Injury to Shoaib Akhtar hits Pakistan plans

November 13th, 2008 - 1:59 pm ICT by ANI  

Shoaib Akhtar

Abu Dhabi, Nov 13 (ANI): Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar missed the first one-day match against the West Indies here after pulling his left calf muscle during a practice session.

Team manager Yawar Saeed said that the latest setback in the 34-year-old bowlers injury-prone career was not serious.

We are not treating it as an injury, its just a calf muscle pull and we will reassess his injury on Wednesday and then on Thursday before deciding when he can take the field, said Saeed.

The second and third matches of the three-game series will be played on Friday and Sunday.

Saeed said no replacement has been sought and fast bowler Abdur Rauf has been given Akhtars place in the team for the first match.

Coach Intikhab Alam is clear that only a 100 percent fit Akhtar will play because we have an important series against India in two months time and we will not risk any further injury for Akhtar, said Saeed.

West Indian captain Chris Gayle had earlier singled out Akhtar as the key factor for Pakistan, describing him as a wicket-taking bowler in a strong Pakistan pace attack.

Fitness and disciplinary problems have prevented Akhtar from competing in One-day Internationals for over a year.

Concerned over his lack of fitness, the Pakistani selectors only picked him for this series after he put up an impressive performance in two domestic matches last month.

Since making his debut in 1997, Akhtar has been plagued by injury problems. He had to undergo twin knee operations in 2006, which forced him out of Pakistans tour of Sri Lanka and England.

He also missed last years World Cup in the West Indies due to injury. (ANI)

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