‘Shoaib, not an automatic selection’

May 17, 2006

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KARACHI, May 16: Shoaib Akhter would not be an automatic choice for upcoming tour of England, chief selector of Pakistan cricket team, Wasim Bari, said on Tuesday. He said the express bowler had to prove his fitness in order to get selected in the England-bound squad.

“We can't guarantee him a place in the team despite his positive attitude and approach.

We will monitor his fitness and progress in the camp which would be held later this month,” Bari said.

“It is a sensitive and important decision that will be taken in consultation with team management.

We have a long tour of England and we know Shoaib is an important player,” he said.

Akhtar has been out of action since ODI and Test series against India in February.

He underwent arthroscopy in his knees in April and is now rehabilitating under the supervision of trainer Grant Compton.

Bari said, “In the fitness camp, Shoaib will have an opportunity to impress the team management.”

The selection committee is expected to name 25 cricketers for a fitness camp starting at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore from May 25.

Pakistan cricket team leaves on the English tour in late June where it will play four Tests and five One-day Internationals.

—PPI