County news September 8, 2008

Shoaib named in Surrey squad

Cricinfo staff

Shoaib Akhtar has been included in Surrey's squad for their Championship match against Hampshire at The Oval after getting all his visa paperwork in order.

He originally arrived in the UK last week, but was turned away because he didn't have the required work permit. After flying back to Pakistan - and making a brief visit to India for a TV show - he trained at The Oval on Monday morning and is now ready to help Surrey try and avoid relegation.

"I will try my level best with short and sweet bursts and get the wickets going for Surrey," Shoaib told Surrey TV. "It's a pity I couldn't play the first game, but I'm here now. I hope the weather stays nice. It will be good for my confidence to get some overs.

It will be Shoaib's first first-class match since early February before a short stint in the IPL. He has been through another year filled with controversy and at one point was handed a five-year ban by the Pakistan board, but it was reduced to 18 months and a substantial fine. The ban was then suspended and Shoaib was named in Pakistan's preliminary Champions Trophy squad.

Surrey are stuck at the bottom of Division One, without a victory, and have just two matches remaining to avoid relegation.

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