Auckland: Pakistan Tennis ace Aisam-ul-Haq delayed his arrival in Melbourne for the Australian Open for a couple of days to witness New Zealand-Pakistan T20I here Friday evening and he also met the players on Thursday during the practice session.
Coach Mushtaq Ahmed invited Aisam to join the team. Aisam is in Auckland, where he took part in the ABS Classic. He unfortunately lost a close match Wednesday evening by a match point.
“Aisam was enthusiastically received by the management and players alike, and he stayed at the Park through the whole morning session, returning with the team in the afternoon,” PCB Media Manager Agha Akbar said.
Aisam was to leave for Melbourne for the Australian Open Thursday evening, but he has been trying to reschedule his flight for Saturday morning so that he could witness the New Zealand-Pakistan T20I here Friday evening.
Meanwhile, Pakistan players attended training session on the second day at Eden Park and its outdoor training facilities, which was basked in bright sunlight.
With the first T20I to be played Friday evening, Team Pakistan trained with great intensity. Slated for the morning, training started off with a soccer warm-up, followed by a fielding session at Eden Park proper – a unique ground with smallish boundaries and acute angles for the fielding side.
At the very outset, Waqar Younis, the Pakistan Head Coach, asked his boys to soak in the atmosphere and have a measure of the ground. At the nets, all the bowlers and batsmen were given an extended outing.
“With everybody fit and raring to have a go, the only little untoward incident came at fag end of the session when Sohaib Maqsood was hit by a net bowler’s delivery on the right side of his neck under the helmet. There was some swelling and local pain in the area, which was monitored by Team Pakistan physio Bradley Robinson. There was no adverse reaction and he managed to complete the gym session in the afternoon. The team physio was confident he was fit to feature in Friday’s game,” Agha added.