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Two Pakistani cricketers leave for New Zealand


KARACHI, March 5 (AFP) - Pakistan rushed young batsman Faisal Iqbal and rookie pacer Fazle Akbar to join its injury-plagued cricket team in New Zealand on Monday, a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said.

"Iqbal and Akbar have left for New Zealand this evening and will join the team before the first Test," PCB director of operations Brigadier Munawwar Rana said.

Pakistan will play host New Zealand in the first of the three Test series at Auckland starting March 8.

Experienced batsman Ejaz Ahmed is leaving on Wednesday but he will miss the first Test.

Pakistan team's injury woes deepened after key players Wasim Akram, Saeed Anwar and Azhar Mahmood were ruled unfit for the Test series and will return home in the next few days.

Pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar had already returned home after his hamstring injury recurred and his bowling action was questioned for the second time.

Vice-captain Inzamam-ul-Haq will stay in New Zealand where he is recovering from groin injury and may play in the second Test.





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