Lahore, Nov 23 (UNI) Controversial speedster Shoaib Akhtar has received strong backing from the Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam, who believes that 'Rawalpindi Express' can play an important role during the home series against arch-rivals India early next year.
''He can play a very important role against India and we will be relying on him to deliver the goods with experience and pace. I don't think he is finished. If nursed properly and he takes care of himself, Shoaib can do more for Pakistan than he has done in recent times,'' Intikhab said today.
Intikhab, who guided the team to a 3-0 win in the ODI series against West Indies in Abu Dhabi recently, dismissed suggestions that Shoaib's international career and conceded that the pacer still has a some years of cricket left in him.
''Shoaib is certainly not finished as an international player as yet and he still has a few years to give to Pakistan cricket,'' he added.
Before Intikhab, Pakistan's newly appointed selector Abdul Qadir had also put his faith on Shoaib although, former PCB chairman Tauqir Zia had recently advised speedster to retire as he thought that his international career was good as over.
Intikhab, a former international cricketer, said Shoaib had been told to follow a rigorous rehabilitation and training programme under the supervision of the team's Australian trainer David Dwyer.
UNI XC RAR PY KN1848