Pakistan news August 8, 2009

Shoaib's career not over - chief selector

Cricinfo staff

Shoaib Akhtar's career is stagnating due to a combination of fitness and disciplinary issues, but newly appointed Pakistan chief selector Iqbal Qasim has said the fast bowler still has a future with the national side.

"The door is not closed on Shoaib Akhtar, he can still play cricket for Pakistan in future," Qasim told "However what he needs to do is to prove to the selection committee that he is fit enough for international cricket."

Shoaib was left out of the series against Sri Lanka after the selectors felt he was not fit enough, and was also excluded from the 30-man pool for the Champions Trophy. His career, particularly of late, has been littered with fitness troubles.

"It is absolutely vital that Shoaib Akhtar performs well and on a regular basis in the coming domestic cricket season," Qasim said, "and proves to the selectors that not only is he bowling well and taking wickets, but he can maintain his fitness levels too. It's down to Shoaib to show us that he can get himself fit and bowl well."

Shoaib, who will turn 34 next week, last represented Pakistan in a one-day series against Australia in May, during which he was not at his best. Chances of a comeback have also been hit due to the emergence of young fast bowlers like 17-year-old Mohammad Aamer.