Akhtar expects comeback in September


Karachi : Having been left out of the upcoming one day series against Sri Lanka, Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar expects to return to the international cricket in September for the home series against South Africa.

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“I’ll be back by September. I am bowling already and have been training at the academy. I am doing everything as per normal. I am not unfit but just need more time to toughen up and can’t wait to get back,” The News quoted Akhtar as saying Wednesday.

Akhtar wasn’t included in the squad that will play one-day series against World Cup runner up Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi.

About his reported injuries Akhtar said that he needed some more time to get the things right once for all.

“I’m fit. I never said I was unfit. I had a knee injury before the World Cup but I just need a little bit more time to get fitter and get myself sorted out properly once and for all,” the Rawalpindi-based fast bowler said.

“This is the right time to invest some time in myself and let the youngsters go out there and show something that they can do,” he said. “It’ll be nice to see some youngsters come through, do well for the country. It’s a healthy sign.”

Akhtar’s name appeared only peripherally in the talk of captaincy candidates recently and, as it turns out, it is the way he preferred it.

“Captaincy and all these things do not matter to me. You have probably seen it now that a lot of other people are interested in being captain. I never said I wanted to be because right now I want to focus on just serving the team and my country,” he explained.

For the newly appointed captain Shoaib Malik, he had some kind words: “He’s like a brother to me. I met him recently. We had a good chat and hopefully I passed on whatever advice I could. I am one of the seniors now and will offer him any help and advice on the field that he needs.”