South Africa in Pakistan, 2007-08 September 21, 2007

Shoaib unlikely for South Africa Tests - Ashraf

Cricinfo staff

Shoaib Akhtar's dressing-room brawl could cost him the Test series as well © AFP

Nasim Ashraf, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, has said that Shoaib Akhtar is unlikely to be selected for the Tests against South Africa owing to the disciplinary hearing scheduled for next week. Shoaib was sent home from the ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa following a dressing-room incident involving Mohammad Asif and before the tournament began.

"We will not interfere in the working of the disciplinary committee or the selectors," Ashraf told a press conference in Karachi. "This is a serious issue and will be investigated fully."

Ashraf said the three-member committee will question the other team members and also investigate how news of the incident was leaked to the media. The PCB had earlier gagged its players on speaking out on the issue and instructed them to concentrate on the tournament.

Ashraf was also hopeful of Mohammad Yousuf's return to the Test side, despite him having joined the ICL. Yousuf and three others - Imran Farhat, Abdul Razzaq and Inzamam-ul-Haq - signed up for the ICL after they were omitted from the ICC World Twenty20 and the board was particularly keen on bringing Yousuf back in the fold. He won the Test Player of the Year award in the ICC Awards in Johannesburg.

"He is a gentleman and I am confident we can convince him to withdraw from the contract and play for Pakistan," said Ashraf. "The selectors should prepare for the Tests with him in mind."

The first Test begins in Karachi on October 1.