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Shoaib to play against 'butchers & bakers'!

Pak speedster will test himself against a third division side to prove his fitness for the fourth Test.
None | By United News of India, London
UPDATED ON JUL 27, 2006 02:54 PM IST

Shoaib Akhtar will take on a team of "butchers, bakers and candlestick-makers" in a third division Birmingham League match for Berkswell next week ahead of his much-awaited international comeback in the fourth Test against England.

The Pakistani pacer will be testing himself against a team called St George in the third division match, which might prove his fitness for the last game of the four-match series.

"I expect a few of them will be running for cover because Shoaib will be roaring in," Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer was quoted by the Daily Telegraph as saying.

St George captain Matthew Tilt, though surprised and a bit shaken by the news, said his team would love to take on the tearaway pacer and hoped that it would be a good experience for his side.

"It is a bit of an unexpected development. But we are looking forward to facing Shoaib. Most of our team are local boys and playing against him will be one of the highlights of our career. I usually bat at four or five, but I might drop myself down the order a bit for this one," Tilt said.

Berkswell, meanwhile, cannot hide their excitement in having the mercurial speedster as their teammate. Captain Dominic Ostler jokingly said he might consider not charging Shoaib for his tea while playing for the team.

"It's a huge thing for what is basically a village club and I'm sure we will get a big crowd. We are not paying Shoaib to play for us, and there is certainly no sponsored car. But we might be prepared to waive the 7.

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