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Akhtar likely to return to national team

After having impressed the selectors in last month's domestic tournament, 34-year old Shoaib Akhtar might well be seen again in Pakistani colours in the upcoming Asia Cup and the team's tour of England.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Karachi
UPDATED ON MAY 25, 2010 02:53 PM IST

Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar is likely to make yet another return to the national team for the upcoming Asia Cup and the team's tour of England.

The fast bowler convinced the top Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) brass about his fitness while performing in last month's Pentangular Cup One-Day cricket tournament.

According to sources, the selection committee headed by former Test cricketer Mohsin Hasan Khan is considering the pacer for the team's busy summer ahead.

Pakistan will take part in Asia Cup in Sri Lanka starting from June 15 before leaving for tour of England where the team will lock horns with the hosts and the Australian team
Shoaib, who has not represented Pakistan since May 2009, returned to action in last month's domestic tournament where he impressed the selectors with his performance.

Following a knee surgery last year, the 'Rawalpindi Express' also underwent liposuction in November to remove excess weight from his body. Akhtar said he has regained his fitness and can serve his national side for a few more years.

Moreover, Shahid Afridi, who will lead the side in England, also wants the pacer in the squad for the upcoming tour of England where his side will face stiff competition.

Sources say Afridi feels that the fast bowler could be a worthy inclusion in the team in tough English conditions where he holds a very good record. Salahuddin Ahmed, former chief selector of Pakistan has endorsed the idea saying a fit Shoaib can still prove to be an asset for Pakistan.

"If Shoaib Akhtar is fit, he can prove fatal for opposition especially in English conditions, the team needs him for the tour," he stated.

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