Shoaib's career in doldrums after poor show in domestic event

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Controversial bowler Shoaib Akhtar's lacklustre performance on his comeback match in the national ODI championship has put his future in jeopardy.

Updated: March 12, 2009 09:55 IST
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Controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's lacklustre performance on his comeback match in the national one-day championship has put his future in the team in jeopardy.

Shoaib conceded 68 runs for no wicket in his ten overs, before being retired hurt after scoring 30 runs playing for KRL against PIA in the championship match on Wednesday.

His bowling came under scrutiny as the national selectors sat down to shortlist players for the ODI series against Australia in Abu Dhabi and Dubai from April 22 and also the preliminary squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in England.

The selectors have dropped Shoaib for the tour of Bangladesh which is now expected to start from March 26 after being postponed from its original date of March 7.

"We are closely watching his match fitness and unless he shows dramatic improvement in the coming matches of the tournament, he will struggle to find a place in the national team," sources close to the selectors said today.

Shoaib citing a knee injury had pulled out of the Tests against Sri Lanka after he was dropped for the final match of the one-day series against the same opposition in January because of his poor form.

Returning to the ODI squad after nearly 14-months, Shoaib had a poor run in the first two one-dayers against Sri Lanka and was eventually dropped for the final match.

One source said the selectors and Board were not very happy with Shoaib's conduct as he had initially pulled out of the Tests claiming he needed a surgery and later backtracked saying his doctors had told him he can resume playing by getting medication for his knee problem.

"Neither the board nor the selectors are satisfied with Shoaib's fitness or conduct and they are just waiting until September when Mohammad Asif completes his one-year ban for his doping offence," one source stated.

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