Karachi:Even as the deadline to submit a list of probables for the Champions Trophy to the ICC nears its end, the Pakistan Cricket Board and its selectors are yet to decided on the inclusion of Shoaib Akhtar and Mohhamed Asif in the initial squad.
The deadline ends on Friday but PCB officials are in a quandary to finalise the list and are yet to issue a clear directives on the two players to the selectors.
Shoaib is available for selection after the Lahore High Court suspended a 18-month ban on him last week, saying the fast bowler can be picked in the team until it hears his writ petition sometime in September.
However, the Board remains skeptical about Shoaib's fitness.
As far as Mohammad Asif is concerned, PCB's three man fact-finding committee is yet to begin its work to find out the truth behind his 19-day detention in Dubai over alleged possession of hashish.
Though Asif was cleared by the public prosecutor and was repatriated to Pakistan without any charges, the Board is apprehensive because of ICC's strict policy on drugs issues. The Board need to first clear him of having possessed any drugs at all, to include him in the probables list.
A PCB source said Asif can only be included in the list, if they get permission from the ICC.
"Or they get special permission from the ICC that he will be dropped from the shortlist if found guilty by the committee of possession drugs when detained in drugs," one source said.
Pakistan's next assignment is a Twenty20 competition in Toronto involving West Indies, Bangladesh and Canada but a Board official admitted that it was still not final due to some sponsorship issues.
If the event is not held as planned in Toronto it would mean Pakistan's next international assignment would be either a three one-day series at home against New Zealand in late August or the Champions Trophy.
"It is a difficult situation for the selectors as they do also realise that without Shoaib and Asif the bowling attack is a bit weak against top teams," said a PCB official.