KKR keen to greet Shoaib, Rawalpindi Express to go on fitness test

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Kolkata, May 5 (UNI) Kolkata Knight Riders coach John Buchanan today said Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar will have to the pass fitness test under physio Andrew Leipus before being inducted in the playing eleven.

KKR face Bangalore Royal Challenger in return league at Eden Gardens on May 8.

The Kolkata side was agog since yesterday after the appellate tribunal of Pakistan Cricket Board suspended the ban for a month on Akhtar. Akhtar was banned for five years on diciplinary grounds.

Akhtar is expected to arrive here tonight from New Delhi, where he arrived today.

Coach John Buchanan said usually a new player has to undergo a fitness test before the team management decides to include him in the playing eleven. The coach, however, did not reply on whether Shoaib would play against Bangalore on Thursday, Sourav Ganguly and his boys returned here last night from Mohali and will have a practice match tomorrow, in which Shoaib Akhtar might by included, sources in the KKR said.

After four straight defeats in six matches, Kolkata now find a hard time ahead of them in the eight-team championship.

Without star players like Ricky Ponting and Brendon McCullum, Kolkata face stiff challenge in next eight matches to make to the last four, though Sourav Ganguly was confident to return in knock out competition.

Ticket selling for Thursday show at Eden was on high and so far Rs 12 lakh tickets already sold.

UNI PC LL RAR RAI2112

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