Akhtar sent to South Africa

Originally left out of the squad touring South Africa, Shoaib Akhtar has been called in to the side to help back-up fast bowler Umar Gul, who is under an injury cloud.

Gul, who sustained the ankle injury in a warm-up match, is uncertain to start in Thursday’s first Test match against South Africa.

Akhtar was banned from international cricket for two years late in 2006 for doping offences, but was subsequently acquitted through appeal.

His initial omission from the Pakistan squad for the tour of South Africa was cited by selectors as the result of poor fitness and lack of form, though he has been seen to rectify these issues since.

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