Butcher still hopeful Shoaib will play

Surrey are still hopeful that Shoaib Akhtar, the Pakistan fast bowler, will be able to play their final two Championship matches of the season. Akhtar arrived in the UK yesterday, but was found to have the wrong type of visa, preventing him from taking the field against Kent at Canterbury.

"There is still an outside chance of him coming," Alan Butcher, the Surrey coach, told The Times. "He had the same visa he used when he played for Somerset, Worcestershire and Durham, but the regulations have changed and he is trying to get a different one."

Shoaib has previously had county stints with Durham, Somerset and Worcestershire. He has played only one first-class match this year and was banned by the PCB for five years in April. The ban was subsequently suspended and Shoaib was picked for the Champions Trophy but he still has to pay a fine of Rs 7 million (approx US$92,000) to the board.