The PCB has withdrawn Shoaib Akhtar from the 15-man squad for next month's World Twenty20, saying - in an unusually revealing statement - that he had been diagnosed with genital viral warts. Rao Iftikhar Anjum's name has been sent to the ICC's technical committee by the PCB as a replacement.
Shoaib's participation had been in doubt after Intikhab Alam, Pakistan's coach, said yesterday he hadn't recovered sufficiently from a skin infection to play the three practice games the Pakistan squad is playing in Lahore.
"Shoaib Akhtar has been withdrawn from the World Twenty20 squad and Rao's name has been sent to the ICC as a replacement," a board spokesman said on Thursday.
The PCB's unusually graphic press release said that a three-member medical panel appointed by the PCB had found that Shoaib was suffering from "genital viral warts and electrofulgration [a surgical procedure] was done on May 12, 2009."
The panel added that "his wound though healing needs further care and treatment for another minimum ten days for the purpose of healing and to achieve skin cover. The Medical Board further recommended his re-assessment after 10 days.
"In accordance with the above program his re-assessment will be carried out on 1st week of June, 2009.In view of the above, PCB has requested ICC Technical Committee for the replacement."
The condition had initially ruled Shoaib out of the training camp the team attended in Bhurban, a mountainous hill resort near Islamabad. At the time, Shoaib expressed confidence that he would recover in time.
Shoaib has not trained since coming back from the series against Australia in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Questions were asked of his fitness levels during the five-ODI and one Twenty20 series; he failed to fulfill his quota of ten overs in any of the four ODIs he played and bowled only two overs in the Twenty20.
The latest episode is yet another blow to an injury and scandal ravaged career that has seen Shoaib play only 46 Tests out of the 96 Pakistan have played and 144 out of the 305 ODIs Pakistan have played since his debut in 1997-98. Shoaib missed the last World Twenty20 in South Africa when he was sent home after hitting teammate Mohammad Asif in a dressing room altercation.