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Beleaguered Akhtar planning a comeback ahead of NZ, Australia tour

Posted By: Staff

Karachi, July 29 (ANI): Controversial Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is eyeing a successful return to the national team during the forthcoming New Zealand and Australia tours.

Sources close to Akhtar said the pacer is planning a definite strategy to facilitate his comeback.

They said he is planning a strict training regime to regain his form and fitness and lost speed.

Pakistan would first visit New Zealand for a Test series in November, and then fly to Australia in December for three match Test series and five One-day Internationals. It will also play a Twenty20 match on the tour.

However, regaining fitness would not ensure a place in the national team for Akhtar, as he is entangled in a legal battle with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over a repeated breach of central contract.

Akhtar, who last played an international match against Australia during the UAE One-day series, has been described as a spent force by former cricketers and critics.

Former captain Wasim Akram said Akhtar's career was nearly over after the pacer was dropped from the 30-man provisional squad for the Champions Trophy.

"I don't think he has got a chance, unless and until some miracle happens. Even though it depends on the captain and selectors, I think Shoaib has fallen out with the selectors and the board," Akram said.

Akhtar is also fighting a case in the Lahore High Court (LHC) against an 18-month ban and a fine of seven million rupees, The News reports. (ANI)

Story first published: Wednesday, July 29, 2009, 16:06 [IST]
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