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Sarfaraz advises Shoaib to lose weight

Controversial pacer Shoaib Akhtar, who has been withdrawn from Pakistan's T20 world Cup squad due to a skin infection, should try and shed weight if he wants to prolong his international career, feels former skipper Sarfaraz Nawaz.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Karachi
UPDATED ON MAY 22, 2009 08:19 PM IST

Controversial pacer Shoaib Akhtar, who has been withdrawn from Pakistan's Twenty20 world Cup squad due to a skin infection, should try and shed weight if he wants to prolong his international career, feels former skipper Sarfaraz Nawaz.

"I think he has created problems for himself. I think he has another year of international cricket left in him but for that he has to shed weight and work hard," Nawaz said.

Akhtar was withdrawn from the Pakistan squad on Thursday after a medical panel formed by the Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed a skin infection, which the bowler had earlier complained about.

"The problem is that there is too much emphasis on gym training for bowlers and as a result while the upper body of the bowlers is strong their legs are weak and they constantly face fitness problems," said Nawaz who himself is a former fast bowler.

This is not the first time that the bowler has been dropped, withdrawn or pulled out of the national squad before a major event, raising serious doubts about his fitness.

Meanwhile, Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam said 28-year-old Rao Iftikhar will be a good replacement for Akhtar.

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