13 Aug 2008

Pakistan pick Shoaib Akhtar

9:27 am on 13 August 2008

Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is back in the Pakistan cricket squad just a month after being banned for five years.

The 32-year-old won a court battle in July to temporarily suspend an 18-month ban for disciplinary problems. An original five-year ban imposed in April had earlier been reduced on appeal.

Pakistan's chief selector n appeal Salahuddin Ahmed said Akhtar had shown his fitness and determination in two trial games.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said last month that Akhtar would only be allowed to play if he paid an outstanding fine of seven million rupees ($140,000) but it has softened its stance after paceman Mohammad Asif was ruled out by a doping scandal.

Akhtar has refused to pay the fine while he waits for the court to rule on whether it will overturn the ban.