Shoaib ruled out of Oval Test

Shoaib Akhtar has been ruled out of the fourth and final Test against England at the Oval with the tourists not wanting to risk their star bowler, who has had limited match practice.

Salman Butt and Taufeeq Umar are also out following their disappointing tour to date. Both players have been sent home, due to them not being required for the one-day series that follows. Pace bowler Samiullah Niazi has also joined them in returing home.

Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Farhat are now likely to form a new opening partnership for Pakistan.

Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Mohammad Asif who have just arrived in England after over-coming their injuries are not certain to play with Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer saying “They have to be in contention, yes. The way they bowled was very encouraging.”

“It certainly would be a gamble. It would be a difficult thing to do as they have not bowled for a month.”

The fourth Test starts this Thursday with England holding a unbeatable 2-0 series lead.

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