Karachi, Nov 17 : After Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar missed all the recently held three ODIs against West Indies due to a calf injury, the PCB has decided to leave his fate to be decided by the a new selection committee to be installed next month.
A senior PCB official said Shoaib "got injured more than most cricketers".
The fast bowler last played his ODI in November 2007 against India in Gwalior but has been out of the squad since then either due to injuries or suspension. He played in some of the IPL matches for "Kolkata Knight Riders", but failed to impress except in his first match in which he picked early three wickets.
Shoaib (33) was included in Pakistan's squad for the Abu Dhabi assignment after he 'convinced' national selectors about his form and fitness by bowling well in a couple of Pentangular Cup games. But, the Rawalpindi Express was derailed as soon as he arrived in Abu Dhabi after injuring his calf muscle during a team training session. He failed to make the playing eleven in all three games.
The PCB official said that the Board's top brass has been "closely monitoring" Shoaib on his comeback trail, "but is not convinced whether he deserves a place in the "team, especially after the rise of talented young fast bowlers like Anwar Ali, Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Talha.
However, the official said that unlike previous PCB bosses, the current regime doesn't want to play a hands-on role in team selection and will expect the new set of selectors to decide whether Shoaib has a future with the Pakistan team. "We will appoint a new selection committee in the third week of December," the official said and added: "The selectors will finalise the squad for the home series against India and if they overlook Shoaib then probably it would be game over for him."
Pakistan are scheduled to have a home series against India in January-Febryary for three Tests, five One-day Internationals and a Twenty20 International.
On Sunday, former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis took a swipe at PCB for keeping an injured Shoaib in the team. "I think an unfit player should not have been kept with the team. If Akhtar came unfit from Pakistan then it was not wise, but if he fell unfit here before the first match, they should have sent him back and called a youngster," the former Test pacer had said.
Story first published: Monday, November 17, 2008, 11:26 [IST]
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