Islamabad, Aug 31 : The PCB has reportedly allowed fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar to play for English county Surrey on the condition that he would make himself available for his home country when required.
He is expected to play at least a couple of matches for Surrey during the ongoing season, reported The News.
Shoaib was approached by the county for at least two matches during the current month. "The speedster has been approached by the Surrey management as it wanted to hire Shoaib's services during the ongoing season," the paper quoted a source close to the speedster as saying.
Following the proposal, Shoaib had approached the PCB for No Objection Certificate (NOC) to represent the county. A PCB official confirmed that the NOC had been issued to the speedster.
"Shoaib wanted to play a couple of matches for English county Surrey and had applied for the NOC. We have issued him the NOC with the condition that he had to show his availability whenever required during that period," said the official.
Pakistan is expected to figure in a tri-series to be held in South Africa in mid September. "If the series materialises, he (Shoaib) has to show his availability for the national team irrespective of his commitments with Surrey. In case of his selection on the national team, he will have to return home to join the squad," said the official.
Shoaib has been out of action from international cricket for almost eight months now. The unidentified PCB official expressed happiness that now the bowler had a chance to play in competitive cricket. "We are happy that he has got a chance to play competitive cricket. The short stint with the English county will definitely help him regain his form and fitness. It will also give him a chance to prove his fitness for international cricket," the official said.
The speedster last played for Pakistan during the away tour of India. Since then, he has been facing probes, fines and suspension.
The PCB Tribunal headed by Justice (retd) Aftab Farrukh imposed a two-year ban on the bowler. The Lahore High Court, however, facilitated him by extending a stay on the ban from international cricket.