12 September 2008
PAKISTANI FAST bowler Shoaib Akhtar finally made his Surrey debut on Tuesday against Hampshire after visa complications prevented him taking the field a week earlier.
Akhtar was due to play in the rain-affected draw with Kent but was not allowed to work in the UK after it was found that he had the wrong type of visa.
However, the issue has since been resolved, leaving the paceman free to help Surrey's relegation fight in the final two games of their County Championship season, against Hampshire and Nottinghamshire.
And the man known as the Rawalpindi Express wasted no time in adjusting to his new surroundings, snaring Hampshire opener Michael Carberry in just his sixth over at The Oval on Tuesday morning. But only 39 overs were possible on the first day, with Hampshire closing on 116 for 2, as the weather once more frustrated Surrey.
Akhtar, 33, has played 48 tests for Pakistan, taking 178 wickets at an average of 25.69. He is currently fighting an 18-month ban preventing him from playing for or in his native country after he broke the players' code of conduct.
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