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Pak cricket skipper Malik backs Shoaib to fire in Champions Trophy

Karachi, July 21 : Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik expects comeback pacer Shoaib Akhtar to fire in the upcoming Champions Trophy in September.

Describing the 'Rawalpindi Express' as a match-winning bowler, Malik told The News: "Shoaib is a great fast bowler and has won many a match for Pakistan in the past."

"Shoaib has some fitness issues but we are all hopeful that he will overcome them in time to bowl in the Champions Trophy at full throttle," he added.

Malik pointed out that Pakistan will use next month's one-day series against New Zealand on home soil to warm up for the Champions Trophy.

Speaking on a different issue, Malik urged Champions Trophy teams to dispel their concerns about security in Pakistan ahead of September's tournament.

Malik's appeal came as the International Cricket Council (ICC) is due to meet in Dubai to brief participants about security arrangements for the eight-nation contest.

"I request all teams to visit Pakistan for the Champions Trophy as the event is very important for us and our people," he said.

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Story first published: Monday, July 21, 2008, 13:09 [IST]
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