Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Shoaib Akthar in squad

Shoaib Akhtar was included in Pakistan’s 30-man preliminary squad for the Champions Trophy after his 18-month ban was suspended, while in-form Danish Kaneria failed to make the list.

Fast bowler Shoaib was initially banned by five years by the Pakistan Cricket Board for a series of discipline breaches but on appeal that ban was reduced to 18 months. Shoaib is currently fighting that in the Pakistani courts.

While the fight goes on he is free to play and despite the fact his career looked over in April, he now faces the prospect of playing a major ICC tournament in his home country in September.

Kaneria, meantime, is one of the most in-form bowlers on the English county circuit currently and actually topped the wicket-taking list after the group stage of the Twetnty20 Cup to prove that he is not just a Test bowler but also a leg-spinner who keeps runs down and takes wickets in the shorter form of the game too.

The final 15 players for the Champions Trophy will be nominated from the above list of 30 and the deadline for naming the 15 players is August 11, the PCB said.

Doping Test on all 30 players shall be conducted on July 19 and 20 in Lahore. Any player failing the test or failing to give samples for the test shall become ineligible for selection for the Champions Trophy and will also face disciplinary proceedings under PCB’s Anti Doping Policy, it said.

The PCB will monitor fitness of players and may conduct fitness tests prior to selection of final 15 for Champions Trophy 2008.

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