Akhtar makes Pakistan comeback
Karachi, Oct 7 (IANS) Shoaib Akhtar roared his way back into the Pakistan team for a four-nation twenty20 tournament in Canada after almost ten months though he is yet to pay a Rs.7 million fine imposed on him by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over repeated breaches of discipline.
Akhtar, 32, was named in a 15-man squad for the Toronto quadrangular to be played from Oct 10-13 after national selectors became convinced that the pacer is fully fit and in form following his satisfactory showing in the ongoing National Twenty20 Cup in Lahore. He last played for Pakistan in the Bangalore Test against India last December.
But there was no such luck for Mohammad Yousuf, who was not considered for national duty after Canadian authorities didn't issue him a visa.
Yousuf was desperate to join Pakistan's twenty20 squad after being overlooked for last September's inaugural World Twenty20 Championship in South Africa.
Chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed told IANS that a 'best possible combination' has been announced for the Toronto quadrangular that will also feature Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and hosts Canada.
'We have picked the best available players for Toronto,' said the former Test cricketer. 'It's not a major event but since we have not played much cricket in recent times, our task would be to win the title in Toronto,' he said.
Though Akhtar has been picked in the side, his participation in the quadrangular will depend on the outcome of a Lahore High Court (LHC) hearing Wednesday. The PCB has filed a writ in the LHC against Akhtar over his failure to pay up the fine.
Pakistan has included several youngsters in the squad including young pacers Anwar Ali, Sohail Khan and top order batsman Khalid Latif.
Pakistan squad: Shoaib Malik (captain), Salman Butt, Younis Khan, Khalid Latif, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Fawad Alam, Kamran Akmal (wicket-keeper), Sohail Tanvir, Shoaib Akhtar, Anwar Ali, Sohail Khan, Shoaib Khan, Umar Gul, Abdul Rauf.
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