Shoaib, Asif to be among pobables for Champions Trophy

July 10th, 2008 - 2:41 pm ICT by ANI  

Shoaib Akhtar

Karachi , July 10 (ANI): After the poor show by Pakistan at the just concluded Asia Cup, the PCB has reportedly decided to include controversial fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif for the Champions Trophy, which is scheduled to be played in Pakistan from September 11-28. Though, there is a possibility that the tournament may be shifted to other country in the wake of recent bomb blasts in Islamabad and Karachi .

Shoaib and Asif, regarded among the most lethal fast bowlers in the world cricket, have been out of international action because of disciplinary grounds. Asif was detained for more than two weeks at the Dubai Airport detention centre for possessing hashish. He is now is facing a PCB inquiry.

But, Shoaib got a respite from the Lahore High Court (LHC) recently which temporarily lifted an 18-month ban imposed on the fast bowler by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

The PCB has made it clear that it has no objection on their inclusion in the 30-man provisional list for the Champions Trophy. We will include both Shoaib and Asif in the preliminary squad for the Champions Trophy. Both of them are very important players and there is certainly space for them in the bowling line, The News quoted PCB chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed as saying.

But, he added that their inclusion in the probables is not a guarantee that they would be playing for Pakistan in the Champions Trophy. We will be giving the names of the players in the preliminary squad to the PCB tomorrow. But that doesnt mean that the players who are a part of it will be in our Champions Trophy squad. Only the best and the fit ones will be included in the final 15-man squad, he said.

The chief selector advised the duo start working on their fitness and advised them to feature in domestic games ahead of the Champions Trophy. (ANI)

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