Karachi, Dec. 25 (ANI): Temperamental Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar's dreams of making a 'shock' comeback to the international cricketing scene has been shattered, as the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) selection committee has ignored him for an important first class domestic tournament.
Akhtar's name was not in the final list of the players picked for the Rest of Pakistan squad for the Pentagular Cup starting January 1, which has left his future in jeopardy.
"The selectors have mainly concentrated on selecting those players who performed well in the just concluded Quaid-i-Azam Trophy and some promising Under-19 youngsters," said one of the selectors.
The fact that the Rawalpindi Express failed to secure a place in any of the five teams participating in the tournament has certainly put a big question over his international career.
Akhtar's wounds are likely to get more painful, as the PCB is unlikely to retain his central contract, and chances are that he may be axed from the elite list of cricketers.
A two-member committee, consisting of PCB Chief Operating Officer (COO) Wasim Bari and Director Cricket Operations Zakir Khan, will finalise the list, and insiders suggest that Akhtar is unlikely to get a central contract for the next season, The Dawn reports.
Akhtar has been out of competitive cricket from a long time due to niggling injuries and other health related issues.
Once the mainstay of Pakistan's bowling line up, the PCB has completely sidelined the Rawalpindi Express, replacing him with younger fast bowlers like Mohammad Aamer and Umar Gul.
With bowlers like Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Sami returning to the national squad, it has become even harder for Akhtar to return to the international stage. (ANI)