Akhtar, Gul to face extensive tests to prove match-fitness prior to selection

March 28th, 2009 - 2:29 pm ICT by ANI  

Shoaib Akhtar Karachi, Mar.28 (ANI): Pakistan pacers Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul, who are expecting a call for national duty ahead of the one-day series against Australia, will have to go through an extensive fitness test to prove their match-fitness.

According to sources, the Pakistan team management is planning to organize a fitness test before the squad for the UAE series is announced.

The selectors and the team management have decided to include only those players in the team who prove their 100 percent fitness, The News reports.

The five one day matches of the series and a Twenty 20 game would be played in Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s hot and humid conditions, and thus it would require the players to be fully fit.

Akhtar has declared himself fit and available for national call, however, the team management is skeptical about his fitness as he has been suffering from a series of fitness issues.

He is yet to recover from a knee injury for which he was advised to undergo surgery last month. Shoaib decided against it saying that the injury has healed without any operation, sources said.

Akhtar’s securing a place back in the team may not be that easy, because coach Intikhab Alam has clearly suggested that the past record would certainly be looked into along with the fitness level before announcing the final team for the forthcoming UAE series.

“Akhtar needs to be double fit to stay into rhythm in such warm weather,” Alam had said. (ANI)

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