Practice matches to assess Akthar~~s fitness

Published: Sunday, May 28, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:The cricket board has formally announced that injury-prone pacer Shoaib Akhtar will have to prove his fitness in practice matches before he makes a comeback to the Pakistan side before the England tour.

Hinting that the Pakistan Cricket Board was not convinced by Shoaib's claims that he has regained his fitness, PCB Director of Board Operations Saleem Altaf informed practice matches would be organised during the ongoing fitness camp and Shoaib would have to impress the selectors there to get their nod.

''We would arrange a couple of practice matches and expect that Shoaib is going to prove his fitness there,'' Mr Altaf said.

It was Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq's idea to have practice matches during the camp to assess the fitness of the mercurial bowler.

The temperamental speedster, however, is yet to join the camp and according to reports, is having a minor ankle problem.

Shoaib, who insists on working with personal fitness trainer Dr Tauseef Razzak and not with the team's foreign experts, is expected to join the camp within the next couple of days.

Shoaib underwent surgery on both his knees in February in Australia and is yet to make a comeback since then.

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