left-arm pace bowler, and Zulqarnain Haider, the wicketkeeper.
"Umar has a lot of potential but he gets excited at times. He has the making of a solid batsman with a bit of discipline in his batting," said Alam. "I expect Wahab and Zulqarnain to emerge by the end of this series."
He added: "This series is also part of our preparation for the World Cup next year. We hardly have any time besides this series and the tour to New Zealand in December. We have selected the best possible team. It has both experience and some talented youngsters."
Alam was pleased with the Pakistan Cricket Board's decision to recall Younus Khan, the former captain, saying he will add solidity to the batting. He was also hopeful Mohammed Yousuf will be available for the Tests, if he recovers from an abductor muscle tear.
"Younus is a true professional," said Alam, during the team's training at the Zayed Cricket Stadium last night. "He not only brings experience but will add more solidity in the batting. Yousuf is still recovering from a muscle tear but he can return for the Tests."
• Abu Dhabi games at Zayed Cricket Stadium
• Dubai games at Dubai Sports City
• Tickets: Dh30-Dh300, call 800-4669 or visit www.timeouttickets.com