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Umar Akmal, the Pakistan batsman, has picked up a side strain during the preparatory camp for the ICC World Twenty20 but is expected to be fit in time for the tournament which starts on April 30.

Akmal has stopped taking part in the nets sessions at the training camp in Lahore, and is the fourth player to be injured since the camp started - Pakistan's leading Twenty20 bowler, Umar Gul, injured his shoulder earlier this week, while allrounder Yasir Arafat and batsman Fawad Alam are also facing fitness problems.

Shahid Afridi, who will lead Pakistan's defence of their World Twenty20 crown, was convinced his players would recover in the three weeks remaining before the competition starts in the West Indies.

"There is nothing serious about the injuries, which is why I'm confident that the boys will be ready to give their best in the World Twenty20," he told the News.

He said both Akmal and Gul will return to practice in a few days. "Umar is getting troubled by the injury because it becomes painful when he bats which is why he is not attending the nets," he said. "[Regarding Gul] We are expecting to get the (MRI) report soon but I'm hoping that Gul will be back to training within the next three days."

The Pakistan squad is undergoing rigorous training in Lahore in a bid to improve fielding and general fitness. They are slated to play Bangladesh and Australia in the league phase, on May 1st and 2nd respectively.

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