ICL: Indian Cricket League

I am down but not out yet, says 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.

Shoaib ran out of contention to play in the initial part of the tour after a medical commission recently confirmed that a stress fracture on his ankle has not healed and advised him not to bowl for four to six weeks.

He was dropped from the 16-man squad announced by Pakistan for the tour of England on Thursday because of his latest fitness problem.

However, national selectors kept the door ajar for the pacer saying that Shoaib can be sent to England if he attains full match fitness.

Shoaib is confident that he can do it. “I’ve been jogging without pain in spite of the stress fracture and hope that with proper treatment I could regain match fitness within weeks. Once I am cleared of the injury, my preparations to make a comeback would begin,” he said.

Shoaib added that the unhealed stress fracture on his ankle is a result of his insistence to play against India earlier this year in spite of carrying the injury. “I played against India against the advice of the doctors,” he said.

Shoaib suffered from the stress fracture during the home series against England last fall. Pakistan won the series 2-0 with Shoaib, who took 17 wickets, being one of their biggest heroes.

The star pacer later injured both his knees and had to undergo twin surgery in Australia in February.

After missing this spring’s tour of Sri Lanka, Shoaib began his comeback efforts last month and was later named in a 21-man preliminary squad. Shoaib looked set to make a comeback by boarding a plane to England later this summer until a twisted ankle late last month forced him out of action again. “I was feeling perfectly fine after recovering from the knee problem but this ankle injury has ruined my plans to make a return.”

Shoaib believes his absence from the Pakistan team is good news for England but promised Michael Vaughan’s men they would be facing him later this summer. “I have not lost hope and consider myself in the run to play a role in the series against England.”

Pakistan leave for England on June 25 and after a few side matches, would play the first Test from July 13 at Lord’s.
Source:The News

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