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Rediff.com  » Sports » Down but not out just yet: Shoaib Akhtar

Down but not out just yet: Shoaib Akhtar

April 08, 2010 11:16 IST

Shoaib AkhtarAge is catching up, fitness was never his strength and he has lost his central contract as well but controversial pacer Shoaib Akhtar insists he is not done just yet and would make an international comeback soon.

The 34-year-old said he would be using the domestic Pentangular Cup One-day tournament as a platform to convince the selectors that he is ready to resume playing international cricket. The fast bowler has been named in the Federal Areas team for the tournament starting April 17.

"I am thankful to the board for giving me this opportunity to prove myself again and I want to give it my best effort," Akhtar said.

He also made it clear that people who were writing him off are making a mistake. "One of the reasons for my struggle with fitness and form in the last few series I played was because of the knee problem I had. I just never got the time to get it operated upon," he said.

"But now that the surgery has been done and the rehabilitation process has also gone well, I am back to my top fitness and the knee problem is no longer a hindrance in my giving my best on the field," he added.

Akhtar, who has taken 178 Test and 223 ODI wickets, said he was hoping to make a comeback to the team for the tour to England where Pakistan will play against Australia and the hosts.

"The England tour would be the perfect place for me to comeback as it has good conditions for bowling and the best facilities for a bowler coming back from an injury," he said.

Akhtar said he was confident of convincing the selectors about his pace and experience in the two tough Test series against Australia and England. The fast bowler has not played for Pakistan since May 2009 when he played against Australia in Dubai.

Since then injuries and disciplinary issues have kept him out of the national team. "Playing for Pakistan again is a big challenge for me now and I want to be successful," he added.

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