June 9th, 2006

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I am down but not out yet, says Shoaib

shoaib

Shoaib Akhtar announced on Thursday nobody should count him out of the tour of England this summer saying that he can bounce back from an ankle injury to play for Pakistan as early as in the third Test in Leeds to be held from August 4 to 8.

The enigmatic fast bowler said he was itching to bowl in England after having missed international action since February this year.

“I will work hard to get fit as soon as I can and hope to be able to play the last two Tests against England,” Shoaib said in an interview.

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Strauss to lead England in ODIs

Strauss

Andrew Strauss will take over from injured Andrew Flintoff as England captain for this month’s one-day internationals against Ireland and Sri Lanka.

Flintoff, who captained England in the drawn Test series against Sri Lanka, has been advised to rest from cricket for four weeks before having a left ankle injury re-assessed.

Opener Strauss led the one-day side in two matches in India earlier this year. The selectors on Thursday included five uncapped players in the squad — Tim Bresnan, Glen Chapple, James Dalrymple, Ed Joyce and Alex Loudon.

Batsman Alastair Cook, in the squad after playing in the Test series against Sri Lanka, has yet to make his one-day international debut.

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Shahid Nazir, Sami recalled for England tour

sami

Shoaib Akhtar’s loss turned out to be Shahid Nazir’s gain as the forgotten medium pacer was gifted a place in the 16-man Pakistan squad for this summer’s tour of England on Thursday.

Shahid Nazir, who last played a Test for Pakistan in the spring of 1999, was among the six pacers selected for the marathon tour of England getting underway at the end of this month. He comes in place of Shoaib, who was ruled out of the initial part of the tour after it was revealed that an old stress fracture on his ankle would take some more weeks to heal.

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Misbah to lead Pakistan A in Australia

misbah

Test discard Misbah-ul-Haq was on Thursday named to lead a 14-member Pakistan A squad in Australia later this summer.

The orthodox batsman replaces another Test batsman Hassan Raza as the Pakistan A skipper for the tour of Australia during which the team would play a series of four-day, one-day and twenty20 matches.

Hassan, who shepherded Pakistan to a title-winning triumph in the Eurasia Cup in Abu Dhabi, reportedly fell out of favour with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) following an incident during the tournament.

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Pakistan opens door for more Abu Dhabi ODIs

The lure of a cash incentive has led the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to reverse a decision against playing further matches in Abu Dhabi this year because of a tight international schedule.

The South Asian country rejected proposals from organisers in Abu Dhabi after participating in two charity one-day Internationals (ODIs) against India in April, but the PCB now appears to have opened the door for a possible return to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The April one-dayers raised $10 million for the earthquake victims in both countries and Pakistan’s change of mind has increased the possibility of Abu Dhabi hosting matches in late September ahead of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy in India.

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