Lahore (Staff Report): The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to recall players that are currently busy in English county and the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), said a statement issued by the board.

A PCB official said that the players were being summoned for fitness tests, starting later this month.

The official further stated that it was obliged to call back the players owing to the late finalisation and re-scheduling of the ICC World XI series, because of which it also had to re-schedule the National T20 Cup to start end of August and finish before the World series, so that the national team can leave for UAE to play Sri Lanka starting September 24.

The centrally contracted players were given permission for participation in the CPL and English county season subject to recall if the World XI series took place mid September.

The World XI series has been brought forward to end mid September instead of last week of September because the Punjab government wants it to be held before the NA-120 by-election on September 17. It cannot be held after September 17 because there is no time to both hold the series and also give head coach Mickey Arthur time for training his team before the Sri Lanka series starts on September 24, the PCB said.

Pakistan players Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz, Shadab Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Babar Azam, Imad Wasim, Muhammad Sami, Hassan Ali, Muhammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal are currently with different participating teams in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League, while Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed and ace fast bowler Muhammad Amir are with their respective English county teams in England.

The players have been asked to report for a pre-series fitness testing/training camp, as planned by the national team management and the National T20 tournament that starts in Multan on August 25.

The players will report to Mickey Arthur, head coach at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) on August 22 for fitness and medical screening followed by participation in the National T20 tournament and preparatory camp under the supervision of Pakistan team management (for the World XI series in Lahore).

The National T20 tournament is scheduled to run from August 25-September 10, with three-day Eid break from September 1 to 3, 2017.