|Player:||Shoaib Akhtar, Iqbal Qasim|
DateLine: 8th August 2009
Pakistan's chief selector Iqbal Qasim said that though Shoaib Akhtar has been left out of the Champions Trophy probables, the speedster still has a future in international cricket provided he proves his fitness.
"The door is not closed on Shoaib Akhtar, he can still play cricket for Pakistan in future, however what he needs to do is to prove to the selection committee that he is fit enough for international cricket," Qasim said.
"It is absolutely vital that Shoaib Akhtar performs well and on a regular basis in the coming domestic cricket season 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," he was quoted as saying by the 'Pakpassion'.
"I am going into this job with a very open mind and the selection door is open to youngsters, up and coming players and of course to former international players who are not in the current squad in Sri Lanka. Basically, anyone who is performing well in domestic cricket stands a very good chance of selection," Qasim added.
The former bowler, who has 171 Test wickets to his credit, however made it clear that "No players can be selected for the Champions Trophy from outside the 30 original names".
Qasim also spoke about Pakistan team's failure in Tests as well as ODIs in Sri Lanka.
"It would be unfair for me to start talking about any players while they are in the middle of a tour, but again we'll expect the players in Sri Lanka at the moment to come back to Pakistan and play in the domestic competitions and show to the selectors what sort of form they are in".