Shoaib: I Don`t Just Play For Money

Friday, February 1, 2008

Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is unperturbed by the Pakistan Cricket Board's decision to drop him from the central contracts list.

The 32-year-old was also left out of the squad for the one-day series against Zimbabwe because of his poor fitness.

However, he is confident he will soon return to the Pakistan squad once he has regained full fitness.

"I have no problems if they don't give me a contract. I don't need one to play for Pakistan. Playing for my country is a far bigger honour than anything else and I don't just play for money,"

he said.

"I am not the first senior player to be dropped. Wasim (Akram) and Waqar (Younis) were also dropped in the past. So I can live with it."

Shoaib says he hopes to be 100 per cent fit once Australia's tour of Pakistan gets underway in March.

"I am looking forward to that series and I am preparing for it. Australia is the best team in the world and the benchmark for evaluating your performances. The coming series would be tough as the pitches are slow in our country"

Shoaib also played down reports that he was more interested in seeking a career in Bollywood, reiterating that cricket remained his focus.

"It's my life and I can do what I want. I don't know why the PCB is making a huge fuss of all this especially when I haven't even signed anything yet. For the moment it's cricket but I might think about a film career when it comes to it."

Shoaib Malik, Pakistan's captain, said the fast bowler's return to fitness was an encouraging sign for the future of the team.

"He is a great bowler and an asset to the team,"

Malik said.

"His fitness and form will only benefit Pakistan, especially with a tough series against Australia coming up."

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Will Pakistan Premier League gain success just like Indian Premier League ?