Shoaib Akhtar is finished and history

Published: Friday, January 23, 2009, 13:49 [IST]
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'Shoaib Akhtar is finished'

Karachi: One of Pakistan"s most feared fast bowlers, Shoaib Akhtar, is no longer in the reckoning as the team management and PCB officials are concerned.

After surviving career-threatening injuries, dope related controversies, questions over his bowling action, discipline related bans and hefty fines during his 12-year international career, the Rawalpindi Express has not been selected for the third one day international against Sri Lanka.

“Shoaib Akhtar is finished. He is history," The News quoted a Pakistani team official, as saying.

According to the official, the current ODI series against Sri Lanka was Shoaib"s last chance to prove his form and fitness.

“He (Shoaib) promised a lot, but failed to deliver. It"s quite obvious that he is past his prime and it"s time that we should overlook him to blood some youngsters in the side."

Simultaneously, skipper Shoaib Malik launched a scathing attack on his under-performing fast bowler on Wednesday night at a post-match press conference at Karachi"s National Stadium with the complete backing of the team officials and some senior players.

“The commitment which I need from him (Shoaib) in the field is not there," Malik told reporters. “You need 11 players to lift a team. Shoaib needs to bowl 10 overs with the same speed, and then, I also want him to field for 50 overs," Malik said.

Akhtar returned to the one-day squad after almost 14 months. He last played in an ODI for Pakistan in Gwalior in November 2007 against India.

Spearheading a four-man pace attack, Akhtar bagged just a wicket in the two one-dayers against Sri Lanka, giving away 88 runs from 13 overs — bowling seven overs in the first match and six in the second.


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