Shoaib looks forward to Surrey stint

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Lahore, Sep 4 (UNI) Temperamental fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has left for London for a short three-match stint with English county side Surrey, which may kick off as early as today.

''I am full of confidence and hope that I manage to play the remaining three first class matches for Surrey and we get maximum points to avoid relegation,'' Shoaib said.

But the Pakistan pacer can play the first class match against Kent if only everything goes well.

The controversial bowler has regained his fitness and is looking forward to his Surrey sojourn, with all hopes that the weather and cricket atmosphere will suit him.

''I was training in hot and humid conditions of Lahore, so playing in England would be a great relief. I hope they (Surrey) have finalised all formalities and I take field today. I am dying to take field for I have not played a first-class match for eight months now,'' Shoaib asserted.

Surrey's next match will be against Hamshire starting on September 9. They also have a Pro40 game against Leicestershire, which Shoaib may not be required to play. The last first class match will be against top on the table Nottinghamshire - a county, for which the Pakistan bowler has signed in 2000 but could never take field due to injury.

''I have had those sore memories of Nottinghamshire. I was so desperate to play at that time but suffered injury on the tour of the West Indies,'' he said. ''May be it was not in my destiny. I hope that I will compensate for that loss with the stint against Surrey.'' UNI XC PY AB DS1302

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