Akhtar says cricket is priority, refuses PCB's remuneration

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Lahore, Feb 2 (UNI) Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has emphasised that he is not disheartened by Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) behaviour towards him and will not accept any monthly remuneration from the the board under its central contract policy.

Akhtar, while talking to mediapersons said, ''I always play for the country, without any lust for money and to me, demanding money for playing is a shameful act.'' The 32-year-old pacer made a dramatic appearance in the national training camp at the Gaddafi Stadium and said,''I was asked by coach Geoff Lawson to attend the training camp, so I am here and bowled for almost one hour to my full potential.'' The maverick fast bowler has been kept out of the central contract by the PCB and was put under a special category which has the lowest scale of payments for players.

Time and again, Akhtar has received severe criticisms from his colleagues and board officials for his conduct on and off the field.

During Pakistan's last year's tour of India, his fitness and attitude were questioned by team manager Talat Ali.

The 'Rawalpindi Express' was left out of the Pakistan squad for the one-day series against Zimbabwe at home depite the pacer declaring his availability.

''I wanted to play against Zimbabwe which could have helped me prepare for the tough series against Australia. But I was axed,'' he said.

However, he added that he will stage a come back and it's not the first time that PCB has acted in this manner.

''No doubt I am not the first man, who has been dropped. Big names like Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis have also gone through similar situations and I am not disheartened by it,'' he said.

''I will play in the Pentangular Cup to prove match-fitness for the home series against Australia,'' he added.

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