Multan: Pakistan have recalled controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar for the series-deciding final ODI against South Africa in Lahore on Monday, and for next month’s ODI series in India.
Shoaib, who has completed a 13-match ban imposed on him by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), was drafted into the squad on Friday.
“He is now available for Pakistan and we have checked his fitness in a domestic match,” chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed said after South Africa won the fourth match in Multan by seven wickets to level the series 2-2. “He remains a key player for us and will boost the pace attack during the India tour.”
Shoaib was sent home from the World Twenty20 in South Africa in September after he hit fellow-paceman Mohammed Asif with a bat during a brawl before the tournament started.
He was later banned for 13 matches and fined Rs 3.4 million ($56,000) for four breaches of the code of conduct.
The board also put Shoaib on probation for two years, which means if he is again found guilty of violating PCB’s code of conduct, he may be banned for life.
Ahmed said the squad for the three Tests in India will be named later.
“For the one-dayers, we believe we have picked the most balanced outfit and the presence of Shoaib and Asif will make our bowling dependable,” he said.
Pakistan will play five one-dayers in India. The first ODI is in Guwahati on November 5.
Shoaib Malik (captain), Shahid Afridi, Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Yasir Hameed, Younis Khan, Mohammed Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, Fawad Alam, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammed Asif, Umar Gul, Rao Iftikhar, Sohail Tanvir, Abdul Rehman. (reuters)