Karachi: Strike bowler Shoaib Akhtar got another chance to redeem himself when the Pakistan selectors recalled him for the for a one-day triangular tournament next month, just days after being warned his international future was in doubt.
Shoaib, criticised by Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Lt. General Tauqir Zia for his poor attitude and lack of discipline, was included in a 15-man squad to take on hosts Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
The strike bowler, who bowled the fastest delivery ever recorded during this year’s World Cup at 100.2mph (161.3kph), has also failed to impress in domestic and trial matches.
But head of selectors and former Test batsman Aamer Sohail said: “Shoaib is a genuine match-winner. And everyone, including the team management, has no doubt he has shown the required commitment and hard work to come back from his disappointing performance in the World Cup.”
Zia last week warned Shoaib, who has a long record of clashing with Pakistan’s management, that if he failed to “improve his behaviour and general discipline, he has no place in the team. His cricket is finished”.
The squad also featured two uncapped players, batsmen Yasir Hameed and Faisal Athar, while fast-medium bowler Shabbir Ahmed was also recalled.
The selectors made four changes from the squad which won a four-nation tournament in Sharjah earlier this month. “The idea is to give exposure to a maximum number of new players after the World Cup and we are persisting with that after the encouraging results in Sharjah,” Sohail added.
The tournament in Sri Lanka begins on May 10.
The 27-year-old Shabbir, like Shoaib, has had problems with a suspect action.
Reported for throwing in 1999, he has since modified his action. He played the last of five one-day Internationals three years ago.
Rashid Latif (capt.), Taufeeq Umar, Mohammad Hafeez, Yousuf Youhana, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Yasir Hameed, Shabbir Ahmed, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammed Sami, Umar Gul, Abdul Razzaq, Faisal Athar, Faisal Iqbal, Danish Kaneria.