June 12, 2001

Fazl-e-Akbar replaces Shoaib Akhtar for Pakistan


Fazl-e-Akbar is to replace Shoaib Akhtar in Pakistan's squad in England.

Shoaib has been suffering from a stomach complaint for some time. It delayed his arrival in England, and has forced him from the field on several occasions.

Fazl has played four Tests and a One-Day International in the past. He is currently playing league cricket in England.

"We don't think he is fit enough for international cricket," said Pakistan manager Yawar Saeed, clearly in some exasperation. "There are only another 10 days left of the one-day tournament and if he can't bowl 10 overs for us he's not a lot of use.

"He was spitting blood over the weekend and has seen seven doctors in the last six days; we don't know what is wrong with him.

"He went for a run yesterday and got tired very quickly. We have released him from the squad. He may be able to bowl in club cricket but not at international level at the moment," he continued, referring to Shoaib's inclusion in the Lashing's team to play on Friday.

"What he does from here is between him and the board," added Saeed. "We are very disappointed because we wanted him to play for us and there are a lot of people in this country who wanted to see him play."

Meanwhile David Folb, chairman of Lashings Cricket Club, said: "Shoaib will play for us on Friday. That's never been in doubt. I don't think I have ever announced that anyone is going to play and they have not. He's told me he's available from Friday and I am not interested in politics."

Lashings are a high-profile club side, boasting the services of Richie Richardson, Stuart Williams, Junior Murray, Jimmy Adams and Franklyn Rose at present. Brian Lara also has also represented them this season.

Lara, like Shoaib, enjoys a lucrative endorsement from Intertops.Com, a bat manufacturer and Lashings' club sponsor.