Skin problem forces Akhtar out of training camp

May 13th, 2009 - 6:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Shoaib Akhtar By Omar Khalid
Karachi, May 13 (IANS) Dogged by a skin problem, fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar will miss Pakistan’s preparatory camp for the World Twenty20 Championships in England next month.

A senior Pakistan team official said Wednesday that Shoaib has been advised by doctors to skip the high-altitude conditioning camp at the hill resort of Bhurban, in Punjab, May 14-19.

The official said Shoaib’s skin problem could be contagious, therefore he was released from the camp for a week.

Also absent from the six-day camp will be experienced opener Salman Butt, who has decided to stay in Lahore to be with his ailing father.

Butt’s father is to undergo an open heart surgery later this week and the batsman’s participation in the conditioning camp will depend on how his father responds to the operation.

Team manager Intikhab Alam told IANS the rest of the 13 players in the 15-man England-bound squad will take part in the camp that will be supervised by Pakistan’s fitness trainer David Dwyer.

“Dwyer has prepared comprehensive training programmes for the players and we are confident that the boys will be in best shape after attending this camp,” said Intikhab, a former Pakistan captain.

The Pakistani players left for Bhurban from Islamabad Wednesday afternoon.

After the camp, they will play a series of practice games in Lahore May 20-24 ahead of the National Twenty20 Championship May 26-29.

Pakistan is scheduled to leave for England May 30 and will play a couple of practice games against South Africa (June 1) and India (June 3) ahead of the June 5-21 World Twenty20 Championships.

Pakistan is bracketed with hosts England and minnows Netherlands in Group B of the tournament. It will play its opening match against England June 7 at The Oval.

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