Shoaib Akhtar sounds Champions Trophy warning

Published: Friday, September 1, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London: In what could be a bad news for batsmen around the world, a fit-again and fire-spitting Shoaib Akhtar hopes to get better and faster and expects to peak at the ICC Champions Trophy this October-November.

Shoaib finished with the figures of three for 45 in the washed out opening match at Cardiff, his first one-dayer since surgery last winter. In the Twenty20 match against England in Bristol, the 31-year old was the wrecker-in-chief and bowled a double wicket maiden to power Pakistan to a thumping win over the hosts.

''It's nice to finally be back in international cricket after all those months on the sidelines. The Cardiff match was a nice comeback but it's only the start,'' he was quoted as saying by the bigstar.com

''The three-wicket burst at the end (at Cardiff) was enough evidence of the old Shoaib Akhtar but there is still a long way to go.

''I know I can get better and faster. I just hope to stay fit and by the time of the Champions Trophy I should be at my peak,'' he added.

The fast bowler also guarded his team against complacency and called for the need to stay focused.

''The team is playing some really good One-day cricket and I think the only way we will lose this series is if we become complacent. If we all stay focused and play to our ability we will take some beating as we have a lethal combination,'' he said ''I don't mean any disrespect to England saying that, as they have some dangerous players also, but I just think we have the advantage with experience and ability,'' he added.

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