Akthar to represent Surrey in English county cricket

Published: Sunday, August 31, 2008, 12:57 [IST]
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Lahore:Temperamental fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is to figure in English county cricket and is expected to play at least a couple of matches for Surrey during its ongoing season.

According to sources close to the speedster, Shoaib has been approached by the county as they have shown interest in hiring the speedster for at least two matches during the current month.

''The speedster has been approached by the Surrey management as it wanted to hire Shoaib's services during the ongoing season,'' a source close to the speedster told The News.

Meanwhile, it has also been learnt that Shoaib has approached the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the necessary No Objection Certificate (NOC) to represent the county.

A Board official on the condition of anonymity confirmed that the NOC has been issued to the speedster.

''Shoaib wanted to play a couple of matches for English county Surrey and had applied for the NOC. We have issued him the NOC with the condition that he had to show his availability whenever required during that period,' he said.

Pakistan is expected to figure in a tri-series to be held in South Africa in mid September. The Board official further added that if the series materialises then Shoaib has to show his availability for the national team irrespective of his commitments with Surrey.

''In case of his selection on the national team, he will have to return home to join the squad,'' the official said.

Shoaib has been out of action from international cricket for almost eight months now.

''We are happy that he has got a chance to play competitive cricket. The short stint with the English county will definitely help him regain his form and fitness. It will also give him a chance to prove his fitness for international cricket,'' the official said.

Shoaib last played for Pakistan during its tour of India.

Since then he has been facing probes, fines and suspension.

The PCB Tribunal headed by Justice (retd) Aftab Farrukh imposed a two-year ban on the bowler. The Lahore High Court, however, facilitated him by extending a stay on the ban from international cricket.


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