Iftikhar replaces Akhtar in Twenty20 squad | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Iftikhar replaces Akhtar in Twenty20 squad

Rao Iftikhar was confirmed as replacement for fellow paceman Shoaib Akhtar in the Pakistan squad on Monday for next month's Twenty20 World Cup.

cricket Updated: May 25, 2009 10:15 IST

Rao Iftikhar was confirmed as replacement for fellow paceman Shoaib Akhtar in the Pakistan squad on Monday for next month's Twenty20 World Cup.

The Pakistan Cricket Board dropped Akhtar from its squad last week due to a skin infection, prompting it to seek approval to replace him from the Twenty20 World Cup organizers. "The ICC has confirmed the event technical committee of the World Twenty20 has approved Iftikhar as a replacement player for Shoaib Akhtar," the International Cricket Council said in a statement.

Akhtar is ruled out of the entire Twenty20 World Cup after the ICC also said that once a player is replaced he is ineligible to return to the squad for the tournament.

Pakistan is drawn in Group B along with the Netherlands and host England for the Twenty20 tournament, which begins from June 5. The top two teams from each of the four groups advance to the Super Eight stage.

Akhtar will miss his fourth ICC event in the last three years due to fitness, doping and discipline problems.

He was pulled out just before the 2006 Champions Trophy for a positive drug test. Later, Akhtar missed the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies due to fitness problems. Akhtar was fined and suspended when he hit teammate Mohammad Asif with the bat just before the 2007 World Twenty20 event in South Africa and was sent back home.