Akhtar will return to London on Saturday

Published: Friday, September 5, 2008, 15:54 [IST]
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Lahore: After being sent back home from London air port due to visa problems, controversial pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar asserted that he is keen to play for English county team Surrey and will probably fly for the United Kingdom tomorrow.

Akhtar, who flew to London last Wednesday, said he was told by authorities at the airport that a working visa was needed for him to play in the English county side and his tourist visa was not sufficient.

''I am disappointed, but there are rules to follow,'' Akhtar told mediapersons. ''I will now complete the documents here and fly back to London possibly on Saturday. I am desperate to play for Surrey.'' The 33-year-old fast bowler was hired by Surrey until the end of the season.

Akhtar was hoping that the stint with the English county side will help him to make a comeback in the Pakistan team.

The maverick pace bowler is out from the national squad for quite some time due to an injury and a ban because of indiscipline.

However, Surrey look set for relegation from Division One as they are bottom of the County Championship table, 18 points adrift of Yorkshire with three matches to go.

Surrey recruited Akhtar for their last three matches.

Akhtar said his arrival at Surrey was already delayed due to his mother's illness.

''I wanted to reach there for the last four or five matches.

I flew on Wednesday but this unfortunate thing happened,'' said Akhtar.

Akhtar, who was also included into the high-profile Champions Trophy, which has been postponed until October next year, has been surrounded with controversies and has not played competitive cricket for last one year.

The pace bowler is now eying to play some matches before an important India-Pak series slated to be held in January next year.

''The past eight months were disappointing, but now I am focused on my return,'' he said. ''I want to bowl at least 15-20 overs in an innings and gain rhythm because we are hosting India late in the year.''


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