PCB Central contract unlikely for Shoaib

Published: Sunday, June 5, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:With fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar missing most of the action during the last seven months, the Pakistan Cricket Board today said it cannot guarantee a central contract to Shoaib when it offers fresh contracts later this month.

"If we decide to offer him a contract, it will then be a short term contract," PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan said here today.

The 29-year-old Shoaib, who has been out of favours for various reasons, including fitness and discipline, has not played any cricket since January this year and the PCB is uncertain if he would be fit enough to serve the country in the hectic season ahead during which Pakistan will host England, India and the Asia Cup.

"In Barbados, we decided more or less on the number of players whom we will offer fresh central contracts after the present seven-month contracts expire on June 30. But we cannot guarantee a central contract to Shoaib Akhtar because we are not sure of his fitness. He has not played for Pakistan in the last five months," Shaharyar said.

The Board will offer full time six-month contracts from July 1 to December 31 while the short term contracts, which could be for three months, from July 1 to September 30.

"Not only Shoaib, but we have to decide on Umar Gul and Shabbir Ahmed also. Umar Gul has not played for the last one year while Shabbir's bowling action is again under scrutiny. We will offer full contracts to only those who will be available for selection for the length of the contract," he said.

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