Shoaib Akhtar needs more time to get fit

shoaibShoaib Akhtar has told Pakistan cricket officials that he needs more time to get fit for a few domestic games which the fast bowler is required to play before making his comeback in the national team.

Shoaib, who was cleared of a two-year doping ban by a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) appeals committee last week, opted against playing in a Patron’s Trophy match for his team, KRL, which began on Sunday.

A PCB official told this correspondent that national selectors and the Pakistan team management were looking forward to Shoaib’s participation in the match but the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ stayed away from it because of fitness reasons.

Shoaib has been told by the top PCB officials and the national selection committee that he would only be considered for selection in the Pakistan team if he proves his fitness by playing in domestic matches.

However, the comeback pacer has informed them that he would need some time to get his injury-prone body back in shape before playing in any competitive game. Shoaib missed international action during the best part of this year because of a twin knee surgery and an ankle problem that forced him to stay away from the Test series in England this summer.

He played in the one-day series against England in September but skipped the last game of that contest because of fitness reasons. Later, he and fellow new-ball pacer Mohammad Asif were pulled out of the ICC Champions Trophy after testing positive for banned anabolic steroid nandrolone in October.

Shoaib is regarded as a key player in the Pakistan line-up but the PCB official stressed that he has to prove his form and fitness to make a return in the national team for the tour of South Africa starting from early next month. He is now expected to play in the next KRL game in the Patron’s Trophy starting later this week.

Source:The News

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Written by Team CricketViewer on December 12th, 2006 with 65 Views

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