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Shoaib may play third Test

March 03, 2005 15:30 IST

Pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar, recuperating from a hamstring injury, is likely to turn up for Pakistan in the third cricket Test against India later next month as well as the following one-day international series.

Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shaharyar Khan said the panel of doctors working on the bowler would submit its report on Friday when a clearer picture is expected to emerge.

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However, Shoaib, currently training in Lahore under the supervision of foreign trainer Grant Compton, would have to prove his match-fitness in the ongoing Patron's Trophy.

"He (Shoaib) will only be considered for selection once he proves his fitness in the ongoing domestic first-class season," Shaharyar said.

When pointed out that Shoaib's team (Khan Research Laboratory) was unlikely to reach the semifinals of the Patron's Trophy and its campaign would end next week, Shaharyar said, "we would relax our tournament rules and try to help Shoaib Akhtar represent any other department so that he can prove his fitness."

The bowler, on his part, was giving himself another three weeks to recover from the injury which forced him to pull out of the Test series which begins on March 8 in Mohali. The second is slated to be held in Kolkata (March 16-20) while the third will be played in Bangalore from March 24 to 28.

"It is so disappointing to be sitting in Lahore while the team is preparing for the Test series in India. But there is nothing much I can do about the injury except try to regain my fitness as soon as possible," Shoaib told local daily TheNews.

"I have been training regularly with Compton and he says I should be fit in two and a half week's time. As soon as I am fit I will play in a match to test out my fitness before making myself available for the one-dayers.

"I don't want to miss the one-dayers also as it would be very frustrating if I am not able to make the Indian tour at all which is why I am trying very hard and working religiously on my injury," added the 29-year old fast bowler.

The six-match one-day series begins on April 2.

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