Fit-again Shoaib Akhtar vowed Tuesday to use a short stint with Surrey to mount a comeback at international level, saying he would do his best to help the English county side avoid relegation.
Surrey, who look set for the drop as they are bottom of the County Championship table with only three matches to go, have recruited the mercurial Pakistan paceman on a contract until the end of the season.
Akhtar, on the way back from injury and disciplinary breaches, will fly to London on Wednesday.
The 33-year-old said there could be no better launching pad for a return.
"I am honoured to play for a county like Surrey," Akhtar told AFP. "I will do my best to win all three matches for the county and I am fit and raring to go."
Akhtar said he would try and live up to the standards of one of his idols Waqar Younis, who once played for Surrey, and "keep up the traditions of Pakistan fast bowling."
The bowler said his arrival in England has been slightly delayed due to family illness.
"My mother was not well, otherwise I wanted to reach there for the last four or five matches. But still it is a great opportunity for me to prove my fitness before the Pakistan team fly out to South Africa for a possible series or against India at home," said Akhtar.
Pakistan's team is lacking international cricket after Australia postponed a full tour to the country over security fears in March.
To add to their woes, the International Cricket Council was forced to postpone September's Champions Trophy until next year after non-Asian teams raised concerns about playing in Pakistan, which has been riven by bombings and suicide attacks.
The postponement deprived Akhtar of the chance to stage a comeback after he was handed a five-year ban by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over a series of discipline violations.
The ban followed his public criticism of the PCB after he was axed from a list of 15 contracted players in January.
In July, an appeal committee reduced the ban to 18 months but imposed a fine of seven million rupees (93,000 dollars). A Lahore High court hearing suspended the ban but upheld the fine, paving the way for his selection in the Trophy squad last month.
Akhtar promised he had put his troubles behind him.
"The past eight months were disappointing, but now I am focused on my return. I want to bowl at least 15-20 overs in an innings and gain rhythm because we are hosting India late in the year."
Pakistan host India for three Tests and five one-day internationals from December 2008 to February 2009.
Akhtar has played 46 Tests and 138 one-day internationals for Pakistan since making his debut in 1997, but has not played any international cricket this year.
The PCB said it had issued a no objections certificate, allowing Akhtar to play for Surrey.