Pakistan recalls Akhtar for ODI series against India

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Multan, Oct 27 (UNI) Controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has been included in the 16-member Pakistan squad for five-match ODI series against India starting November 5.

Akhtar has completed a 13-match ban imposed on him by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

''He is now available for Pakistan and we have checked his fitness in a domestic match,'' chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed told reporters.

''He remains a key player for us and will boost the pace attack for the Indian tour,'' he added.

Pakistan will play three Tests after the ODI series and Salahuddin said the Test squad will be announced later.

''For the one-dayers we believe we have picked the most balanced side and the presence of Shoaib and Asif will make our bowling dependable,'' he said.

The squad also include Fawad Alam, who played his first and only ODI so far against Sri Lanka earlier this year.

Akhtar has also been drafted into the team to take on visiting Souith Africa in the fith and final ODI on Monday with both the sides levelled at 2-2 in the series.

Akhtar was sent home from the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in September after he struck fellow paceman Mohammad Asif with a bat during a brawl before the tournament started.

He was later banned for 13 matches and fined 3.4 million rupees (56,000 dollar) for four breaches of PCB code of conduct.

The board also put Akhtar on probation for two years which means if he is again found guilty of violating the code of conduct he could be banned for life.

Pakistan will leave for India on November 1 and play the first ODI at Guwahati on November 5.

The squad: Shoaib Malik (captain), Shahid Afridi, Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Yasir Hameed, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, Fawad Alam, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Rao Iftikhar, Sohail Tanvir, Abdul Rehman UNI

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