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Shoaib unlikely to start against Oz

cricket Updated: Mar 18, 2011 23:47 IST
Amol Karhadkar
Amol Karhadkar
Hindustan Times
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Shoaib Akhtar will be history in a fortnight, at the most. However, it is uncertain if the fast bowler, who announced his retirement at the end of the World Cup on Thursday, will be awarded a farewell game.

It was learnt that Shoaib is unlikely to feature in the starting line-up in Pakistan's last league game on Saturday against Australia, the only unbeaten team in the tournament.

The reason for Shoaib, who was dropped for the last game against Zimbabwe, being uncertain is clear --- the veteran bowler spelling out his plans and Wahab Riaz doing reasonably well against Zimbabwe.

While skipper Shahid Afridi was non-committal about Shoaib's inclusion, it was learnt that Shoaib's announcement ahead of the crucial game is being looked at as a pressure tactic by the team management.

Having announced his retirement ahead of the Australia match, Shoaib would have hoped for the last group tie to be his farewell match. But if he comes good against the world champions, it would be difficult to drop him in the knockouts.