Shoaib Akhtar ruled out of Asia Cup

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Shoaib Akhtar has been reportedly ruled out of the Asia Cup tournament in Sri Lanka next month.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:06 IST
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Pakistan speed demon Shoaib Akhtar would not be picked for the Asia Cup cricket tournament next month as he was not fit enough to play in international fixtures, chief selector Wasim Bari said today. Bari said Pakistan Cricket Board had advised the selection committee against picking the bowler for the July 16-August 2 tournament, also involving arch-rivals India, to be held in Sri Lanka. "PCB Chief Executive Rameez Raja has informed us in writing not to consider Shoaib Akhtar for selection for the Asia Cup," Bari told reporters in Karachi. Bari cited "fitness problems" as the reason for the bowler to miss out on the important series. "These things happen in international cricket. Even Australia rested their pace spearhead Glenn McGrath for quite a few months because he was not fit," he said. The former player also said Shoaib was likely to pull out midway from his stint with English county team Durham owing to fitness problems. When contacted, Raja said over phone that PCB was only acting on the advice of Durham and was resting the bowler keeping in mind the ICC Champions Trophy in September. "We received suggestions from Durham that we should use Shoaib sparingly. We have had discussions among ourselves and have written to the selection committee about Durham's advice," Raja said. (PTI)

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