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Tanvir ruled out of World Cup

KARACHI, February 9- Pakistan's already depleted bowling attack suffered a further blow on Wednesday when left-arm paceman Sohail Tanveer was ruled out of the World Cup because of a knee injury.

"The medical panel thinks that though the recovery was good, it still thought Tanveer needs time to get fully fit before competing at international level," the Pakistan Cricket Board said in a statement.

Pakistan will replace Tanveer with left-arm paceman Junaid Khan, 21, who started with the Under-19s alongside promising teenage quick Mohammad Aamer, who was this week handed a five year ban from cricket for spot-fixing.

It is Khan’s first call-up to the senior squad, earned with an impressive haul of 167 wickets in just 35 first-class matches.

Pakistan’s World Cup hopes have already been dented by International Cricket Council (ICC) bans against three key players — opener Salman Butt and pace bowlers Aamer and Mohammad Asif — on corruption charges.

Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam said there could be no place for any half-fit player.

"We don’t want to take any player who is not fully fit so we had to take this decision. Khan can bowl fast and can surprise other teams if he gets to play matches," Alam told reporters in the eastern city of Lahore.

The 14-team World Cup will be hosted jointly by Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka between February 19 to April 2.

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Tanveer featured in the six-match one-day series against New Zealand which finished last week, but pulled out of the preceding Test series because of poor fitness.

The 26-year-old suffered a back injury in 2009 and was out of action last year because of knee surgery.

He burst onto the scene during the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007, surprising batsmen with his awkward wrong-footed delivery, then finishing as player of the tournament in the inaugural Indian Premier League in 2008.

Pakistan are in Group A for the World Cup and open their campaign against Kenya Hambantota, Sri Lanka, on February 23.

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