Karachi:His chances of returning to the national team might be bleak but Pakistan's controversial pacer Shoaib Akhtar maintains that his international cricket career is far from over.
Shoaib, who has not been included in the preliminary squad for the Twenty20 World Cup, said he was surprised at not being picked for the tournament.
"I was surprised that I was not included in the list of probables because if you look at Brett Lee he has been having fitness issues for last few months and has not played yet he is in the Australian preliminary squad," Shoaib said.
"Similarly, Shaun Tait is also in despite his history of injury problems," he added.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has justified not picking Shoaib in the preliminary squad by pointing out that he has hardly played any cricket since last May when he played against Australia in Dubai.
"How can we select him? We can't pick him on basis of a few domestic matches. We don't know how fit he is," the PCB Chairman, Ejaz Butt had told a press conference while announcing the 30 probables last week.
But Shoaib said he didn't care what people or the board said about his fitness.
"I know what I am capable off and I have not given up hope on myself and I will fight back into the team because I have few more years of international cricket left in me," Shoaib said after leading Islamabad in the National Twenty20 Championship on Friday.
The enigmatic bowler, who is set to lose his central contract from the board because of his fitness and disciplinary issues since last year, said he was recovering well after his knee operation.
"It takes time to get back into full form after a knee operation but I am doing well and I am getting back into my top form. I know I can get back into the team and prove my critics wrong. I have set targets in mind for a comeback," he said.
The 34-year-old has an impressive 178 wickets in 46 Tests and 223 wickets in 144 One-Day Internationals.
He underwent a knee operation in England last year in June-July and despite his request the PCB refused to foot the bill for his treatment insisting he was not injured on national duty.