THE CORDON HOME

BLOGS ARCHIVES
SELECT BLOG
November 16, 2006

The drugged cricketer

Why a rush to judgment for Shoaib and Asif?

Kamran Abbasi
Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif leave a meeting with PCB officials, Lahore, October 20, 2006
 © AFP
Enlarge

"Rush to Judgment" might be the title of a book about the conspiracies surrounding the assassination of JFK, but it's a phrase that also neatly sums up the first hearing into the alleged drug use by Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif. Now that lawyers have been called in by all sides--an eminent one by Shoaib, an English one by the PCB, and an ex-cricketer by Asif--the process has inevitably been slowed down. The fact that Shoaib's lawyer is asking for more information from the PCB underscores the point that he and Asif were underrepresented at the first hearing. The fact that the PCB has appointed its own lawyer makes you wonder about the neutrality of the appeal hearing? And the fact that both players are currently banned makes you wonder what the rush is all about?

Amid this flurry of legal activity, the credibility of the first hearing is eroding by the minute.

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

RSS Feeds: Kamran Abbasi

Keywords: Drugs

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by ejaz qureshi on (December 7, 2006, 5:13 GMT)

i thought that shuaib and asif are best bowler's of the world.Every one in the world know their mportance in the cricket world.I can not understand why these great bowler's used drugs.They are under custody of the world cricket rule.These people must aware of this fact that they are representing pakistan.Now they are free so they must take care of their reamianing future.I hopefull that pakistanicricket team is now more strong than before. bye its ejaz

Posted by zakir on (December 2, 2006, 19:47 GMT)

I totally agree with Mr. Abbasi and i think nobody has the right to interfare in someone's personal life like intikhab alam did it for shoaib. I think they had been fine and ban for few matches.

Posted by Assad on (November 30, 2006, 21:54 GMT)

We can find much more better people to serve PCB. Our country is full of talent. But, Can we find replcement of Shoaib or Asif? No, Never. All Pakistan loves to see Shoaib or Asif in the field not PCB in their offices.

Posted by shamsuddin on (November 30, 2006, 19:47 GMT)

i appreciate Mr.A.abbasi,you r 100 percent right "that a player that is not from pakistan going through same issues, he would have been pardoned",if the jury belongs to pakistan.why we r impressed or depressed and in complex of inferiority with west?why we don't think that we r most supperior because v r muslims? In this case,my openion is that the socalled PCB is not wellwisher of pakistan and i also request to president and P.M that kindly check & conduct an enquiry that the members of pcb might be cross with english.

Posted by Abdul Abbasi on (November 28, 2006, 22:30 GMT)

I do look at all the incidents with a neutral eye ( trying to act like pcb). If some one can get Dr Naseem ashraf, and interview him thoroughly, not even thoroughly just simple few questions:

1) Are you sexually active? 2) Do you drink? 3) Do you find girls attractive? 4) Do you hate it when people get promoted, rather then you being promoted. 5) Have you ever been to a hakeem? 6) Have you heard about "TAKAT KI DAWAI", that normal hakeem's give just to recover from flu. 7) How many times you been to a hospital. 8) How many times did u read the name of the medicine and ingredients involved in the medicine before taking it? 9) Do you know the names of the drugs that are banned by WADA, by heart? 10) If you goto a hotel, in Pakistan, do you read all the ingredients in the food.? 11) How do you know the food you are taking in contains any drugs or not. 12)The cooks that make food, while on tours, are they checked every single time if they are carrying any drugs before coming in there shifts? 13)If you say that its your mistake that a person commited a sin, would you punish him for that sin?

Answers from these will clear 1000 things that are confusing PCB. We are talking about the great nation Pakistan. If you can not keep an organized and secure environment for the players, you do not have an authority to punish them for wrong doings. Sexually active, drinking history? who cares in sports. You are saying at one time that you hate western culture, being drinking dating clubing is bad, (Keep religion on the side for now, its professionalism), and on the other hand you want to be smart enough so that you are praised in western culture. Have you guys seen people, who take an axe and practically cut there feet off. If not look at pcb. I am not saying that shoib and asif's absence makes the team worthless, Pakistani team is one of the best and is still the best, if you look at the stats. We have awesome players, inzi bhai, two y's good bowlers.All they need to do it a little of organizing. Mohammed sami, is there. What pcb did was, mentally challanged people do. Just to find out if the fire alarm works, set your own house on fire.

If pcb says that asif didnt know,(and plus its the mistake of pcb and he has language issues, Then he needs to be spared. I can guarantee if that was the case with an international player, a player that is not from pakistan going through same issues, he would have been pardoned. For shoib he gets 2 years because he drinks, sexually active? (Well One should find out how many people are not sexually active in pcb) everyone will be banned. And secondly PC hotel in lahore, there are so many places, i can bet 60% of people who put charges on others drink themselves, I say there should be regular tests in PCB FOR drinking, having sex, stuff like that who ever goes against them ban them for 2 years. Then hopefully we will have some decency in PCB. When they wrote stuff about shoib, i say there were drunk at that time. Any person with a little bit of common sense would read over what he writes and try to make sense out of it. Probably they will be having fun over it that, Oh mr xyz you were so drunk you wrote this, now we are messed up now we need help, hire lawyers.

Posted by A. Khan on (November 28, 2006, 0:46 GMT)

We need to fully understand that Shoaib Akhtar or Asif are not accused or convicted of taking a drug like hasheesh or Chars or anything on those lines. In fact, if they had taken any of that, there is no law in Cricket to ban them.

What they have been convicted of is taking a performance enhancer - a tonic, or a suppliment which would make them stronger.

Adding to Mr. Humayun Mirza's statement above, the question is,

1- did they take the suppliment that explicitly contain a banned substance in Cricket? Personally, I dont think so.

2- Did they take a brand of suppliment that is explicitly banned in Cricket or sporting circles? Personally I dont think so.

It seems that they took a suppliment to speed up their recoveries. In turn, that suppliment also gave them some muscle and strength. As a result, it efected their urine samples just as a banned suppliment would.

Imran Khan was dead right when he said that if PCB was to conduct such tests, they should have done so internally long before selecting a team for ICC tournament and excluded anyone tested positive. But who said that PCB has a thinking mind among them? Or a mind at all?

SHoaib and Asif do not deserve any punishment at all. Not even a warning. PCB is doing well hiring an expensive lawyer. They direly need one this time.

Posted by Zubair Shahab on (November 27, 2006, 18:45 GMT)

You may have heard that recently, Liam Plunkett has been caught drinking and driving. This being an international crime, it is funny that Plunkett is still allowed to continue his tour of Australia in an effort to defend the Ashes while our Pakistanis were called back for something as tame as a drug scandal in front of drinking and driving. I ask, where is the consistency in this? If the PCB had not acted the way it did, it would have been severely criticized. So why is the ECB's action, or lack of it, not being criticized?

Posted by shaham on (November 27, 2006, 6:39 GMT)

why we donot play muhammad irshad and salman butt and asif kamal.pasitan board will not want to win world cup.

Posted by shaham on (November 27, 2006, 6:35 GMT)

i can hope cricket borad pk ,will forgive them.asif and shoaib can play in world cup.tell me.

Posted by Ali Zubair Janoo on (November 26, 2006, 17:17 GMT)

We often hear from people who certainly lack the proper knoweldge about this game that it is good that these two bowlers are banned and a so called example should be set for youngers, who actually take SHOAIB AKHTAR as a hero and ideal. This country is a talent ruinner. I simply cannot understand what Mr. Ashraf is doing in cricket with a doctors, and lawyers degree? and the most amazing thing about this 'new' tribunal is they also have a lawyer to defend them. I mean why do you need a laywer to defend yourself?? If the case of shoiab and asif is not declared void, Pakistani cricket will suffer alot and we have already seen our bowling attack in Champions trophy, and West Indies tour. Our 'Fire Power' is missing and we miss our Cricket God(Shoiab Akhtar). What ever Shoiab is, what ever he thinks he is, he is our hero, and a living legend! The Tribunal should keep our interest first. this doesn't mean that the players shouldn't penalised. I think doing some thing with their match fee will make ICC, World which we care most, and Fans happy!

Comments have now been closed for this article

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi

All articles by this writer