Shoaib Akhtar has been included for Pakistan's national Twenty20 tournament, which starts on October 4 in Lahore, after he was issued an ultimatum by the Pakistan Cricket Board to pay an outstanding fine of Rs 7 million (approx US$105,000). The PCB today announced its 15-member squads for all 13 participating teams, with Shoaib representing Islamabad Leopards.
The PCB slapped Shoaib, 33, with the fine last month after he criticised the PCB over its failure to award him a central contract. He was initially banned by the PCB for five years, but the sentence had been reduced to 18 months by an appellate tribunal in June.
The ban had restricted him from playing in and for Pakistan but he was given permission to play in England. He's currently on a short stint with Surrey. He has also been included in the preliminary 20-man squad for next month's Canada Cup Four Nation Twenty20 tournament.
A notable exclusion is the batsman Younis Khan, who was granted permission from the PCB to represent South Australia as their overseas player in their domestic season, which starts next month.
The tournament will be staged between October 4-8 at the Bagh-e-Jinnah and Lahore City Cricket Association Grounds. It will serve as a selection trial for the series in Canada, Pakistan's first international assignment after the recent Asia Cup. The Champions Trophy, scheduled between September 12-28, was postponed due to security issues.