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Shoaib still dreaming of glory

Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is dreaming of taking the World Cup home next year and shrugging off the injuries and disciplinary issues which have plagued him for much of his career.

The 34-year-old still believes in his ability to bowl at pace and proved himself in a domestic one-day game yesterday by taking six for 52.

He said: "I am fit and bowling in rhythm. I know the problems I have faced in my career, but the dream to feature in the final of the 2011 World Cup in Mumbai is still alive and I want to help Pakistan win the World Cup in a year's time."

The latest of Shoaib's problems involved paying a fine of £54,000 in February for criticising the Pakistan Cricket Board in 2008 after being dropped from the team.

At the Twenty20 World Cup in 2007 he hit team-mate Mohammad Asif with a bat over an alleged dispute. He was sent home even before Pakistan started their campaign in the tournament.

Due to Shoaib's ongoing controversial behaviour, the PCB banned him for five years in April 2008 and handed out the hefty fine.

An appeals committee later slashed the ban to 18 months, but did not reduce the fine.

Shoaib added: "I don't want to live in the past. Now I am fit and playing and have proved my fitness.

"My performance has never been in doubt, so it's now up to the selectors when they give me a chance."

India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will host the World Cup between February and April next year.
 
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