Akhtar says he is fit to play for Pakistan

March 24th, 2009 - 8:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Shoaib Akhtar Karachi, March 24 (IANS) Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar Tuesday said that he is fit to make his international return in a one-day series against Australia in UAE later this season.
Shoaib, 33, insists he has fully recovered from a knee injury and is ready to don the national cap for the one-day series against the Aussies which will be played in Dubai and Abu Dhabi April 22-May 7.

“I’ve been working hard on my form and fitness. I am now looking forward to play for Pakistan against Australia,” said Shoaib.

Shoaib, who was once regarded as the world’s fastest bowler, was dropped from the Pakistan team after making an unimpressive return in the one-day series against Sri Lanka at home in January. He was later overlooked for the Test series against Sri Lanka.

However, Shoaib now claims that he has backing of Pakistan captain Younis Khan and coach Intikhab Alam to return to the side for the series against Australia.

“The captain, coach and the selectors are backing me which has given me a lot of hope,” he said.

Pakistan are to play five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 game against Australia.

The 15-man squad for the series will be announced early next month.

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