Shoaib Akhtar all set to return to Pak team for Asia Cup

Karachi: Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is all set to make yet another return to international cricket on June 3 when Pakistan will name their 15-man squad for the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.

Sources said the fast bowler has garnered enough support within the Pakistan cricket think-tank to earn a recall for the Asia Cup to be played in Sri Lankan from June 15-24.

Shoaib last played for Pakistan in a Twenty20 International against Australia in Dubai on May 7, 2009. After that he was overlooked for a number of important assignments, including the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 championship in England, the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa and the twin tours of New Zealand and Australia.

Dogged by injury and disciplinary problems, Shoaib didn`t lose heart and made a spirited comeback to the domestic circuit earlier this season after reportedly undergoing liposuction to remove excess weight from his body last year, The News reports.

He bowled a few impressive spells during the Pentangular Cup one-day tournament in Karachi and was later included in a 35-man preliminary squad picked by the national selectors for the Asia Cup and a marathon tour of England.

Sources said that there remains some skepticism within the Pakistan camp about the likely return of Shoaib Akhtar.

Sources said that Afridi believes that a fit-again Shoaib can be a potent weapon in Pakistan`s bowling arsenal for One-day Internationals and Twenty20 matches.

"Having regained his fitness, Shoaib has proved that he still has that sting that can unsettle batsmen. Afridi is of the view that Shoaib fits in his game plan, which is to play aggressive cricket.”

"He believes that if Shoaib bowls a fiery spell with the new ball and can get a few breakthroughs then other bowlers like Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir can capitalise on it," said the source.



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