Shoaib Akhtar is unlikely to bowl again in the second Test against South Africa at Port Elizabeth, after picking up a hamstring injury.
A source close to the team told Mag4you.com that Shoaib "had found a problem with his hamstring and it is likely that he will not bowl again in the second innings. A scan will be arranged to examine the nature of the injury, but it is almost definite he will not bowl again."
The news will come as a significant blow to Pakistan's hopes in this Test. Though they have established a more than useful lead on first innings of 141, Shoaib was instrumental in dismantling South Africa on the first day for 124 and without a key bowler, will rely heavily on Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Sami and Danish Kaneria in the second innings.
Ironically, Shoaib was not originally picked for the 17-man squad to South Africa, on the grounds that he wasn't match-fit. The assertion was widely disputed at the time, but an ankle injury to Umar Gul during the warm-up game before the first Test at Centurion left Pakistan dangerously short of bowlers and seemingly with no choice but to call up Shoaib. Having played in half a domestic game, in which he picked up six wickets, Shoaib was called up to the squad as cover, during the first Test.
He returned yesterday in sensational fashion, picking up four for 36 from 11 overs, as Pakistan ran through the hosts. It was his first Test in nearly a year for Pakistan, a period which has seen him first battle serious ankle and knee injuries. He hadn't played any international cricket since August, having been found guilty of using the banned anabolic steroid Nandrolone in internal doping tests conducted by the PCB.
He was banned initially for two years by a committee before successfully appealing and having his ban completely overturned.