Shoaib set for another comeback to Pak team

Updated: 05 April 2009 13:32 IST

Controversial Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar looks set for yet another comeback to the national team after he passed a fitness test in Lahore.

Shoaib set for another comeback to Pak team

Karachi:

Controversial Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar looks set for yet another comeback to the national team after he passed a fitness test in Lahore.

Chief selector Abdul Qadir expressed satisfaction with Shoaib's fitness and said team trainer David Dwyer and the Pakistan cricket Board's medical officer, Dr Sohail Saleem, had also cleared him.

"I would definitely want to see Shoaib in the team for the Australia series. He is an experienced bowler and an asset to the team. But it is not just my decision alone, the team will be finalised after consulting other selectors and captain Younis Khan," Qadir said.

Shoaib last played for Pakistan in the one-day series against Sri Lanka but was dropped mid-way for poor form and fitness and then pulled out of the Tests against the same team due to a knee injury.

Qadir said Shoaib had passed the fitness tests impressively.

"Infact all the players who appeared in the fitness tests have been cleared," he added.

Besides Shoaib, Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir, Rao Iftikhar were among the bowlers who had to appear for the fitness test.

The national selectors are due to announce a 15-member squad for the Australia series tomorrow and are also expected to name 30 probables for the Twenty20 World Cup in England and according to sources, Shoaib is likely to be in both squads.

Sources also said there would be three to four changes in the squad that was announced last month for the tour of Bangladesh which got postponed.

"The likelihood is that the selectors could replace young pacer Mohamamad Aamer, rookie leg-spinner Yasir Shah and wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed with Shoaib Akhtar and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal," one source told PTI.

He also said selectors were in favor of picking six pace bowlers for the Australia series as they felt Pakistan's strength was in its pace attack with all-rounders like Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik and Fawad Alam providing the spin back-up.

Pakistan take on Australia in five One-day Internationals and a Twenty20 match in Dubai and Abu Dhabi starting April 22.



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