KINGSTON, Jamaica, Imran Khan is fighting for match fitness after coming out of retirement as Pakistan prepares for the first match of their Caribbean tour against the President’s XI starting on Sunday.

“I’ m not at 100 percent yet,” Imran said during practice on Friday. “I’ve started training these past two weeks and only very gently as I didn’t want a to pull a muscle after a complete layoff”.

The inspirational all-rounder and Captain, who retired from International Cricket after the World Cup last November, said he had done “virtually nothing for three months”.

Imran said Pakistan were poised to become the world’s top team if they beat the West Indies in the three test series, only the third Pakistani Caribbean tour and their first since 1977.

“If we win….it is really going for the top, so that is why I decided to come back and why the pressure was so great for me to return”, said Imran, who answered a personal appeal by President Mohammad ZiaulHaq to come out of retirement.

‘The Pakistani team has not been announced for the four day match, their only fixture before the first one day international,

The President’s XI includes mostly players seeking to win or regain places in the West Indies test side and could provide tough opposition.

It is captained by Roger Harper, who has missed most of the West Indies season because of a knee operation and includes test all-rounder Carl Hooper.

Article extracted from this publication >> March 11, 1988