Shoaib Akhtar ruled out till fourth Test | india | Hindustan Times
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Shoaib Akhtar ruled out till fourth Test

The fast bowler has been precluded from the team for Test series against England on grounds that he needs more time to get match-fit.

india Updated: Jul 12, 2006 18:29 IST

Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has been ruled out of Pakistan's series against England till the fourth cricket Test at the Oval next month as he needed more time to get match-fit.

Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shaharyar Khan said Shoaib was making fast recovery from the ankle stress fracture but was still "far from being fit enough to play international cricket".

He said Shoaib would arrive in England later this month to speed up his efforts for a Test return and would only be able to stake a claim in the squad if he proves his fitness in practice games.

"Shoaib has been out of international cricket for quite some time and cannot just walk back in the squad. Such a step could be counter-productive so we would take our time before recalling him," Shaharyar was quoted as saying by 'The News'.

Shoaib last played for Pakistan in the Karachi Test against India in January this year and has been out of action since undergoing a twin knee surgery in Australia in February.

The PCB Chief said the team and Board officials wanted Shoaib to play club games in England to get some match practice before making a comeback to the international cricket.

"We wanted Shoaib to play some matches in Pakistan but the problem is that there isn't much cricket being played there at this time of the year. Now we are trying to find some good matches for him here in England," he said.

The 30-year-old paceman had earlier expressed plans to be fit in time for the second Test scheduled to start at Old Trafford on July 27.