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Controversial paceman Shoaib Akhtar earned a recall for next month's five-match one-day series against India after ending a lengthy ban, Pakistan's chief selector announced here on Friday.

"We have chosen a 16-man squad which will be led by Shoaib Malik and Akhtar is included in the squad after he proved his fitness and completed his ban," Salahuddin Ahmed told reporters.

The paceman was banned for 13 international matches and fined 3.4 million rupees (56,000 dollars) for breaches of code of conduct, primarily for hitting a teammate with a bat.

He struck fellow fast bowler Mohammad Asif on the thigh after a team practice in Johannesburg ahead of the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup last month. Ahmed said a fit and in-form Akhtar is an asset for Pakistan.

"We know that Akhtar, if fit and in form, is an asset for the team and we hope that he does well in the series against India," said Ahmed of the paceman who bowled 17 overs in a side match last week to earn a recall.

Akhtar will complete the ban and is set to play in the last one-dayer against South Africa in Lahore on October 29 -- his first match for Pakistan since playing in the Port Elizabeth Test in January this year.

He played the last of his 133 one-day internationals against England in September last year. He has also played 43 Tests.

The maverick 32-year-old paceman was also involved in a doping scandal last year. He and fellow paceman Mohammad Asif tested positive for banned steroid nandrolone and were expelled from Pakistan's Champions Trophy team for India.

Akhtar was banned for two years and Asif for one year. However, the bans were lifted on appeal.

Akhtar's career has also been plagued by injuries. He missed Pakistan's last tour of India in 2005 due to knee and ankle problems.

Pakistan beat India 4-2 in the one-day series and squared the three-Test series 1-1 two years ago.

"A new vice-captain will be announced before the team leaves for India," said Ahmed. Salman Butt was Malik's deputy since last month but is stripped of the honour after he lost his place in the eleven in the ongoing one-day series against South Africa due to poor form.

Pakistan will also play three Tests which follow the one-day series. The Test squad will be announced later. The three Tests will be played at New Delhi, Calcutta and Bangalore.

Pakistan squad: Shoaib Malik (captain), Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Yasir Hameed, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul Haq, Fawad Alam, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Asif, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Sohail Tanveer, Abdul Rehman, Rao Iftikhar


November 5: First one-day international, Guwahati

November 8: Second one-day international, Mohali

November 11: Third one-day international, Kanpur

November 15: Fourth one-day international, Gwalior

November 18: Fifth one-day international, Jaipur
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