Shoaib to lead Islamabad Leopards to prove fitness

May 23rd, 2009 - 8:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Shoaib Akhtar By Omar Khalid
Karachi, May 23 (IANS) Pakistan cricket is bracing for yet another controversy after

enigmatic fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar Saturday decided to lead Islamabad Leopards in the National Twenty20 Cup to prove his fitness for the next month’s Twenty20 World Cup.

Shoaib, who was unhappy over the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decision to drop him from the 15-man squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in England on fitness grounds, wants to prove his fitness in the tournament starting Monday.

If he proves his fitness then PCB will find itself in hot water as it has already written to the technical committee of the Twenty20 World Cup to allow it to replace unfit Shoaib with medium pacer Rao Iftikhar Anjum.

“He (Shoaib) has told us that he is fit so we have no reason to drop him,” said Shakil Sheikh, Islamabad Cricket Association president. “We have not received any medical report of Akhtar from the PCB,” he added.

“It’s the basic fundamental right of the player that if he says he is fit you can’t stop him from playing,” Shaikh stressed.

Shoaib was axed from the Pakistan squad after a PCB medical commission ruled that the player is suffering from genital warts and will need ten more days to recover from the condition.

Shoaib’s skin problem had initially ruled him out of the training camp the team attended in Bhurban, a mountainous hill resort near Islamabad, but he had been confident of recovering in time for next month’s World Twenty20.

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