Shoaib Akhtar joins UN child hunger campaign

Published: Thursday, May 19, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Islamabad:Pakistan's discarded pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar said he would do all he could to fight child hunger around the world by lending his support to a UN World Food Programme campaign.

"I am ready to deliver to the best of my ability and give my last drop of blood to help eradicate child hunger," Akhtar said at a campaign launch in Islamabad on Wednesday.

Akhtar said he would take part on June 14 in one of a number of walks to be held in world cities aimed at raising funds to help starving children and for child education.

"I love kids and want to participate in as many events as I can to help the children of the world and would come for a day from my county assignment in England to participate in the walk," said Akhtar, who has been dropped by Pakistan for their current tour of the West Indies.

WFP also launched Wednesday a programme to help the victims of last year's tsunami in South Asia, and Akhtar Wednesday showed his willingness to tour the tsunami-affected areas.

"As and when I get time I do charity and social work. I am ready to go to tsunami-affected areas and raise funds for them," said Akhtar, who has visited child cancer patients in India and Pakistan on several occasions.

Last month, Pakistan selectors left Akhtar out of the Pakistan team for their three one-dayers and two Tests in the Carribbean, saying he was unfit.

Akhtar has maintained he was not given a chance to prove his fitness.

"I want to play for Pakistan again. I will, very soon," said the fast bowler, known to his fans as the "Rawalpindi Express".

Akhtar sustained a hamstring injury on Pakistan's tour of Australia earlier this year but appeared in five domestic matches, taking an impressive 5-23 in one of the two Twenty20 Cup matches he played last month.

Akhtar has also made headlines away from cricket, when his name was linked in the press with a role in a Bollywood film by the famous Indian producer Mahesh Bhatt.

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