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The BBC's Colin Croft
"The selectors of both teams have headaches"
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Wednesday, 24 May, 2000, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Pakistan wait on pace ace
Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar: Heading for Notts following the series
Pakistan are hoping that the world's fastest bowler, Shoaib Akhtar, will be fit for the series decider against the West Indies, which starts on Thursday at the Recreation Ground in St John's, Antigua.

Akhtar, nicknamed the 'Rawalpindi Express', missed the first two Tests due to a groin strain which he suffered during the Sharjah Cup one-day tournament in March.

But coach Javed Miandad said: "I hope he can play, definitely he's getting better and batter and more confident. We will have to see how he goes. I'm sure that if he plays, he will get a lot of wickets."

Akhtar's return will be a major boost to Pakistan's chances of victory and he is keen to prove a point after being temporarily suspended by the International Cricket Council last December after doubts were expressed about the legality of his bowling action.


Pakistan are eager to win the game after losing their last two series against Australia and Sri Lanka, while West Indies want to continue the momentum built up by their 2-0 home success against Zimbabwe.

West Indies paceman Franklyn Rose
Rose: Hoping to make the West Indies team
The tourists may be without all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, who strained a thigh during the second Test in Barbados and had to bat with a runner in their second innings.

West Indies report a clean bill of health with Franklyn Rose in contention for a place after recovering from a finger injury.

But young batsmen will again be the focus of attention with Imran Nazir and Yousuf Khan in top form for Pakistan and Wavell Hinds and Ramnaresh Sarwan batting superbly for West Indies in Bridgetown.

"We are seeing young men making their mark and making statements early in their career and this is a wonderful and positive feeling," said West Indies captain Jimmy Adams.

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See also:

22 May 00 | Cricket
Honours even in second Test
09 May 00 | Cricket
Test abandoned after rain
28 Mar 00 | Cricket
Shoaib destroys South Africans
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