Barmy Army descends on Pakistan
Nov 1, 2005England's raucous band of Barmy Army supporters began arriving in Pakistan on Tuesday, dismissing security fears and bringing smiles to the faces of hoteliers in the Test venue cities. One of the first to arrive was veteran supporter Phil Long and his three travelling companions Keith Smith, John Freeman and Jonathon Dyson. All were on their way to the Pindi stadium to watch England take on the Patron's XI. "We're the first batch," Long told AFP. "It's as important a tour as the Ashes for England, and beating Pakistan in their den could be even tougher than beating the Australians." Hoteliers are expecting full houses in the three Test venue cities of Multan, Faisalabad and Lahore as England supporters descend on Pakistan. "It's fun to be in Pakistan," said Smith, who said he faced no security problems. "There are no fears and we've been well received [here]."
Inzamam happy with squad
Oct 31, 2005Inzamam-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, has expressed his satisfaction with the 16-man squad Pakistan selectors announced over the weekend to take on England in the first two Tests of their series. Inzamam confirmed to reporters after practice at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore that all decisions had been taken with his consent and that of Bob Woolmer, Pakistan's coach. In particular, he said he was happy with the balance of the bowling attack in the squad. Pakistan's decision to pick five spinners - of which three are specialist ones - has attracted attention and increased speculation that they will tackle the tourists with spin, a strategy that rebounded on them the last time England visited in 2000-01. But Inzamam insisted this wasn't necessarily the case, arguing that of the five, Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi weren't considered spinners but all-rounders.