Shoaib Akhtar Out From Pakistan Test Squard

Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar has been ruled out of next month’s two-match home Test series against Sri Lanka due to a knee problem, an official said Friday.‘There are loose bones in his knee which would need keyhole surgery. That will take two to three weeks’ recovery and that means he is out of the Sri Lanka Test series,’ team coach Intikhab Alam told AFP.

Akhtar, whose career has been blighted by injury and discipline problems, was dropped from the third and final one-day match against Sri Lanka earlier this month when he was not found 100 percent fit.

Then-captain Shoaib Malik questioned his commitment and fitness after the second match, but before the third denied he had named Akhtar and instead said he had been talking about all 11 players on the team.

Sri Lanka return to Pakistan on February 14 to play a three-day side match and two Tests—the final dates of which are yet to be announced. Akhtar had operations to his both knees in early 2006, forcing him to sit out Pakistan’s tour of Sri Lanka and England that year.

The controversial bowler, 33, was this year awarded a Pakistan Cricket Board contract, only after playing three Twenty20 matches in 2008. A hamstring injury forced him to sit out all three one-day matches against the West Indies in Abu Dhabi last November.He missed out on a contract last year because of injury and indiscipline.

In response, Akhtar publicly criticised the PCB, which imposed a five-year ban on him last April.The ban was later reduced to 18 months with a fine of seven million rupees (100,000 dollars) by the high court in Lahore. On appeal, the court later suspended the ban but upheld the fine. A subsequent appeal is pending.


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