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Shoaib returns to boost Pak squad

Reuters
Aug 20, 2006 at 05:37pm IST

Karachi: Pakistan selectors have included fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar and uncapped batsman Shahid Yousuf in the squad to play five One-Day Internationals against England.

"We have decided to retain Akhtar for the One-Day series as he has recovered well from his ankle injury," chief selector Wasim Bari said on Sunday.

"Yousuf is a fine batting prospect who has done well for the A side in recent months in two major tournaments."

SHOAIB RETURNS: It's been a long absence for Shoaib, who has missed action since February.

Yousuf, 21, scored consistently for the A side in the Eurasia Cup in Abu Dhabi and the Top End series in Australia this year and also played against England last winter in Pakistan.

Akhtar, who has not played international cricket since February, had knee surgery in Australia and then broke down with a stress fracture of the ankle.

Efforts were made to play him in the final Test at The Oval but Bari said the consensus was that it would be better for him to wait for the One-Day series.

The decision when to play Akhtar would be up to team management, who are monitoring his fitness, he added.

Yousuf and all rounder Shoaib Malik, who also missed the Test series due to an elbow injury, will join the team this week.

Batsman Faisal Iqbal and pacers Shahid Nazir and Mohammad Sami will return to Pakistan after the Test series.

Salman Butt, Taufiq Umar and pacer Samiullah Niazi were released from the touring squad before The Oval Test.

The One-Day series starts in Cardiff on August 30 and ends on September 10 at Edgbaston.

Pakistan squad: Inzamam-ul-Haq (Capt), Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Yousuf, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Imran Farhat, Shoaib Akhtar, Rana Naved, Rao Iftikhar, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul and Danish Kaneria.

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