Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer has made it clear Shoaib Akhtar will have to play at least two first-class matches to be considered for the forthcoming home series against England.
Shoaib, who left Worcestershire under a cloud after an unproductive season, could find himself surplus to requirements unless he proves his fitness as Pakistan have plenty of other options.
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"It's a good sign that, for the first time since I took over, we've a pack of seven to eight pace bowlers available and fit," said Woolmer.
"I'm very satisfied with the fitness levels of all these young bowlers. In such circumstances, Shoaib will have to play in two games to confirm his fitness for the England series."
The fomer Warwickshire coach said he would like to see Shoaib playing in the four- day practice game between the Pakistan XI and the rest of Pakistan from October 26-29 and then in a tour match against England before the first Test in Multan.
"He has to confirm his fitness to us. That is clear in my mind. He has to justify his place in the presence of this pack of pacers we have at our disposal now," Woolmer added.
Woolmer can call on the services of Muhammad Sami, Umar Gul, Shabbir Ahmed, Muhammad Asif, Muhammad Khalil, Najaf Shah and Muhammad Irshad.
All those bowlers have been playing regularly in practice games and for the Pakistan A team in recent months, with Woolmer also insisting there was no problem with Shabbir's bowling action now.
"The International Cricket Council (ICC) has cleared him," said the coach. "But he'll be watched and if he is called again, then he can be suspended for one year but I don't think there should be any problems with his action.
"Similarly I'm also satisfied with Umar Gul's comeback from his back injury and he is improving every day," he added.
Woolmer said he was under no illusion that the home series against England would be very tough and said he would like to see good pitches for the Test matches.