Prove match fitness, secure place in national squad: Chief selector to Akhtar

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Lahore, July 30 (ANI): Pakistan chief selector Iqbal Qasim has asked Shoaib Akhtar to prove his match fitness to regain his place in the national squad.

Talking to media persons at the Gaddafi Stadium here, Qasim said: "A fit Shoaib was an asset for Pakistan team."

Commenting on former captain Wasim Akram's statements in which he had described Akhtar as a 'spent force', Qasim said Akram's views were his personal thinking and that there is still a lot of cricket left in the Rawalpindi Express.

"Wasim Akram's opinion about Shoaib's future is his own. I would like to advise Shoaib to prove his fitness level and perform in domestic cricket if he wants to play for Pakistan," the Dawn quoted Qasim, as saying.

Sources said Qasim had advised the then chief selector Wasim Bari to include Akhtar in the preliminary list of 30 players for the ICC Champions Trophy. However, his proposal was rejected by Bari later.

Sources close to the controversial speedster said that he is eyeing a successful return to the national team during the forthcoming New Zealand and Australia tours.

They said Akhtar is planning a definite strategy and a strict training regime to regain his form and fitness and lost speed to facilitate his comeback. (ANI)

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