PCB takes Shoaib out of T20 World Cup squad

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/s/shoaibakhtar7.jpg' class='caption'> Controversial pacer Shoaib Akhtar was withdrawn from Pakistan's Twenty20 World Cup squad due to a skin infection that has plagued him since last week.

Updated: May 21, 2009 12:17 IST
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Controversial pacer Shoaib Akhtar was on Thursday withdrawn from Pakistan's Twenty20 World Championship squad due to a skin infection that has plagued him since last week.

A Pakistan Cricket board spokesman said a request has been sent to the technical committee of the World Cup to allow a replacement for the fast bowler.

"A medical panel of the board examined Shoaib Akhtar today and found he was suffering from genital viral warts and electrofulgation was done on May 12 but the panel found that he still needs a minimum of 10 days to recover from the ailment," the spokesman said.

He said the medical board, which included consultant surgeon Dr Javed Gardezi and Dermatologist Dr Ejaz Hussain and PCB sports physician Dr Riaz Ahmed, has recommended another medical assessment of Shoaib in the first week of June.

"In view of the clinical assessment and report of the medical panel we have withdrawn him from the World Cup squad and a replacement would be named soon," he said.

Pacer Rao Iftikhar or all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez are most likely to replace Shoaib. Sources in the board said that the decision to withdraw Shoaib was also taken after the team management of coach, Intikhab Alam and manager, Yawar Saeed made it clear to PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt they didn't want Shoaib in the World Cup squad.

The latest assessment means that the fast bowler would also miss the domestic Twenty20 championship starting May 25 in Lahore.

"Intikhab was adamant that he didn't want to take a risk with Shoaib's fitness despite his experience and it would be better to have a replacement going to England," one source said.

Shoaib didn't attend the week-long conditioning camp in Bhurban last week because of the infection but was told by Intikhab he had to play in three Twenty20 practice matches from May 21 to 23 so that his fitness could be assessed before the World Cup.

"When Shoaib informed Intikhab on Wednesday he couldn't play in the practice matches he was told clearly that he would now have to be examined by the PCB medical board and the management would not accept any other doctor's report," one source said.

The 33-year-old has played in just six one-dayers since December 2007 due to fitness and disciplinary issues and has taken only five wickets in them failing to complete ten overs in either of these matches.

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