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Shoaib Back In Notts' Plans

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    Shoaib Back In Notts' Plans

    Shoaib Akhtar is set to lead Nottinghamshire's attack next season following confirmation that the Pakistani paceman will be available to fulfil his summer 2000 county championship commitments for his new employers.
    A Trent Bridge spokesman made it clear Shoaib - and not New Zealander Chris Cairns who was being pursued as a possible replacement - is back in position as the county's overseas player.

    Plans to bring the world's fastest bowler to Notts were first thrown into confusion by the International Cricket Council's decision to impose a Test match ban on him because of what was deemed to be a suspect action.

    That suspension has since been lifted, but doubts persisted at Notts because it was unclear whether Shoaib would be available to play in any more than five championship matches as a result of his international commitments with Pakistan.

    It all left Kiwi all-rounder Cairns on stand-by for a return to Trent Bridge in case Notts needed to terminate Shoaib's contract.

    But the situation has now been resolved, and Notts' cricket committee chairman Stuart Foster said: "We are grateful to Chris, but Shoaib was always our first choice.

    "He has continually stressed his commitment to play at Trent Bridge, and we are looking forward to bringing him here.

    "I have been given verbal confirmation by General Zia - chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board - that Shoaib will be released after the West Indies tour at the end of May and will be available to us for the rest of the summer."