Shoaib Akhtar to retire after World Cup

Colombo: Mercurial Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar will retire from international cricket after the World Cup ending a tempestuous career that was marred by several controversies, including a dope scandal.

The 35-year-old reportedly broke the news to his teammates and manager here on Thursday morning.

With an injury-ravaged body finding it tough to withstand the rigours of international cricket, Akhtar was looking at the World Cup as his final shot at glory.

He was impressive in the opening match against Sri Lanka but form began to desert to him as the event progressed prompting the team management to drop him for the last match against Zimbabwe.

Akhtar, who took 178 wickets in 46 Tests and 247 in 163 ODIs, made his international debut in 1997, against the West Indies.

The express bowler, however, was always at the center of controversies over his action and disciplinary issues.

He was handed a two-year ban in 2006 for testing positive for banned steroid nandrolone. The pacer missed out competing in the Champions Trophy that year but the verdict was overturned by a three-man tribunal a month later.

He had his differences with the Pakistan Cricket Board as well and was even fined for openly speaking against the PCB.