Rao Iftikhar replaces Shoaib in Pakistan Twenty20 squad

May 25th, 2009 - 7:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Shoaib Akhtar Karachi, May 25 (IANS) Medium pacer Rao Iftikhar Anjum has been confirmed a replacement to injured pacer Shoaib Akhtar in Pakistan’s squad for next month’s World Twenty20 Championship.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced in a statement that Pakistan has been allowed to pick Rao in its 15-man squad for the June 5-21 spectacle following a clearance from the technical committee of the World Twenty20 Championship.

Shoaib, 33, was axed from the Pakistan squad last month because of a skin infection and sought ICC’s approval to replace him with Rao. The ICC said that once a player is replaced he is ineligible to return to the squad for the tournament.

“The ICC has confirmed that the event technical committee of the World Twenty20 has approved Iftikhar as a replacement player for Shoaib Akhtar,” said an ICC statement Monday.

Iftikhar, 28, has played one Test, 58 one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match for Pakistan. He was also a member of the Pakistan side which lost to India in the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007.

The controversial fast bowler will be missing his fourth ICC event in the last three years.

Shoaib had to pull out just before the 2006 Champions Trophy after he tested positive in a drug test. Later, he missed the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies due to fitness problems.

The bowler was fined and suspended when he hit teammate Mohammad Asif with the bat just before the 2007 World Twenty20 event in South Africa and was sent back home.

Pakistan is drawn in Group B along with the hosts England and minnows Netherlands for the Twenty20 tournament, which begins from June 5.

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