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Shoaib not included for Windies tour

April 30, 2005 14:42 IST

Not satisfied with the fitness level of fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, Pakistan cricket selectors have decided to rest him for next month's West Indies tour while including former captain Moin Khan in a 17-member squad, which would be officially announced on Monday.

Selectors also left out unfit paceman Mohammad Sami and included another seamer Shabbir Ahmed in the squad which was finalised on Friday evening.

The list of players has been submitted to Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan, who will announce the squad after getting clearance from an ad-hoc committee, PCB spokesman said.

The ad-hoc committee, as per PCB constitution, has the powers to make changes in the team.

The selectors have also dropped Mohammad Hafeez who toured India earlier this month as a one-day specialist. He has been replaced by Yasir Hameed who was dropped after the Bangalore Test for the six-match one-day series.

The Pakistan team has been selected basically for the one-day matches to be played on May 18 at St Vincent and for the double-header on May 21 and 22 at St Lucia's.

If required, changes would be made in the team for the two Tests to be played between May 26 and 30 at Barbados and between June 3 and 7 at Jamaica.

Shoaib and Sami have been overlooked purely on medical grounds.

PCB's panel of doctors, in a report submitted to the selectors, have observed that Shoaib requires more time to regain fitness.

The report further says that the world's fastest bowler is on a heavier side and needs to reduce his weight considerably to protect himself from further injuries.

As regards Sami, he underwent surgery for the removal of corn in his right heel on Monday. He is steadily recovering but his stitches would be removed later next week.

He is likely to join the team for the Test matches along with uncapped opener Bazid Khan, son of former captain Majid Khan and nephew of former captains Javed Burki and Imran Khan.

Shabbir has been included after he received a clean bill of health from PCB panel of doctors. Shabbir last played for Pakistan in August before he broke down with knee injuries that were treated in South Africa.

He appeared in two domestic limited overs matches and then participated in the ongoing Twenty-20 Cup to further convince the selectors about his fitness.

Moin has been recalled purely on his domestic performance. The gutsy 33-year-old wicketkeeper, who has probably made most comebacks than any other cricketer in a 15-year career, is in terrific form this season and has aggregated 730 first-class runs this season, including three centuries. He also stroked two centuries in domestic one-day tournament besides a century in the Twenty-20 Cup.

Likely squad: Inzamam-ul-Haq (captain), Younis Khan, Yasir Hameed, Salman Butt, Shahid Afridi, Yousuf Youhana, Asim Kamal, Moin Khan, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Shabbir Ahmed, Shahid Nazir, Rao Iftikhar Anjum, Shoaib Malik, Arshad Khan and Danish Kaneria.


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