PCB grants lifeline to Akhtar, offers him 'special slot'

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Lahore, Jan 26: Inspite of being excluded from the central contracts' list of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), all is not over for under fire pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar, who was offered a special slot in an extended list along with five other discarded Test players.

''It was decided that Shoaib Akhtar and five other players will be awarded special contracts for a one-year period,'' PCB Chairman Nasim Ashraf said. ''The idea is to monitor them for a year and see whether they are capable of making a comeback to international cricket,'' he said. The 'Rawalpindi Express', who was accused of indiscipline and lack of commitment during the tour of India last year.

The PCB, which believes he has a negative attitude, discarded him from the A-list of central contracts. But the Governing Board of the PCB that met here yesterday, opted to give the pacer another chance by creating a special category for Test players who are not currently good enough to make the grade.

Shoaib is joined by fellow pacer Mohammad Sami and batsmen Faisal Iqbal, Imran Nazir, Yasir Hameed and Muhammad Hafeez in the list.

All these players featured in the central contracts' list when it was issued in June last year.

The six players will receive a monthly retainer of Rs 75,000 each.

UNI

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