The drugged cricketer October 16, 2006

A drugs ban might end Shoaib's career

To lose your elite opening attack to injury is one thing, to lose it to suspicions of illegal drug use is quite another
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It's official: This is the worst time in the history of Pakistan cricket. To lose your elite opening attack to injury is one thing, to lose it to suspicions of illegal drug use is quite another. The natural reaction is to hope that there was something wrong with the samples or the analysis. Shoaib's and Asif's lawyers will inevitably try that one. The next reaction is to come up with an extraordinary excuse for an humiliating finding. Expect them both to try that as well. Whether or not those lines of defence will achieve anything is yet to be seen but what this incredible turn of events has achieved is the demolition of Pakistan's prospects of winning the Champions Trophy. A win from here will be a miracle.

I have little sympathy for players who take performance enhancing drugs. The rules are clear. But I do have a little sympathy for the players, blissful ignorance is no excuse but it is partly understandable. It is their doctors, advisers, and cricket board that I have no sympathy for. It is these people who destroy careers through their arrogance and their negligence. It seems incredible to me--if true--that this is the first drug test performed by the PCB.

I am also baffled why they have been called back before the test was repeated? Laboratory tests are never 100% reliable.

We don't yet know the extent of the problem but Shane Warne ended up with a one-year ban when he got into trouble. A one-year ban would be a major setback for Asif and he might never recover though you would hope he would. A one-year ban for Shoaib would be as good as the end of his career.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Adama on May 10, 2010, 20:37 GMT

    There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.

  • shalabh on January 17, 2007, 10:04 GMT

    I read somewhere Pakistan Cricket Board is planning to conduct routine drug tests on players. What is the use? They ban Asif and Akhtar mid way create a lot of hoha God knows if the poor guys were involved or not then both the guys get back to playing cricket. what is all this crap. If they were involved ban them for life and if they were not sack the guys who messed it up and make sure that no action is taken untill the board is sure the player is involved.

  • Umair Jafri on December 6, 2006, 21:50 GMT

    huW; so many green-eyed people have crammed in against Akhtar. Over tuned guYs. Were are YoU.

  • LT COL (RETD) SANDEEP PANDIT on November 2, 2006, 7:08 GMT

    Shoaib's two-year ban is the best thing to have happened to world cricket, though for the wrong reasons. The man should never have been allowed to bowl in international cricket in the first place. His action is suspect from whichever angle you saw it on the field. ICC's procedure for clearing a bowler is suspect - there is a lot of politics involved. He was cleared for the first time because of two reasons - 1. Dalmiya, who was the ICC President at that time wanted to be in the good books of PCB for votes, 2. If Shoaib's action was declared as suspect, Brett Lee, who had just arrived on the scene, also would have come in the firing line. In fact Shabbir has got a better action than Shoaib, but the poor man is languishing in the wilderness.

  • S Banerjee on October 22, 2006, 16:55 GMT

    Though Pakistan is india's arch rival,i beleive a lot of indians like me will miss shoaib akhtar if he is banned.As it is there are a handful(exagerrated count iam sure)real "fast"bowlers in world cricket today and shoaib is one of the real characters in cricket today so it will be real sad if we don't see him bowl again.What's required is an impartial enquiry...even if he is guilty he shudn't be subject to witch hunt...punish him but please,please don't finish him.Anyway if performance enhancing drugs is that gr8 a performance booster then we'd have a hundred shoaib akhtars by now.

  • Rajesh Sannappareddy on October 16, 2006, 11:43 GMT

    If Asif and Shoaib have cheated they deserve to be banned. What a shame one of the lethal opening bowling combination will be missed in the Champions Trophy.I feel something has to be done to put an end to the whole misery in Pakistani cricket.

  • ahmed on October 16, 2006, 9:23 GMT

    Pakistani second string team will still be better than the bangledeshi team, so you can throw that idiotic theory out the window. At this time with all the event happening with the PBC it sounds nothing short of conspiracy, hopefully im wrong.

  • Sabir Hussain M.B.DIN on October 16, 2006, 9:05 GMT

    I think this is not good for PAKISTAN cricket. One thing is positive that the board took adope test. But in this situation the Players should be warned and retain the team. Because the World Cup is so near. But i am surprized why the board taking action so late. Board should terminate the Player Powers and going on smooth way on merit.

  • A S Arun Kumar on October 16, 2006, 9:05 GMT

    It cannot come at a more worse time for Pakistan. They should solve the matter internally, and get on with the game. No man is indespensible, and I am sure Pak will still do well inspite of the setback in the bowling attack

  • Manjunath on October 16, 2006, 9:05 GMT

    Yes, ICC should take further step in implementing a drug test in every tournament.

  • Adama on May 10, 2010, 20:37 GMT

    There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.

  • shalabh on January 17, 2007, 10:04 GMT

    I read somewhere Pakistan Cricket Board is planning to conduct routine drug tests on players. What is the use? They ban Asif and Akhtar mid way create a lot of hoha God knows if the poor guys were involved or not then both the guys get back to playing cricket. what is all this crap. If they were involved ban them for life and if they were not sack the guys who messed it up and make sure that no action is taken untill the board is sure the player is involved.

  • Umair Jafri on December 6, 2006, 21:50 GMT

    huW; so many green-eyed people have crammed in against Akhtar. Over tuned guYs. Were are YoU.

  • LT COL (RETD) SANDEEP PANDIT on November 2, 2006, 7:08 GMT

    Shoaib's two-year ban is the best thing to have happened to world cricket, though for the wrong reasons. The man should never have been allowed to bowl in international cricket in the first place. His action is suspect from whichever angle you saw it on the field. ICC's procedure for clearing a bowler is suspect - there is a lot of politics involved. He was cleared for the first time because of two reasons - 1. Dalmiya, who was the ICC President at that time wanted to be in the good books of PCB for votes, 2. If Shoaib's action was declared as suspect, Brett Lee, who had just arrived on the scene, also would have come in the firing line. In fact Shabbir has got a better action than Shoaib, but the poor man is languishing in the wilderness.

  • S Banerjee on October 22, 2006, 16:55 GMT

    Though Pakistan is india's arch rival,i beleive a lot of indians like me will miss shoaib akhtar if he is banned.As it is there are a handful(exagerrated count iam sure)real "fast"bowlers in world cricket today and shoaib is one of the real characters in cricket today so it will be real sad if we don't see him bowl again.What's required is an impartial enquiry...even if he is guilty he shudn't be subject to witch hunt...punish him but please,please don't finish him.Anyway if performance enhancing drugs is that gr8 a performance booster then we'd have a hundred shoaib akhtars by now.

  • Rajesh Sannappareddy on October 16, 2006, 11:43 GMT

    If Asif and Shoaib have cheated they deserve to be banned. What a shame one of the lethal opening bowling combination will be missed in the Champions Trophy.I feel something has to be done to put an end to the whole misery in Pakistani cricket.

  • ahmed on October 16, 2006, 9:23 GMT

    Pakistani second string team will still be better than the bangledeshi team, so you can throw that idiotic theory out the window. At this time with all the event happening with the PBC it sounds nothing short of conspiracy, hopefully im wrong.

  • Sabir Hussain M.B.DIN on October 16, 2006, 9:05 GMT

    I think this is not good for PAKISTAN cricket. One thing is positive that the board took adope test. But in this situation the Players should be warned and retain the team. Because the World Cup is so near. But i am surprized why the board taking action so late. Board should terminate the Player Powers and going on smooth way on merit.

  • A S Arun Kumar on October 16, 2006, 9:05 GMT

    It cannot come at a more worse time for Pakistan. They should solve the matter internally, and get on with the game. No man is indespensible, and I am sure Pak will still do well inspite of the setback in the bowling attack

  • Manjunath on October 16, 2006, 9:05 GMT

    Yes, ICC should take further step in implementing a drug test in every tournament.

  • Shehzad Khan on October 16, 2006, 9:05 GMT

    Another day another crisis. It would appear that the ICC trophy is now clearly out of reach. Without Shoaib and Asif the World cup is also out of reach. I would have put us hot contenders for both.

    We will have to hope Pakistan take this on the chin and come out fighting. Sometimes they perform at their best when they appear down and out. "i Will keep clutching at straws!"

  • JD on October 16, 2006, 9:05 GMT

    pcb are fools to make this public.

  • Shoaib on October 16, 2006, 9:05 GMT

    eversince the day i read somewhere that the ICC would conduct drug tests on all the players taking part in the champions trophy, i knew our team would be in trouble... thats cause if there exists a way through which our team can bring humiliation upon themselves, be assured we will try it out.. its not like iam forgetting all the glorious moments we have experienced through our team's performances and all the accolades that have been showered upon our players time and again, its just that we have a knack for finding new ways to self destruct... it is for this reason that i must tell you one thing mr kamran.... u will never be short on material for your blog.. hheheh

  • Muazzam on October 16, 2006, 9:04 GMT

    It's all because of the political involvement in PCB whcich is the new addition to runied institutions by this govenment.

  • Harpreet Aujla on October 16, 2006, 9:04 GMT

    Shoaib and Asif are quality bowlers and losing them for long period will make cricket poorer, but laws and rules must be adhered to.

  • Zeeshan on October 16, 2006, 9:04 GMT

    It is very stupid of the PCB to conduct a medical test day before a crucial match and especially after the series has begun. The test should have been taken before the start of the series.

  • Ashfaq Shah on October 16, 2006, 9:03 GMT

    I just hope it happened unknowingly. Pakistan's chances for next cricket World Cup will be seriously hampered by atleast 30% if these two strike bowlers are made to sit out. Shoaid would have hoped for a better end to his career.

  • Haneef Mohamad on October 16, 2006, 9:02 GMT

    If a year ban will be imposed, it hardly matters them,as they can find work in Wasim Akrams shoe shop.Taking drugs to show good performance is a Shame.They are not loyal to the cricket & Country.We feel pain and many people die of heart attacks in Indian occupied Kashmir when Pak loses a match but they are shameless.The one year ban is too little for them, at least 10 yrs ban should be imposed.

  • mudassar on October 16, 2006, 9:02 GMT

    Well last couple of month were really bad for pakistan cricket. The worst thing happen as two pakistani bowler found guilty for using illegal durgs. This quite a serious matter for cricket lover in Pakistan. I think cricket board totally failed to control the team. it really damage the image of country in a such bad way. i think these players should bee ban for long time. I also think some serious actions should bee taken against cricket board mangement. PCB Unable to handle the issue .

  • Anish on October 16, 2006, 9:02 GMT

    Oh no, not again. Shoaib has done it again. However, it is to be seen whether that it was ignorance or deliberate act. I only wish the later not to be true. Performance Enhancing drugs by no means, be taken lightly.

  • Mohammed Basheeruddin Ahmed on October 16, 2006, 9:02 GMT

    This is the worst thing happened after the Controversy in England. I dont think that this kind of things can improve the team sprit they can only make doubts on every one's mind about other players. I dont know where the future of Pakistan cricket is going. I am a big fan of Pakistan Team this two players were on the top of my favorite list (Shoeb & Asif).Hope that they will get clear sheet i want to see Shoeb & Asif back in Pakistan team. This is for this two player " brothers please dont spoil the name of ur team it will effect so many thing attached to u i mean you are representing ur team in front of the world think about it".

  • Adnan Rizwi on October 16, 2006, 9:02 GMT

    I wonder, if this was an internal analysis, then was it really wise to disclose it. Both players could have been quietly informed of the test results with a stern and clear warning that a repeat would jeopardize their careers.

    Its really unfortunate that in Pakistan's case, damage control is seldom exercised. The PCB is in a habit of revealing sensational information for the benefit of cricket fans in Pakistan as if the fans are not excited enough by what happens on the field.

  • Gaurav Sharma on October 16, 2006, 9:01 GMT

    I m sure that these players have taken these drugs in ignorance to overcome their injuries. But the team managment and PCB is somewhere responsible for this

  • SALMAN on October 16, 2006, 9:01 GMT

    I am very disoppointed with Shoiab and Asif with that kind of behaviour. If it is true about them then i think they should be Ban from cricket fro good. It will be an example for other Pakistani players. we should try to bring some young players train them and look forward for the world cup. Pakistan need to make cricket accademy where we can coach players and utilize our talented players just like Australia and other countries they have this is my opinion. Without shoiab, Inzi, and Asif it will be a miracle if we win the champions trophy.

  • Abbas Ali on October 16, 2006, 9:01 GMT

    I think if it really true that they found positive with the drug test then they should surely be banned from the international cricket. i mean no matter what happen one should care about his country respect.

  • Ali on October 16, 2006, 9:01 GMT

    when pakistan cricket team starts doing well on the cricket field , u can call this a bad luck, every things goes against them

  • Omer on October 16, 2006, 9:01 GMT

    This drugs news has absolutely shook me and blown away my hops for Pakistan in this tournament. World Cup is also on the verge and i dont think pace duo will be able to participate in it.

  • eswaran on October 16, 2006, 9:00 GMT

    another disgracefull pakistani performance

    comparing warnes diuretic and the drug nandralone is like chalk and cheese

    for all his talk Shoib has rarely performed when it has mattered the most

  • srikanth on October 16, 2006, 9:00 GMT

    OMG,I thought we are yet to see the best of Shoaib and looks like now this DRUG has ended Shoaibs career. I hope he will not be banned from cricket permanently. A short term ban should be fine like what happened with Warne

  • Sarmad Masud on October 16, 2006, 8:59 GMT

    I truly have sympathy on Pakistani cricketers, Pakistan cricket board, Pakistani cricket fans and on my self. Why don’t these players value our support for them? They know they have got the potential and the ability to knock down walls, so why can’t they just play fair. Why do they always top the ball-tempering, match fixing and doping tests lists? These players have ruined our love and passion for cricket. It’s depressing. And as far as the ban is concerned, that’s something I would never want to happen. A year ban on two of best bowlers the world has seen so far.

    May Allah Bless Us And Our Country

  • rajagopalan hindupur on October 16, 2006, 8:59 GMT

    If a second test proves positive Shoaib Akhthar should kicked out permanently.

  • C.S.Manimuthu on October 16, 2006, 8:59 GMT

    Yes. You are right. Becoz of the ignorance / lack of advise from the Board, an extra ordinary talent like Asif is in the firing line. Sometimes, it may affect the excellent form/ rythm the bowler is in the current form. Let's hope that all these turmoils get over sooner in a transparent manner so that the team can concentrate atleast on the World cup.

  • Shiyam Razak on October 16, 2006, 8:58 GMT

    Dear Sir,

    It is really unbelievable, what has happen here...

    However, I do not think that these two worldclass bowlers have done something wrong..

    Hope that the test should have gone something wrong with it...

    Hope Rawalpindi Express will take it's journey.

    Regards Shiyam

  • ismail mulla on October 16, 2006, 8:58 GMT

    This is a disgrace to Pakistan cricket.Shoaib should be fined for two years while Asif should be banned for a year.This 2 were Pakistan's hopes of winning the champions trophy and once again what a disgrace.

  • Hemant Bakshi on October 16, 2006, 8:58 GMT

    The paki pacer Duo of Akhtar and Mohd Asif having tesetd positive for banned drugs intake is a blow to advent of an already problem ridden tournament! However, Law has to take its course in such matters and guilty should be penalised as per the regulations in place. Hemant Bakshi, Sharjah,UAE

  • F . Nagi on October 16, 2006, 8:57 GMT

    In the case of Shoaib Akhter, responsibility lies on the PCB. It was a must for them, By hook or croock PCB wants Akhter to be fully fit for England. After any knee operation an ordinary person take six to nine months for extensive activity. But a person like Akhter needs atleast one year for full recovery.How couldyou expect full recovery without giving high quantity of cortisones. In case of Asif it looks unbelievable.

  • zafar sivaji on October 16, 2006, 8:57 GMT

    let's play them shohaib and asif because these days pakistan team is in very crises and if they will leave there will be no chance of pakistan team to win champions trophy. take your action after champions trophy.

  • Zamal Uddin on October 16, 2006, 8:57 GMT

    The drug should take again. If it is true then they should be punished as the rules

  • Ateeq Khan on October 16, 2006, 8:57 GMT

    I think this is the last nail in the coffin for the present Pakistan Cricket - both team and setup. Now a radical shake up at all hierarchy level is inevitible. This is the end result of years of ad hocism, personal interests and above all mis management of affairs by the top brass.

  • kaustubh Joshi on October 16, 2006, 8:56 GMT

    first of all there should be no sympathy for players who dope.

    Secondly the pcb should be congratulated for taking a tough stand against the offenders. kudos to PCB

  • SK on October 16, 2006, 8:55 GMT

    "Ignorance of law is no excuse" is a famous line taught at law schools. We may take liberties to modify this to "ignorance of anything that ultimately results in breaking a law is no excuse" Unfortunate as it may seem if both Shoaib and Asif took these unknowingly and under advice from the specialists treating their injuries, they have to suffer for this. The sport is a contest of pure skills and natural physical abilities and drugs have no place in it.

    In case of Shane Warne, the Australian Cricket Authorities predictably went weak in the knees (just as they had when they handled the episode of Warne and Mark Waugh accepting money from bookies)and reduced the ban to 1 year instead of 2. It will be interesting to see What the PCB does in this case.

  • Manish on October 16, 2006, 8:55 GMT

    I still hope there is something wrong in the samples of Sohaib and Asif.They are such a talented players, I wander why should they do that?If they do then it is major set back for Pakistan because they are the match winner.

  • Shahbaz Faheem on October 16, 2006, 8:55 GMT

    It's amazing how foolish an international players like Shoaib & Asif can be. It's ceases me no end to see Pakistani players involved in trivial and stupid issues every now & then. It is high time PCB start Education Academy as well for the Players. Because I believe that lack of education and knowledge lands these players into trouble, which make them look fools in the wolrd's eye.

  • Dr Nusrat Cheema on October 16, 2006, 8:54 GMT

    It is very sad for Pakistan cricket.I blame cricketers but more on PCB officials who know only to enjoys luxury posts in arraogant ways rather than concentrating on improving the understanding of players about this abuse.PCB , I believe, has been and is in the hands of illiterate and incompetant raoring mob who is hungry for money and advertisement. At the end I feel sorry for Shoaib.

  • Rayman on October 16, 2006, 8:54 GMT

    One wouldnt feel the absence of Shoaib Akhatar that much, considering how much hes been out of the game than in over the last few years.

    But the loss of Mohammad Asif would be missed and would even cost Pakistan the chance of winning or even qualifying for the quaterfinals of the upcoming World Cup.

    Its been a dreadfull month for Pakistan cricket surrounded with controversies, in this recent event is a big blow.

    Considering the backup bowlers Pakistan has, the future looks kind of bleak for the team.

  • aisha furqan on October 16, 2006, 8:53 GMT

    SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! Shame on these players who bring disgrace to Pakistan. They are making sure that their nation is remembered as a cheater in the history of cricket. i know i might be going a little too over board with my feelings since nothing is for sure yet, but in case of doping it is guilty until proven innocent NOT innocent until proven guilty. As far as chances of winning any major leagues are concerned, well of course losing a solid 50-run player is a major set back and now this is just icing of the cake. But i still won't rule pakistan out completely. They can still give a tough fight. This is time for Younis Khan to shine and show his abilities as a future captain. They are still loaded with star performers like Mohammad Yousuf, Shahid Afridi, Rana Naveed, and Abdul Razzaq. So let’s just not jump to conclusions yet.

  • MOHAMMAD AFZAL BAIG on October 16, 2006, 8:52 GMT

    It is terrible blow to Pakistan cricket as well as fans. we are not come out from England 'Ovel controvercy' another blow to the Cricket. Pakistan team will be very weak witk out these bowlers . I do not think we can win a single match . lets hope for good

  • Vivek on October 16, 2006, 8:52 GMT

    One year is not enpough for players resorting to such underhand tactics...this spoils the spirit of the game..they should be banned for at least 3 years so that others will not even think of doing it. While Pakistan has emerged from the ball tampering fiasco with their heads held high, their players are definitely doing a good job in spoiling it.

  • Shahid Muhammad on October 16, 2006, 8:51 GMT

    I think if players have been tested positively for performance enhancement drugs, they should be banned regardless of their stature in International cricket.

  • Jawad Tahir on October 16, 2006, 8:51 GMT

    What in the world is going on???? Everyday brings a new twist to the cricket scenario but this new one is sure to blow everyone's mind away. i mean can u believe that we are going into such an important tournament with all the mess that has happened in last two weeks. Couldn't this disclosure have been delayed till end of this tournament cos i dont think any of the cricket fan would now really b interested in watching pakistan's matches anymore?? For team pakistan its a lost cause from here on. God bless this team.

    bye guys.

  • ramasami on October 16, 2006, 8:51 GMT

    i agree and sympathise for the players, as it is the people in the knowhow, like doctors and the advisors to be taken to task

  • Waseem on October 16, 2006, 8:50 GMT

    Hi, it is the last nail in the coffin. It can be another trick of media to engage the Pace attack in this scenario, as far as shoaib is concerned, he had suffered with injuries and taking steroids in not a big deal. But the SURPRISE is for the rising & thin star Mr. Asif. I dont think so that both bowler will be able to defend themselves and carry on their career. My Full sympathies is with pakistan cricket and i wish the Dark Shadows of Darrel Hair will Faint Soon from the Pakistanies !

  • sohaib on October 16, 2006, 8:50 GMT

    Hi! I would like to add this all cricket boards should carry this test immidiately. Also when we find something like this(bad and humilating) for nation and for the game then those should be punished and punished hard

  • Nasser Siddiqui on October 16, 2006, 8:50 GMT

    I think this will be a blessing in disguise for the Pakistan Cricket team. Time after time Shoaib has stuffed up and yet the PCB has bent over backwards to help their "spoilt child". Sure he has talent and can be a joy to watch in full flight, but how many times have we seen this talent on the big stage. His bad performances has a morale sapping influence on the team and I'm sure there are plenty of bowlers in the gullies of Pakistan that are equal if not better than shoaib. Of course having said this I have assumed that he has taken steroids. And to those people doubting the validity of the claims, have a think on why everything bad has Shoaib involved in it.

  • Naveed on October 16, 2006, 8:50 GMT

    It's not the first time that the pakistani players have been accused of using drugs. Remember Pakistan tour of West Indies in late 90's? Bulk of the star players were accused of using drugs. Controversies and Pakistan cricket are made for each other and can't do without it.

  • Yousuf Mahmood on October 16, 2006, 8:50 GMT

    This very disappointing. I really hope that the results were wrong!

  • Faras on October 16, 2006, 8:50 GMT

    It is believed that these drugs were taken during the rehab programme that shoaib (and probably Asif) was going through in order to get them back on track sooner rather than later. It was the PCB's chosen advisors and doctors that were looking over the programme and if indeed the results do prove conclusive, it should be the cricket board and its "advisors" that should be held responsible. Massive blow for pakistan team nonetheless.

  • Abdul Haseeb Pirzada on October 16, 2006, 8:50 GMT

    On Sunday OCtober 15 the Dawn newspaper while criticizing Bob Woolmer's demand for a bonus stated one of the reasons (why Woolmer should be denied a bonus) as Woolmer having had a heated exchange with Shoaib Akhtar recently.

    It's quite obvious why Mr. Shoaib Akhtar bore the brunt of Bob Woolmer's anger and quite rightly so.

    If the B-test is positive, it is the end of Shoaib's career!

  • Tariq on October 16, 2006, 8:49 GMT

    PCB should take serious action against both the bowlwers so that in future no player is found guilty of using illegal drugs.

  • Praveen on October 16, 2006, 8:49 GMT

    You say - "I have little sympathy for players who take performance enhancing drugs. The rules are clear. But I do have some sympathy for the players, blissful ignorance is no excuse but it is partly understandable."

    So do you have sympathy for the players or not? I think what you have written is a little confusing :-)

    Anyway, if both the players are suspended for a year, it seems like a death blow to pakistan's chances in the world cup.

  • Azam Zia on October 16, 2006, 8:49 GMT

    We all should hold our horses while the absolute truth is analysed and revealed. To me, a die hard supporter of Pakistani pace bowling, the truth is the fact that both bowlers were rushed back from injuries and in the process were forced to use 'banned' steroids.

    Blame it on the team management, doctors or the players themselves, for a fan, this is agony unlimited!

    I wonder how many names (from other teams) would be revealed from ICC's version of the dope tests?

  • Scorp on October 16, 2006, 8:49 GMT

    If Bob woolmer was involved in this, which I think he was, he needs to go. As you said, the doctors, advisers, and the cricket board are the real culprits here. Let's see who will be used as an escape goat this time. We have done it before, we can do it again.

    Bring back Wasim Akram as a playing coach. In pakistan cricket, anything goes.

  • Riaz Ahmad Khan on October 16, 2006, 8:48 GMT

    I hope that there is something wrong in the news regarding positive Dope test for Shoaib and Asif. Otherwise, its really shameful for us. Moreover, there is zero chance for Pakistan to win Champians trophy without Shoaib and Asif. Infact, if they will win a single match, it will be a miracle. Our Captain Younis Khan already put us in humiliating position by creating trouble just before start ofthis tournament. Let us pray for Shoaib and Asif and the whole team.

  • jawaad on October 16, 2006, 8:48 GMT

    I cant understand why we are so much worried about the shoaib factor.Every body knows that he will play only for two matches out of the matches pakistan is goign to play.The really concerning phenomena is Asif.I dont think so that after such drama pakistan is goign to qualify for the even semi.

  • Dr.Unnikrishnan K on October 16, 2006, 8:48 GMT

    If players take performance enhancing drugs, let them perform at their 'own home'. Not on international stages. But, if it was a mistake on the part of the doctors or trainers, the players may be given excuse, because it was not their intention to take those drugs. Let us hope that Shoib and Asif return to the game as early as possible as they are exciting players to watch.

  • aflal on October 16, 2006, 8:47 GMT

    Yes the ban can be posted against akthar,As a medical student i have some knoledge about the drugs that is suspected to be used by shoaib.The drug may have taken for shoaib'S degenerative arthritis

  • M. Akram Ali on October 16, 2006, 8:47 GMT

    We have to ensure that cheats must be sidelined from the team and be effectively punished, Pakistan team must be cleaned of them.

  • Hussnain on October 16, 2006, 8:47 GMT

    Sometimes you really wonder what is happening with Pakistan Cricket, but it is really understandable when you will see it in the context of overall socio-political scenario of the country. The power hungry elite (including big cricket players)dont care enough the image of the country, they bother what they are gaining while they are riding power horse. The attitude of our players is due to the lack of education, I wonder if they ever read the label of the drug which they are taking.

  • Faisal Kapadia on October 16, 2006, 8:47 GMT

    As a fan of the team and both of these bowlers, i am not only humiliated but embarrassed to think i supported this team, they should both be banned for the maximum, so to set a clear precedent for our youngsters not to use. The Pakistan team can lose but winning through these means is not only tainted, its disgraceful!

  • Qassim Ismaily on October 16, 2006, 8:47 GMT

    If Shoaib and Asif have really taken banned drugs then the PCB should punish them possibly by imposing a ban. This kind of an action brings a bad name to the country.

  • Khalid Hameed on October 16, 2006, 8:47 GMT

    An other blow to the foundation of pakistani cricket, there always Doctors, Pyhsiotherapists,managers, we even have a foreign coach etc. all well aware of what drugs are being prescribed and taken by the players, the timing of the test, it all points to the failure of our set up rather than individuals...I for once finally have given up on PCB and our cricketers, I have a feeling it is a down hill course from here onwards, the fans, the board and the players can not take this amount of bad management, stress and humiliation

  • Omer on October 16, 2006, 8:47 GMT

    First I hope there would be some thing wrong with the samples.Shoaib and Asif will come back . But if test result becomes +ve.Then Pakistani management should think seriously about their fast bowling squad specialy Shoaib.There is no doubt about Shoaib,s abilities but I think we could,nt get what we expected from Shoaib.Now we should give chance to new guys. Pakistan has a lot talent in fast bowling field.Now it is right time to explore talent.

  • Ahmed on October 16, 2006, 8:47 GMT

    Pakistan's hopes of winning the trophy have been dented severely. An out of form naved-ul-hasan and a medium paces umar gul wont be able to penetrate world clss bowling line -ups..we just hope it is not the end of a career for shoaib

  • JAMAL on October 16, 2006, 8:46 GMT

    I think the doctor took test when both these players injured and its not big issue coz pcb it self take descition and not to blame on players. my point of view doctors/pcb resposible for that.This is not a big issue and media try to extend it and like indian media ????

  • Khalid Hameed on October 16, 2006, 8:46 GMT

    An other blow to the foundation of pakistani cricket, there always Doctors, Pyhsiotherapists,managers, we even have a foreign coach etc. all well aware of what drugs are being prescribed and taken by the players, the timing of the test, it all points to the failure of our set up rather than individuals...I for once finally have given up on PCB and our cricketers, I have a feeling it is a down hill course from here onwards, the fans, the board and the players can not take this amount of bad management, stress and humiliation

  • ali on October 16, 2006, 8:46 GMT

    Your news report suggests that Woolmer requested for the drug tests. Clearly PCB & team officials were in the know about the use of banned substances. I think Woolmer has come out with it to avoid being the next casualty after SYK & Mushtaq... Recently Javed Miandad has been smiling unabashedly on a local TV channel so there may yet be another twist before the World Cup?

  • hamza on October 16, 2006, 8:46 GMT

    this is disgraceful news for.i never expexted this from one of my players and if true i hope they do get long bans, though im still hoping somemistake happend in the tests.i was so looking forward to watching the icc champions trophy but now its quite useless for me.

  • Dr. Rizwan Siddiqi on October 16, 2006, 8:45 GMT

    I am really in total shock to hear this news. I sincerley hope that there is som problem with the authenticity of these tests conducted in Malaysia but if this is true then these two players have done nothing for Pakistani nation to be proud of.Doping has been discussed so much in the media these days and to take performance enhancing drugs is a real stupidity.

  • Atif Hyder on October 16, 2006, 8:45 GMT

    i will not add a word to what kamran has written here. however, i just hope its not muhammad sami and shahid nazir who are sent as replacements.

    Yasir Arafat should be the obvious choice considering the fact that he can reverse and skid the ball at pace which is an important factor on low sub-continent pitches.

    I have been advocating this on my FM-107 radio show long enough...Its time to unleash Muhammad Irshad, he's been kept on the fringes long enough. Any more delay in pushing him into international cricket might just see him fade away into the oblivion. He's a pound for pound replacement for shoaib and has recently been clocked bowling consistently over 95mph.

  • omar imran on October 16, 2006, 8:45 GMT

    oh my god .. this is unbelieveble.. shame on shoaib and asif.. wat a bad name they have given to pakistan..

  • shanie ashraf on October 16, 2006, 8:44 GMT

    I also don't have any sympathy for the doctors, advisers and cricketboards. They have to be punished and not the players who have no idea what the consequence will be after using these things.

    shanie ashraf The Netherlands

  • Adeel Khan on October 16, 2006, 8:44 GMT

    What an absolute shock this one is. Pakistan cricket is an a total mess. For now, I'd have to go with the findings but really, the PCB is an unprofessional outfit and it would hard to trust their efficiency and wisdom.

    If, infact, Shoaib and Asif willfully did what they did, then I have no sympathy for them. But even if there is the slightest of doubts that this could have been due to ignorance or lack of knowledge then the all of the PCB officials responsible for this event must go.

  • shanie ashraf on October 16, 2006, 8:44 GMT

    I also don't have any sympathy for the doctors, advisers and cricketboards. They have to be punished and not the players who have no idea what the consequence will be after using these things.

    shanie ashraf The Netherlands

  • Zeeshan on October 16, 2006, 8:44 GMT

    What can I say abt such bad news as being a Pakistani....but to hope tht the tests are wrong....anyway PCB has not done good to call them back!

  • Usman Malik on October 16, 2006, 8:43 GMT

    This is a very unfortunate turn of events for Pakistan Cricket. The Fans are dissappointed and so is the Coach Bob Woolmer, and rightfully so i might add. As you said, the rules are quite clear pertaining to drug abuse indeed. Many of us can see the irony in this as it hurts old wounds. Miracle is the only word to define this dilemma.

  • Dilon de Silva on October 16, 2006, 8:43 GMT

    If he has taken drugs ya he should be banned...

    But the way I feel it this is another turn of the pakistan cricket board politics... Some players are targeted and some act as if they own pakistan cricket... This has to end and end soon

  • Vishwas on October 16, 2006, 8:43 GMT

    Its a catastrophe. Doctors, advisers, and cricket board to blaim,I dont see shoaib and Asif intentionally done that.

    I don't know when PCB will mature up. They are more involved in fighting rather then thinking and doing good for the team. At least they can learn this thing from BCCI be professioanl in your working.

  • JG on October 16, 2006, 8:42 GMT

    The drug test should have carried out earlier. We need cricket Vs cricket, not drug Vs cricket.

  • Aasim on October 16, 2006, 8:42 GMT

    To me PCB is the criminal in this case, as the bowling trio (Naveed, Shoaib & Asif) have been tested positive in tests. How is it possible that they took banned drugs simultaneously? There is something terribly wrong with PCB in general and specifically in the non-existing medical deptt of PCB.

  • laeeq on October 16, 2006, 8:42 GMT

    well its not fair with both players to ban them for life, there should be son other way out to make the players understand that its not good for the spirit of cricket to use such medicins. Anyhow in my point of view icc should give warning to every nation for future. next time they should be penalized

  • Vance on October 16, 2006, 8:42 GMT

    Its a pity, that we dont have a superstar.. I just hope it turns out to be a false alarm ! .. anyways, if Shoaib has cheated, he s got to pay for it.. as for Asif, I dont see a need to enhance his performance... did he require the enhancement.. he will come back.. but still it might hurt his confidence to be labeled a cheat... I hope there are enough people to support him !

  • Ahmad on October 16, 2006, 8:41 GMT

    We have to give the players chance to clarify their position, besides being commented to the extent of their career. We are hopeful that Asif will not do that. But before take any action (Even of recall them), PCB should be 100% sure about the tests results.

  • fahad on October 16, 2006, 8:41 GMT

    This is the most bogus of it all it is so dissapointing for the fans if it is true, but in a way it is good to it should make room for new players one thing i do not get is when your country has won back to back under 19 world cups where the heck are those players how long are they going to be at that level its time for them to shine i hope they aren't doped this event makes me furious, but if the situation is true the players should be punished, because the players all are in religion and the islamics beliefs this just proves they aren't really following it

  • Srinivas on October 16, 2006, 8:41 GMT

    Thats a shame if the allegations are true.This definitely not the ignorance about the drugs cause modern days physios and doctors are very particular about their players.Its definitely a blow for Pak team as Asif is one of the brightest prospects for them ..FOrget abt Shoaib..controversies are always his best friends

  • Rameen on October 16, 2006, 8:41 GMT

    With PCB (or any other institution in Pakistan), you can not be 100% sure ever, regarding what is true and what is not. Usually there is something written between the lines, which one should try to read. I am sure that this is not only a drugs issue, as there was not only an issue of captaincy too. There is something and somone sinister behind all these scenes. Can one contemplate?

  • Ash on October 16, 2006, 8:40 GMT

    I think more than any thing they need to ban Bob Woolmer,for a lack of control on his players,and not being able to handle these small things. Ever since he has taken over Pakistan team is been criticized time and time again,and enough is enough. More over Inzi should be sacked as a captain,he's not really the aggressive captain,who can win a world cup.

  • Ali on October 16, 2006, 8:40 GMT

    I think it is so stupid and should not be tolerated, they deserve a ban and should realise that they let the dignity of their team drop considerably which is what the row with daryl hair was over. I mean what a dishonour. Shame really. Ali R A

  • Shahnaz on October 16, 2006, 8:39 GMT

    Since this seems to be the first ever dope test conducted by PCB, there is every chance now people would like to doubt the capability that Shoaib Akhtar always demonstrated - lethal pace.

  • Anwar on October 16, 2006, 8:39 GMT

    I hope they BAN shoaib and Asif for 2 years. Then the Pakistan Team Will play like Bangladesh!!

  • Mannan on October 16, 2006, 8:39 GMT

    I believe this is the saddest day in not only for paksitan cricekt but cricket all around. The eventual loser is cricket itself. PCB and ICC should not jump to conclusion but see how lead to such instances.

  • R Izzedeen on October 16, 2006, 8:39 GMT

    it seems a bit premature to just blame the cricket board and doctors and say it was not the players fault. Are these comments based on any facts?

    I doubt it will be a one year ban, its definitely going to be more IF they are found guilty.

  • Sampath Kumar on October 16, 2006, 8:39 GMT

    Pak team deserve this type of crisis for their arrogance

  • Balaji Linga Reddy on October 16, 2006, 8:38 GMT

    This is bad stuff,Akthar has showed his chrecter again.he should stop playing a beautiful game called 'cricket'.

  • Mark Kidger on October 16, 2006, 8:38 GMT

    The suggestion seems to be the same as in the original Ben Johnson positive: steroid use to get over an injury more quickly. If so, it is not a thing that either player or doctor does unknowingly. Abusing your body to recover from injury has potentially apalling long-term consequences of long-term harm for short-term gain.

  • saj odedra on October 16, 2006, 8:38 GMT

    I THINK ICC GOT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE DRUGS AND THE PAKISTAN BOARD

  • Arsalan Khan on October 16, 2006, 8:27 GMT

    This is another major destructive blow for the Pakistani cricket board's reputation.

    The least bits of hopes that were left within us, the supporters of Team Pakistan have been shattered, battered and torn apart.

    Now, not only are we to head in a tournament without Pakistan's ace captain and middle order back bone Inzamam, thanks to his forfeiture.. we're now forced to walk without our main strike bowlers, thanks to their doping fascinations.

    We've thrown away our technical advantages, our psychological advantages, our spirit.

    Two months ago we would have walked into this tournament as favourites.

    Tomorrow, we must begin as depressed underdogs. Team Pakistan during the last few months has floated under a black cloud of catche 22, the officials seem to act like kindergarten rivals; resigning a moment, rejoining the other. The players must be lacking extreme confidence from now onwards, the supporters distorted by a non stop saga of excruciating endless controversies.

    The question now that remains, if any should: Will this comedy of errors every end?

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Arsalan Khan on October 16, 2006, 8:27 GMT

    This is another major destructive blow for the Pakistani cricket board's reputation.

    The least bits of hopes that were left within us, the supporters of Team Pakistan have been shattered, battered and torn apart.

    Now, not only are we to head in a tournament without Pakistan's ace captain and middle order back bone Inzamam, thanks to his forfeiture.. we're now forced to walk without our main strike bowlers, thanks to their doping fascinations.

    We've thrown away our technical advantages, our psychological advantages, our spirit.

    Two months ago we would have walked into this tournament as favourites.

    Tomorrow, we must begin as depressed underdogs. Team Pakistan during the last few months has floated under a black cloud of catche 22, the officials seem to act like kindergarten rivals; resigning a moment, rejoining the other. The players must be lacking extreme confidence from now onwards, the supporters distorted by a non stop saga of excruciating endless controversies.

    The question now that remains, if any should: Will this comedy of errors every end?

  • saj odedra on October 16, 2006, 8:38 GMT

    I THINK ICC GOT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE DRUGS AND THE PAKISTAN BOARD

  • Mark Kidger on October 16, 2006, 8:38 GMT

    The suggestion seems to be the same as in the original Ben Johnson positive: steroid use to get over an injury more quickly. If so, it is not a thing that either player or doctor does unknowingly. Abusing your body to recover from injury has potentially apalling long-term consequences of long-term harm for short-term gain.

  • Balaji Linga Reddy on October 16, 2006, 8:38 GMT

    This is bad stuff,Akthar has showed his chrecter again.he should stop playing a beautiful game called 'cricket'.

  • Sampath Kumar on October 16, 2006, 8:39 GMT

    Pak team deserve this type of crisis for their arrogance

  • R Izzedeen on October 16, 2006, 8:39 GMT

    it seems a bit premature to just blame the cricket board and doctors and say it was not the players fault. Are these comments based on any facts?

    I doubt it will be a one year ban, its definitely going to be more IF they are found guilty.

  • Mannan on October 16, 2006, 8:39 GMT

    I believe this is the saddest day in not only for paksitan cricekt but cricket all around. The eventual loser is cricket itself. PCB and ICC should not jump to conclusion but see how lead to such instances.

  • Anwar on October 16, 2006, 8:39 GMT

    I hope they BAN shoaib and Asif for 2 years. Then the Pakistan Team Will play like Bangladesh!!

  • Shahnaz on October 16, 2006, 8:39 GMT

    Since this seems to be the first ever dope test conducted by PCB, there is every chance now people would like to doubt the capability that Shoaib Akhtar always demonstrated - lethal pace.

  • Ali on October 16, 2006, 8:40 GMT

    I think it is so stupid and should not be tolerated, they deserve a ban and should realise that they let the dignity of their team drop considerably which is what the row with daryl hair was over. I mean what a dishonour. Shame really. Ali R A