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Friday, 25 January, 2002, 16:19 GMT
Zahid makes comeback
Zahid has taken 17 first-class wickets this season
Zahid: A chance to re-launch his international career
Pace bowler Mohammad Zahid has been recalled by Pakistan for the forthcoming series against West Indies in Sharjah, four years after his last Test appearance.

He replaces veteran all-rounder Wasim Akram, who suffered a hamstring injury in Bangladesh and has been ordered to rest.

Akram could, however, be ready for the one-day internationals which follow the Tests.

"I will bowl in the nets and hope to get fit for the one-day series. Injuries are part and parcel of the game and fast bowlers get them most," he said.

Zahid took 11 wickets in his debut Test against New Zealand in 1996-97 but a back problem later put him out of first-class cricket for two years.

He was once described as the fastest bowler in the world by West Indian batting star Brian Lara.

But he will not have the chance to bowl to Lara in the forthcoming series because the left-hander is still recovering from an elbow injury.

"To be honest, I was not expecting to be included in the Pakistan team now as this is my first season back after the injury.

"Having to replace Wasim is a big responsibility but I will aim to vindicate my selection," Zahid commented.

The only other change to the squad for the two recent Tests in Bangladesh sees all-rounder Shahid Afridi replace opening batsman Shadab Kabir.

Paceman Shoaib Akhtar will be fit to tour despite being hit on the head by a piece of flying brick thrown from the crowd during the second one-day international against Bangladesh.

He spent a night in hospital as a precaution but his injuries were said to be minor.

The series against West Indies will be the first played at a neutral venue, and the first time Sharjah has staged Test cricket.

The switch was made after the West Indies Cricket Board refused to let its players travel to Pakistan because of the current tension with India.

Pakistan squad: Waqar Younis (capt), Inzamam-ul-Haq (vice-capt), Shahid Afridi, Taufiq Umar, Yousuf Youhana, Younis Khan, Faisal Iqbal, Naveed Latif, Rashid Latif, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Zahid, Mohammad Sami, Saqlain Mushtaq, Danish Kaneria, Abdur Razzaq.

BBC Sport's Martin Fookes
"Brian Lara is a noticeable absentee for West Indies"
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