Shoaib a no go


Woolmer rules out Shoaib return

PAKISTAN coach Bob Woolmer has all but dashed any hopes of fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar returning to the Pakistan Test team after telling reporters his star player would be “lucky” if he recovered from his injury in time.

His latest comments contradict earlier reports which suggested Akhtar was on his way to fitness and would figure in the fourth test at Headingly.

Speaking to The News, Woolmer said: “”It is going to take time. It is not likely that he would be able to play in the third Test and I would consider Shoaib lucky if he plays in the last Test. People should understand that Shoaib has had serious injury problems and has been out of international cricket for quite a long while. He would need more time to get fit enough to play for Pakistan. We have plans for Shoaib to play in the local league but such games are still at least 14 days away.”

Akhtar is currently working with Warwickshire as he continues his rehabilitation.

Earlier Abbas Zaidi, the Pakistan board director told Reuters the return of Shoaib would be a massive boost to the team.

“Obviously he is an important member of the side and the team management is very keen to have him back as soon as possible,” Zaidi said. “His pace gives the team that extra edge.”


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