Shoaib Akhtar is likely to be named in Pakistan's 15-member squad for the Champions Trophy, which will be announced on Tuesday.
Shoaib had been named in the preliminary list of probables after the Lahore High Court temporarily suspended an 18-month ban imposed on him by the PCB, and his impressive performances in trial games, where he bowled with good speed and control, could see him earn a comeback to the side. Shoaib last played for Pakistan during their tour to India in 2007.
He had been slapped with a five-year ban on grounds of indiscipline earlier this year, which was later reduced to 18 months on appeal. Shoaib then contested the ban in the Lahore High Court, which has suspended it till a final verdict is delivered. PCB officials had apparently given the go-ahead for Shoaib's selection despite the non-payment of a fine that was imposed by the board, with his lawyers assuring the board that it would be paid once the court delivers a judgment. Shoaib had been left out an eight-day training camp in Karachi last month; a few reports suggested the non-payment of the fine resulted in his omission, though the board clarified that it was due to doubts over his fitness.
Fitness concerns over Umar Gul might also prompt the selectors to name Shoaib in the squad, given Mohammad Asif's unavailability due to suspension after testing positive during the Indian Premier League. Gul is still suffering from a rib injury he sustained during the Asia Cup, and didn't bowl in the practice games in Multan. Shahid Afridi and Salman Butt are likely to make the squad despite missing the trial games. Afridi was attending to his wife, while Butt had an appendicitis surgery.
Pakistan are the hosts of the tournament, which begins on September 12. An ICC task force is currently in the country to assess the security situation.