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Kaneria unlikely to play for Essex

Peshawar: Danish Kaneria's chances of playing in English county cricket this season look slim with the Pakistan Cricket Board unlikely to give him the go-ahead.

With Pakistan scheduled to tour England in June to play four Tests and five one-day Internationals, both the board and captain Inzamam-ul-Haq do not want the English players to get used to his bowling style.

``Inzamam believes I should not play for various reasons. But a final decision is yet to be taken,'' Kaneria was quoted as saying in `The News.'

The other Pakistani players signed up to play in England for different counties include Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Yousuf and Mohammad Asif, but in Kaneria's case, sources said, the team management felt he should be fresh before the long series begins.

Safeguarding the leggie

``The tour is a long one and the idea is to protect Kaneria who was the key bowler in the 2-0 Test series win over England recently,'' the source was quoted as saying.

He said the English season started from April end and if Kaneria was allowed to play for Essex, he would have played for one and a half months before the arrival of the Pakistan team in England.

``The feeling is also that the more he plays in county cricket, the more the England team will prepare its strategy for him based on his bowling in the county matches.''

Kaneria has been playing for Essex for the last two years with considerable success and his stint with it helped him in his bowling performances against England in the Test series at home late last year. - PTI

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