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Out of Africa, Shabbir yet to hit top gear

The Pakistan Cricket Board has turned down a request from captain Inzamam-ul-Haq to send pacer Shabbir Ahmed to South Africa.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2007 20:48 IST

The Pakistan Cricket Board has turned down a request from captain Inzamam-ul-Haq to send pacer Shabbir Ahmed to South Africa.

“The team management requested that Shabbir be sent before the third Test from Friday, but the selectors felt he is still not match fit and there are issues over his bowling action,” PCB official Dr Ehsan Malik said.

Shabbir completed a 12-month ban for an illegal bowling action last month, when he was cleared by the International Cricket Council to resume his career. Since 1999, he has been reported four times for his action.

“Shabbir still has to do more work to get into reckoning for selection. The selectors also felt they didn’t want to risk him before the World Cup,” Malik said.

Shabbir was in line to go to South Africa after injuries to pacers Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul, who have been called back.

Named among the 30 probables for the World Cup, Shabbir said he was not aware why he was not sent to South Africa, as he had been playing regular domestic cricket this season and faced no problems with his action or fitness.

Meanwhile, selectors are also keeping a close watch on the fitness of all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, who missed the Test series in South Africa due to an elbow injury. Shahid Afridi is also under consideration to join the team for the ODI series.

Akhtar fined for misconduct

SHOAIB AKHTAR was fined $2,500 for his alleged misbehaviour with Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer, who had threatened to resign if disciplinary action was not taken against the speedster.

Team manager Talat Ali imposed the fine after Woolmer’s threat, a Pakistani newspaper reported.

Woolmer claimed, Akhtar had misbehaved with him on the second day of the second Test against South Africa at Port Elizabeth, Urdu daily Express said.

“The altercation occurred on the ground before the start of the day’s play and carried into the dressing room after Akhtar informed the management that he could not bowl on the second day due to a hamstring problem,” the report said.

“When Woolmer learnt about this, he told Akhtar that if he was not fit he should not have come to South Africa and his absence in the middle of the match would create a lot of problems for the team. This incensed Shoaib who had a war of words with the coach,” the report said.

First Published: Jan 24, 2007 20:48 IST