Shoaib’s return hinges on court verdict

October 5th, 2008 - 5:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Shoaib AkhtarKarachi, Oct 5 (IANS) Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will consider Shoaib Akhtar for selection for the Twenty20 tournament in Canada, though a final decision to clear his trip will only be taken when Lahore High Court issues its verdict on non-payment of his fine Wednesday.The PCB had filed a writ against Shoaib in the LHC over non-payment of Rs 7 million fine which was slapped by the board for his repeated breaches of discipline.

Pakistani selectors are expected to announce the squad for the Twenty20 event Monday.

“The (national) selectors can pick Shoaib in the squad if they are sure about his form and match fitness,” PCB’s media chief Mansoor Sohail told IANS.

“But the final decision on whether to sent Shoaib to Canada with the team will only be taken on Oct 8 after a hearing of the Lahore High Court,” he added.

Shoaib was in the preliminary squad for the event that also features Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and hosts Canada.

Even if Shoaib is picked, the fast bowler will only be sent to Canada if he settles the fine, Sohail said.

According to Sohail, if selectors pick Shoaib in the squad then they will be asked to select an additional player in case the Rawalpindi Express is dropped from the team at the last moment.

Shoaib proved his form and fitness in Islamabad’s Leopards opening game against Peshawar Panthers in the National Twenty Championship in Lahore, bowling four overs at a decent pace and took the wicket of former Pakistan opener Wajahutullah Wasti to finish with 1-30 in a 14-run defeat of Leopards Saturday night.

It was his first competitive outing in Pakistan in several months as he proved his fitness ahead of a four-nation Twenty20 contest in Toronto to be played from Oct 10-13.

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