Shoaib Akhtar has been dropped from the Asian team for the Afro-Asian Cup due to lack of fitness. Mohsin Khan, a member of the Asian Cricket Council's selection committee has said that Akhtar had not yet fully recovered from a knee injury.
"We have dropped Shoaib Akhtar from Asia's squad because it has been reliably learnt that he is facing fitness problems," Khan said. He cited Akhtar's unavailability from the Pakistani squad for the three-match Abu Dhabi series against Sri Lanka. "If a player doesn't think himself to be fit enough to play for his own country then how can he play for any other team," he said. Khan added that he had spoken to Pakistan Cricket Board officials to ascertain Akhtar's level of fitness.
Interestingly, Akhtar was selected for the Afro-Asian series after he had made himself unavailable for the Abu Dhabi series and despite having not played in the recently concluded World Cup due to injury. In fact he had played a solitary Test and four ODIs in the past year. Soon after being selected he said he was considering dropping out of the Afro-Asian Cup, citing personal commitments, but changed his stance a few days later, making himself available.
Mohammad Yousuf and Mohammad Asif are the remaining Pakistani representatives in the Asian squad after Akhtar's exit. The Afro-Asian Cup, comprising a Twenty20 match and three ODIs, will be held in India between June 5th and 10th.