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Pak recall Akhtar for series decider against SA

Published: Friday, October 26, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
 
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Multan: Pakistan have recalled controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar for the series-deciding one-day international against South Africa in Lahore on Monday.

Akhtar, who has completed a 13-match ban imposed on him by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), was drafted into the squad on Friday for the fifth and final one-dayer against South Africa and for next month's ODI series in India.

"He is now available for Pakistan and we have checked his fitness in a domestic match," chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed told reporters after South Africa won the fourth match in Multan by seven wickets to level the series 2-2.

"He remains a key player for us and will boost the pace attack for the Indian tour."

Akhtar was sent home from the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in September after he struck fellow paceman Mohammad Asif with a bat during a brawl before the tournament started.

He was later banned for 13 matches and fined 3.4 million rupees ($56,000) for four breaches of the code of conduct.

The board also put Akhtar on probation for two years which means if he is again found guilty of violating the PCB's code of conduct he could be banned for life.

Ahmed said the squad for the three Tests in India would be named later.

"For the one-dayers we believe we have picked the most balanced outfit and the presence of Shoaib and Asif will make our bowling dependable," he said.

The selectors added Akhtar and all-rounder Fawad Alam to the squad of players who have featured against South Africa.

Pakistan will play India in five one-dayers starting on Nov. 5 in Guwahati.

Squad:

Shoaib Malik (capt), Shahid Afridi, Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Yasir Hameed, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, Fawad Alam, Kamran Akmal (wk), Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Rao Iftikhar, Sohail Tanvir and Abdul Rehman.

Reuters 

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