The drugged cricketer November 16, 2006

Why a rush to judgment for Shoaib and Asif?

"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
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"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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • danish khan on November 25, 2006, 23:54 GMT

    by hook or by crook, i want to see them both in the game, case is adjourned for an infinte period.

  • aysha on November 22, 2006, 13:03 GMT

    ryte..as the whole method of conmductin test ha sbeen proved wrong..and whn sth or any procedure is done against the laws den it has no signifance..anywayz..this case is very open as well as very complex...now wat will be the deciison...will they'd be given complete pardon????BAN shd be reducd enuff for them to play SA tour or mayb WC alone wid some fine???or mayb only fine ?????? or the BAN will be continue,end of shoaib's career abd a brake in asif's career????[:o]...i simple hope k last option blkkl na hu..coz they both are nncoent and they deserve to play the WC....hopin for goood and their comebaq..

  • Saad Abbasi on November 21, 2006, 8:56 GMT

    There are lots of controversies regarding the case. PCB has turned out to defaulters in this case. Y they were concerned about the doping test for the team when noone else was showing concern abt it and if they were supposed to do so, they shouldnt hav mentioned the names of the players. Rather, they could hav kept it a secret inorder to save the dignity n respect of team players n country.

  • P. Kumaran on November 20, 2006, 7:55 GMT

    It is shocking that a member of the Appeals panel set up to hear the case,Hasib Ahsan, should himself suggest what line of defence the two cricketers should take. What kind of an appeals process is this. Ahsan's revelation that the PCB was not a signatory to the WADA or ICC Code is no revelation at all. Even if PCB wants it cannot be a signatory to the WADA Code which is signed by international federations, national Olympic committees and major sports organisations like IOC etc. By being a member of the ICC which in turn has accepted the WADA Code, PCB is bound by the rules. However, ICC does not have an anti-doping rule that can stretch into out of competition testing. It is only concerned with in-competition testing and that too in its own events like World Cup, Champions Trophyt etc. PCB must have conducted the tests under its own rules and that is what it has been saying. Ahsan should check what the PCB rules say. Being a member of the ICC, the PCB is also bound by the rules and policies adopted by the ICC. It does not have to separately adopt the ICC anti-doping rules. PCB was also a party at the ICC general meeting last July when the anti-doping policy was accepted. The attempt of Ahsan to mislead on the topic of PCB having not followed WADA rules while collecting urine samples is also extremely funny. This was not an unannounced test and as such the PCB man who was collecting could have waited any number of hours or days for Akhtar to come from one city to another. Otherwise he could have gone to Karachi. The Pakistani cricketers have not signed "whereabouts" form, thus they don't have to worry about not being at a place when testing teams come looking for them. Even if we assume that Akhtar was not present where he was supposed to be, after having agreed with an official that he would be at a certain place, the maximum that can be slapped against Akhtar is a "missed test". Three "missed tests" will mean an equivalent of an anti-doping violation that can get a one-year suspension. Having missed a test doesn't mean, a player's urine sample cannot be collected a second or third time when an official makes an attempt. Ignorant officials only add to the confusion that already exists in this unfortunate doping incident in Pakistani cricket.

  • Soubhan on November 20, 2006, 3:20 GMT

    The PCB should reduce Shoaib and Asif's ban.Shoaib's should be cut down to 1 year and Asif's to just 1 month.If Pakistan want to have a chance in the World Cup. They need Asif back

  • Muneeeb on November 20, 2006, 2:23 GMT

    Typical. PCB has done right to catch before they got caught in WI...I would say smart plan. One o fthe two will be excused. Probably ASIF will be playing before World cup..

  • Humayun Mirza on November 19, 2006, 18:00 GMT

    I am appalled at some of the comments. Surely civility need not be sacrificed at the altar of emotion. The issue at hand needs to be dealt with dispassionately. Did the players take a banned substance or not? Was it intentional or not? Have they been convicted of a similar offence in the past? The answers to these three questions should determine the punishment or lack thereof. The knowledge of English or Urdu or Swahili has nothing to do with the above questions. After all most drug addicts in Pakistan or for that matter anywhere are not even vaguely conversant with the English language. Similarly the lifestyle of an individual, whether pious or indulgent should have no bearing on the answers. Additionally, a person's past behavioural eccentricities should not ideally bias the judgement either, involving a totally separate issue. In other words, punishment should not be based on meekness or flamboyance of an individual and should not be affected by the presence or lack of public affection/sympathy for an individual. Foremost, the adjudicating panel must understand and realize the immense responsibilty and trust vested in them by the people of Pakistan in particular and the world sporting community in general in deciding the issue( in addition to their individual and collective accountability to their Creator). If these conditions are taken into account then one should be able to come to fair conclusion and the punishment must then fit the gravity of the alleged offence as well. This would not be the first time, however that a rush to judgement has unfairly botched up a career. Remember Qasim Umar! His fault was an allegation against an extremely powerful individual in Pakistan cricket- an act considered sacriligious enough to have him banned for life without a fair hearing or appeals process, with the people of Pakistan acting as abetting bystanders in what may have been an unfair pronouncement. Subsequent events on a West Indian tour suggested that Qasim Umar may not have been all off mark. As a side, I am shocked at the disclosure of Shoaib's personal medical history to the public. This is privileged and confidential information and should have been treated so.

  • Khurram Malik on November 19, 2006, 13:06 GMT

    Its another sad song for Pakistan Cricket and Fans. What really strikes me about this case that it happen all the sudden and shatters pakistan future to prolong with Super Star and Future Star. I just dont get it why the hell Educated Fool Dr is running PCB. Removing both stars was all politics. No one saying anything about Dr Naseem Ashraf. Who cares he is the man with stick in his hand and acting character from Aafgahan Taliban. This case is baseless and really doesnt make anysense. Shoiab coming back from career threating injury must have taken tons of medication. Asif who doesnt even fit in any big shoes have no idea which milk he is drinking. PCB should be ashame on themselves because they are not running Cricket Board its all about business. If pakistan need win world cup or have any hopes of getting somewhere near to final they have to bring back both shoiab and asif. Lets not forget we still havent find opening pair. Imran Nazir and Yasir Hameed / Salman & Hafeez. Imran Faharat need to play more county cricket for him to become establish and dependable batsman.

  • Hamza on November 18, 2006, 20:27 GMT

    My advice to the new tribunal "Don't mess it up." PCB has two choices - either get naked by letting the accused go scotfree or stick with the decision they've made. I would be happier if somehow the board gets screwed in this turmoil and Naseem ashraf in particular, but that seems a distant reality. The bans are harsh and they can be given a little leeway by reducing shoaib's ban to a year and asif's to 6 months.

    It's immaterial now if the players manage to prove their innocence when given a fair trial. What has happened should be registered with finality and a relaxation in the bans must be the only thing that should be done (if anything is to be done that is)

  • Mudassar Rana on November 18, 2006, 17:25 GMT

    Under what professional capacity was intikhab alam on the board anyway? His lack of capcity is undermined further by his comments over shoaibs alledged lifestyle. What does that have to do with nandrolone levels! Im sure that greg rusedski leads a similar lifestyle yet he was not guilty when he was found to have a higher level of nandrolone in his body. Can u imagine the australian or english board or for that matter even the indian board hanging their players out to dry in a similar incident!Never!

    Our elite are afflicted by the same disease that all our political elite suffers from. That of satisfying their masters in the west. Our eagerness to please at the expense of our own people is shocking.

    It really is thanks to the Almighty that we continue to exist in any form because are leaders are forever ready to sell us out at the flimsiest of offers.

  • Imran Quraishi on November 18, 2006, 16:27 GMT

    I personally think that first Shoaib Akhtar should sue Mr Intikhab Alam without wasting a single minute and hire the services of experienced attorneys who specialize in the laws of cricket so he can get out of this pot hole that Mr Inti and his buddies has dug for him. I fail to comprehend why Shoaib and Asif failed to understand the compexity of the matter and went dancing and swinging to the first hearing without being properly represented by an experienced attorney, thinking that they can prove their innocence.Dummies you don't go to a court hearing without an attorney ok.How the hell you gonna prove you are innocent unless and until you a properly represented by an attorney.Are you guys idiots. I think that they took this whole doping thing very lightly and now paying for it by their throats. This shows how naive these two bowlers are and just bringing your personal doctor with you is not going to be of any help.Unfortunately one of them did not even bring a doctor either and you just don't want any doctor but a doctor who specializes in banned substances. To be short these two youngsters need the services of an experienced attorney who has a good track record in this field of banned substances and who can surely bail them out of this so called drug ban and fight for them till the end. One last thing I would want to ask Mr Intikhab Alam that how dare you malign the character of a respected young cricketer by saying bad things about him in public and exposing his private life. This is none of your God damn business. By saying these things about Shoaib you are inviting a lawsuit by Shoaib for the defamation of his character.

  • Aleem on November 18, 2006, 16:12 GMT

    It is a general trend world over that if a common man commits a crime or is found guilty of some moral misdoing...he will come up with citizen rights and will generally try to get reprieve even if was the guilty party...Not many fingers will be waged..But if a celebrity is in such situatioin everybody will jump the bandwagon to either defame him so that everyone will be considered as well informed and protector of moral values...What I mean to say is that whether it is Pakistan or UK , common man is free to indulge in anything but a star ....well he will be hanged........We as a nation are a bunch of "moral fantics"...if we take bribes ..no problem ..if an allegation is levelled against a star then that will be taken as true....problem with us is that stars will be in the firing line even if charges against them are totally farce,or require clarifications or yellow journalism or worse still just a result of a cricket board trying to show its EFFICIENCY in dealing with cases "swiftly" as well as "undue honesty"....

  • Ayaz Khan on November 18, 2006, 14:21 GMT

    Somehow we seem to be decided either for believing that the players took the drug knowingly or believing that they did it not knowingly. Its only God who knows that.

    It seems very clear when we study the case that PCB has been more loyal to the king than the king himself. They tried to play to the gallery, they tried to impress the world they tried to get some praise. They were not reluctant to sacrifice Pakistan cricket because they are not devoted towards cricket they are just opportunist. The circumstances indicates that the performance was too harsh. Plus the fact that the decision maker took note of the fast life of one of the accused makes him biased.Under the circumstances this case in my opinion if it goes to a court of law will bethrown out.

    Its simple investigate carefully. If they have done it knowingly punish them. If its a mistake than the punishment should match the crime instead of being all encompassing. Most of all let an unbiased person stand on judgement than a moral preacher.

  • Adil Reza on November 18, 2006, 14:16 GMT

    i think there is this right given to every player to re appeal to any sort of ban given to them..it wasnt just given to them by d pcb but it has been given to other players as well previously...nd through there whole right they hav appeald against their ban...my point of view was that d ban given to asif was totally worng nd i hope he is cleard he shudve been given a fine nd akhtar mayb a ban for 2 months max..nywayz..its jus tht d pcb jus gave their players their right..nd finishing this topic quickly is totally right instead of wastin a big part of their career nd makin such a big deal out of it...d quicker d better..so that they can know their fate as soon as possible..!

  • brendan on November 18, 2006, 11:03 GMT

    Hi, i am from Australia and i believe the PCB should have done what the ACB did with Shane Warne, 12 months each. The 2 players involved have been battling injuries for a while now, and i believe the treating doctors would have used the nandrolone to speed up both players recovery from injuries, not to enhance performance. I and everyone else do not know if the players had knowledge it was a steroid but the doctors would have. My point is these 2 players will benefit from 12 months off and should come back refreshed fitter than they are now and injury free and also hopefully will be more mature. Look at warnie, after his 12 months were up, he stepped back into the game a better player and a lot maturer. When these 2 return to the team injury free and stronger and more mature, they will energise the team and Pakistan will have the best fast bowling attack in the world. best wishes to shoaib and asif and good luck. I also believe Umar Gul and Shahriar Nafees will do a fine job over the next 12 months. Umar is an awesome talent and this might be just what he needs to take that next step and become a consistent top line fast bowler. I also thank Kamran for a fantastic article. cheers from australia, Brendan

  • ali qazi on November 18, 2006, 8:22 GMT

    i slams PCB and its management.who are they! what are they! PCB is the original guilty not asif and shoaib. as their management does not any thing about cricket and its logics. we can see in the oval test case where the match was fortfeited.At that point every one said that Inzamam is guilty. but again match was sacrificed only because of PSB (no knwoledge about cricket and its rules and regulations because of illitrate management)

  • Dr Khan, Australia on November 18, 2006, 8:11 GMT

    I also support the view that Intekhaab Alam is highly controversial figure. It is interesting to see he appears Preacher to use personal character of Shoib for making judgement. Like taking wine, one should Ask Intekhab Alam how many pictures he wants to be produced he playing with wine of glasses in his 1971-72 tour in Australia. I got some of them in Australian Crickters' author ready for him to show. He should not forget four fingures toward him, before raising one towards other..........He is just amazing........ and the whole Verdict is biased and illogical. He does not meet the criteria to be judge and he is also not using right factors(reasons deter) to make such crucial decision. The Board is biased as it picked upu Intkhaab Alam for making decision. Borad is treating thse two great bowlers as step mother.....

  • ali qazi on November 18, 2006, 8:00 GMT

    yes there sholud be punishment to set an example for newcomers but this is not punishment. this is adding insult to injuiry. come on! be flexible and realistic while making any appropriate decision to punish. definitly pakistan will struggle in long run without asif and akhtar. also the nation,s interest in cricket will squeeze in future. this will be horrible.

  • Imran Mansoor on November 18, 2006, 7:41 GMT

    We as a nation don't need role models. And if someone still wants a role model then they should look up to great leaders of the world.

    Shoaib or Wasim are not role models. So lets not punish them just for the sake that they are not good role models.

    Shoaib is one of the greatest bowler. Lets just keep that in mind and not try to judge his personality.

    You or me have no rights to call him a clown for Gods sake.

    Grow up people try to acknowledge his great bowling.

  • Imran Mansoor on November 18, 2006, 7:30 GMT

    I don't understand why is everyone judging Shoaib Akhtars character? He is a great bowler and no one can deny that.

    The case is about doping so PCB should stick to that rathar than moving on about his personal life. Intikhab Alam in my view should be taken to court by Shoaib for damaging his image.

    Everyone knows what actually lies in PCB - jealousy and Bureaucracy.

    I think the whole organisation should be sacked and we should bring overseas Pakistanis to come run the Board.

    I am disgusted at the way Shoaib's career has been handled.

    " One of CDA cricketer told me how Zaheer Abbas used abusive language towards Shoaib at the begining of Shoaibs career when Shoaib refused to play for Zaheers team.

    Our board should employ capabale educated people to run the board and not ex-players. These players come from various back grounds and surely not educated to manage the running of board and managing crisis.

  • Ishtiaq on November 18, 2006, 6:12 GMT

    what does this mean, when mr. Intekhab Alam say as argument that shoib has a regular sex life???

  • Asfand Malik on November 18, 2006, 3:54 GMT

    What are the chances of Both Shoaib & Asif not getting cleared by the end of this, but also playing in the World-cup ? Has it ever occurred to anyone here, that all of this might have been pre-planned by the PCB , in the first place .

    Perhaps Mr.Ashraf is quite good at poker, who knows, guess let time be the judge, lets wait n see.

  • SYED......USA on November 18, 2006, 2:18 GMT

    I think one needs to look at this issue in a fair manner with an open mind without getting your thoughts clouded with too much emotions and patriotism. Enough has been said about the doping results,intentional,ignorance,mistakes, too naive etc,I won't comment on all that speculations. The issue now is "How or If" the ban would be lifted or punishment be reduced? I personally feel the attorneys of the players can play a major role if they are smart, well versed and adequately equipped for a legal fight to salvage something out of this ruin. Aside from the facts of the case, I can clearly see some flaws and loopholes in the decision making of the tribunal,including statements which can be effectively and carefully used by the the player's lawyers for their case. To name a few , talk about Asif's ignorance and lack of command of English. The soap opera about Shoaib's personal life. Clear cut violation of confidentiality of a case, Strong signs of possible biased in decision, based upon being influenced by "other" noncricketing factors, which should be contested in any court of law. Favorable points for Asif, first one to offer his sample for testing, never given appropriate info on banned substance"remember" he has been potrayed as a "naive village boy" by PCB tribunal. If the tribunal was independent why did't they go after PCB for their lack of insight and operations regarding these matters, this shoud have been considered in decision making specially about Asif. I feel both have a strong case just based upon the matter the way the trial was conducted.I would advice both players to hire the best and go all out to fight this, irrespective of the outcome.

    Thanks, Syed ......USA.

  • Haroon on November 18, 2006, 2:13 GMT

    My post is within regards to a gentleman named Ali:

    I think we all know that a "crime" has several degrees, the extreme being from highest to lowest. Lets not mix apples with oranges, murder is still murder yes, but there is a first degree, a second degree, and manslaughter. However each is subsidized into different categories of punishment. If that's the case then why do they not serve the same amount of castagation? I am sure we have heard the term "slap on the wrist" for first time offenders, depending upon their incrimination of course. I wouldnt like to get into details, however there is enough evidence to suggest that PCB has laxed upon their responsibilities too. So who should be held accountable for that?. Furthermore, it was very commendable to "analyze" the situation at hand, however it doesn't give any explanation as to why you'd arrive to that conclusion. It holds no more weight than a scientific hypothesis because its only based on suspicion of a matter to exist. It doesn't however provide circumstantial proof that a substance would turn out to be the way its intended to. A reasonable mind would assume that your pondering has met nothing else but the aforemtioned. It is very good to see that someone isn't just jumping on a bandwagon for a ride, but if one chooses a different direction than others then they should at least know what destination they'r heading to. Even if they know their so-called journey, however, a proper method must be resorted in order to satisfy the conditions behind making such a claim. I hope you don't take any offence to my post.

  • Rauf on November 18, 2006, 2:11 GMT

    I couldn't agree more with Micheal Roberts comments. I think one of the solution to this madness is the lawsuit by the nation of Pakistan against PCB. I say nation as the PCB is the employer of the cricketers. Shane Warne should never be cited as good example. How can Intikhab Alam can make stupid comments. His comments reflect his entire background; how sad.

  • A. Khan on November 18, 2006, 0:33 GMT

    The issue here is not about anyone's morality. if Shoaib is perceived as loose as Intikhab Alam suggested, then so have been many cricketers in the past. So are half of our political elite (if not all). Nor are we here to judge the morality of our players. At least not in this investigation. I think what needed to be established was that the players took the drugs with the very intention of enhancing their performances. Obviously this is new in Pakistan sports at least. Which means that the regulations along with the penalties need to be very clearly announced to the sportsmen. A contract written in English, when we do not require our sportsmen to be able to speak Queen's English, is not enough - legally. While Shoaib Akhtar is no prototype of a good Pakistani sportsman, perhaps on the lines of what some may have in mind, (and he may very well be a roll model for many), the investigation at hand is a very legal issue and needs to be dealt with as such. In my opinion, if they took some suppliments as sportsmen around the world do, to expedite recovery from an injury, or to accelerate metabolism, or better absorbe proteins, and that suppliment was not explicitly on the banned list of some internatinal sporting authority, or even on the banned list of Pakistan, then these guys should walk free, without even as much as a warning.

  • Euceph Ahmed on November 17, 2006, 22:39 GMT

    Thanks Anwer Shahbuddin for putting some perspective to what Kamran Abbasi is attempting to do here. But kudos to Mr. Abbasi for knowing his audience well enough to elicit exactly the response he wanted. Demagoguery was never an easy art! Spare a sigh for the foolishness of my countrymen too who can be driven in any direction through their biases.

    Kamran, now you need to talk about the other side of the story and that is the reponsibilities of star cricketers as role models. Do we need more Mohammad Yousufs or Shoaib Akhtars in our cricket team?

  • Sameer Farooqui on November 17, 2006, 21:50 GMT

    Hmm!i think ban is certainly not fair. it has done been to impress ICC & cmon PCB ICC doesnt give it damn about your thinking. PCB is the worst & the weakest board of them all. no player of Pakistan is professional. in past i cant say but at that professionalism wasnt consider that much. every player take things for granted & thats the way it goes. PCB hadnt got control Waqar & Wasim and many others. Two Ws were involved in many controversies through out their careers. Waqar had a revolt against Wasim. this clearly shows that PCB is not strong enough. No player is bigger than the board unless & untill u have personality like Imran Khan. I think Imran is one player who was professional though he had ruined some of the careers as well but in the end he delivered. He was a dictator but our team needs a dictator. Moreover Pervaiz Musharraf is not helping the cause anyway he keeps on appointing his mates as a chairman of the board. Asif definetly doesnt deserved the ban though he is young & inexperienced but hype has been created that he can become one of greats. this ban will demotivate and may be he wont be able to deliver what he is capable of. Shoaib as i dont like him, i dont like his habbits but he is your best bowler & a match winner. if the board had neglected others mistakes as well then why he is getting the punishment. this act of PCB doesnt suit PCB. what specfic steps had taken to reduced or see off the ban over Inzamam. inzamam faced what he didnt deserved. bottom line is our board doesnt support our players and continues to slavery of ICC whereas other boards doesnt.

  • RAZA ULLAH on November 17, 2006, 21:34 GMT

    I am amazed at writers who are mercilessly clobbering the PCB for what they have done to Shoaib and Asif. In my humble opinion, this is the best decision the gutless PCB has taken so far. The fact remains the drug tests were positive. Please don't tell me these two naive and innocent individuals didn't know what they were taking. If you do wrong you MUST face the consequences.

  • Anwer Shahabuddin on November 17, 2006, 20:17 GMT

    Kamran Abbasi's title of the blog "Rush to Judgment" insinuates malevolence on part of the PCB. Furthermore, it is mischievous as it attempts to gnaw at the sentiments of select readers and entices them into saying things that are illogical to say the least e.g. to borrow from the same thread “I totally agree... I thought the ban on Asif and Shoaib Akhtar was an unfair one”. Mr. Abbasi’s critique was about a flawed process hence whether or not the ban was fair or unfair, is out of context. Personally, I profoundly disagree with his view. It may not have been an evolved or a refined process, nonetheless, a process it was. Just because the hearing did not occur in a court of law does not mean that it was a sham either, as is clearly depicted in the writing. Also, how exactly did he conclude that the lack of legal representation was by design-that of the PCB? This is dissertation or histrionics ?

  • Suleman jamil on November 17, 2006, 20:13 GMT

    so much has been written n so much will be witten on this topic, but it comes to me as a great disappointment when i read some people relates shoaib's ex-behavior with this drug usage. For God sake guyz, these are two diferent things. Now, everyone can remember how he caem back to team after the humiliating loss to india in 2004 n to australia 2004-05. He came back with utmost of commitment and desire to do well which would not have less than any other pakistani player. So, do repect the person on what he is n what he does. Y look at a person off his track record? Cant he change it.... Now Hanif Muhammad has said rite after the announcement of his ban that he has a track record of going to nite clubs n doing sum sex stuff in South afrcia... bla bla... For his information, if the decision on his a ban was based on this, there isnt any stupid guy alive in the world than him. Who the hell is hanif muhammad to criticize n humiliate a person publically like this.... wht if he was a great batsman... i guess shoaib must sue him for this reason( atleast). This will help him in keeping other's chatter box shut for a while as well. Now, about the drugs, i believe in fair decisions! he is found guilty, he must be punished but keeping in mind the country's image n player's career as well.

  • Arfan on November 17, 2006, 20:05 GMT

    What on earth is the PCB thinikng,PCB agree's to the fact that Asif was unaware of the substances because he is from a village and because he wasn't in the team when the drug seminars/programes were run by the PCB and therefore, it is clear that Asif did not take those supliments intentionally. He doesn't even deserve the one year and if PCB still think after all that he is guilty, then ban him for the whole year. Yet Mohammed Asif has not been declared innocent,and this will definelty affect the young bowlers of what used to be an excellent bowling figures....so what is the PCB doing which is taking so long to decide something so easy and straight forward.

  • Awais Misri on November 17, 2006, 19:29 GMT

    The PCB has also appointed lawyers? What for? To ban their own assets? LOL that just shows the PCB wants asif and shoaib out, and doesn't want to win the world cup. They are sucking up to the aussies and the english, and the icc in general...make every one else happy but yourself. and dr naeem ashraf is a fool (i'd use much more colorful language, but for the public domain)! he could not run a "dhaba" much less the PCB, he doesn't know what to say, and when to say it and he seems to have a hell bent agneda on purging the team of its best players. i mean we have nazir and gul as replacemnets, adequate they may be, but u won't hear of any batsmen having nightmares about them as langer had of shoaib, or as a lot will do of asif if the pcb lets him resume his career; he is a better, improved version of mcgrath as he has more pace.

    i'd just like to sign off by asking any one who has any contact with the pcb to let them know that most people in the country probably want shoaib and asif back! maybe then...just maybe, our dictator musharaf (the west's poodle) will remove his chum from the pcb, and bring a decent admin. in

  • khurram on November 17, 2006, 19:26 GMT

    this is un fair that pcb ban shoaib and asif

  • khurram shahzad on November 17, 2006, 19:19 GMT

    i think pcb should go ahead and shoud find the replacement of Akthar, but Asif still still has a long way to go. but his ban should be released, for Akthar well its not new for him, he is used to these types of situation now.

  • Omar Ansari on November 17, 2006, 18:38 GMT

    Absolute Bull.... no pcb act has ever pissed me off to this extent before, the new chairman sounds foolish, first during the oval incident he gave a signal of thumbs up from the dressing room to the crowd as if everything was turning out to be fine. Then he asked inzimam to cut down on his excessive public show of islamic faith, that may have been the right thing to do had inzimam been acting like an extremist or something. The new pcb chairman seriously lacks intelligence, and now his "tribunal" squad has turned a blind eye to Asif's ignorance and have banned him for a year, and as far as they are concerned with Akhtar, they just want him out of the squad. Its like they have some personal agendas, Intikhab Alam just made matters worse when he used Shoaib Akhtars drinking "problem" and other intimate problems the main reason behind banning him for a year.

    A team of monkeys would run an organization better, at least they wouldn't say in appropriate things at random..

  • subramanian ganapathy on November 17, 2006, 18:18 GMT

    ur piece is indeed worth pondering over ..as in the glaring anomolies that u ve very rightly pointed out as regards the trial .........all these said,wat do u think two people who have tarnished the image of the game as well as that of a cricket mad nation deserve,sympathy??????especially,wat use is ur talent if u don have the rite attitude.....cricket is not merely about steaming in and bowling thunder bolts or scorching the ground with sixes and fours......its more about realisation and execution of ur on field duties(read:playing well) as well as ur duties off the field...off field duties include being good ambassadors of ur country ...projecting ur country in good light...does shoiab ever know the meaning of being an ambassodor???i guess not(i have no idea abt asif so i refrain from passing comments abt him........)...shoaib aktar has often been as source of embarrasment to both the pakistani cricket team as well as the cricket fraternity in general.....now the fact that he has sunken to a new low doesnt surprise me in the least..........

  • DARR SAAB on November 17, 2006, 18:09 GMT

    i think that they are innocent but shoaib should somehow be taught a lesson for kind of clown he is. he is not a good role model at all.

  • James H on November 17, 2006, 17:32 GMT

    While the circumstances surrounding this case appear, somewhat typically for the PCB, to be getting murkier, I would be distinctly uneasy if a precedent was set by the acquittal of these two players. A situation where the use of performance-enhancing drugs does not lead to punishment affecting performance in the field would be very poor for the game and its reputation, not to mention that of the Pakistani team in particular. Shoaib, also, is an experienced player and unfortunately part of being a complete modern player is to use good advisors and specialists who prevent this type of situation occurring. The PCB may have to shoulder a large portion of the blame in their failure to introduce accepted global standards to their sport, but not to ban the players could be interpreted as an effective green light for further misdemeanors (either by players or their support teams) in future.

  • Ali on November 17, 2006, 17:15 GMT

    What is fear hearing?

    Does it mean extra time?

    Extra time for what?

    Oooh may be extra time to manipulate the situation and find out how they can prove themselves innocent for their wrong doing. Umm make sense.

    There are lots of situations where both the parties know what is wrong and what is right but still both parties can have strong arguments and supporting theories to support their argument even though both the parties know who is on the right side. This is called argument for the sake of argument. Why are we having argument for the sake of argument in the case of Shoaib and Asif.

  • sony on November 17, 2006, 17:10 GMT

    PCB suckz...they shouldn't ban ASIF and SHOAIb...

  • Ali on November 17, 2006, 16:56 GMT

    I just wonder why everyone here has the same opinion as expressed by Kamran in the first message..... With all due respect it seems like we are all "followers".

    I have utmost regards for Kamran and regularly read his articles.

    Let’s analyze the situation:

    ISSUE: Shoaib and Asif are found guilty of taking illegal substance

    It is proven that the drugs were taken - any one who still argues that it is not proved that drugs were taken then he/she is not updated. Now the question is, was it taken mistakenly or intentionally (herbal medicine etc...)?

    Does it really matter if the crime was intentionally or unintentionally? Yes may be but the punishment will still exist even if it was an unintentional crime.

    I personally think it was not unintentional it was actually intentional but forgets about my personal opinion. Lets have a soft corner for them and lets give them the benefit of doubt. So lets assume it was unintentional which means it is still a crime. Now lets further analyze was that unintentional because of carelessness or was it really really unintentionally.

    Earlier we gave benefit of doubt to both of them and said it was unintentional but here Shoaib being literate and mature cannot get the benefit of doubt.

    Therefore, I totally agree with the decision made by the panel to ban Shoaib and Asif for 2 and 1 year respectively.

    Was it a fair decision? Yes

    Was there a way the panel could have suggest less penalty or no penalty? Yes, it was possible. Especially with world cup coming soon but it would have been damaging for the future of Pakistani cricket.

    It is important for the future of Pakistan cricket that we setup a example that is remembered by everyone and no one dare to make same mistake intentionally or so called unintentionally. By no mean they are treated as “Qurbani ka bakra” for setting up an example actually this is what they deserve.

  • Awais on November 17, 2006, 16:53 GMT

    I think both the players are innocent and the only guilty party is PCB itself who is trying with full power to punish the players. It will certainly not hurt Asif as much as Shoaib. Well I think there is a strong lobby within the board working against our "Pace Ace".

  • aysha on November 17, 2006, 16:23 GMT

    i also thnk tht BAN is very HARSH on both the players and i also thnk both are inncent even shoaib too..they both deserve to play WC..they are the agression,pace,strenght for pakistan and fear for the other teams..i just want to ask why WADA was not involvd whn shane warne dopd poitive and suddenly WADA appeard frm nowhere..and there is no on record statemnt of any WADA reprsntative on shoaib and asif's case...anywayz..i think and i hope tht committe shd let out the players..coz its reallly unfair to play dirty politics in prder to end the career of any player.. are there chances of ASIF and SHOAIb playing WORLD CUP?? i seriously hope and wish tht they shd play...

  • Arslan Shaukat on November 17, 2006, 16:19 GMT

    I totally agree with you on the point that both Shoaib and Asif just like any other acused person deserve a fair and transparent trial. But I don't agree that PCB deliberately is trying to bring Asif and specially Shoaib down. They are two of our best bowlers and why in the world would PCB want to go in the world cup with out them. Not appointing defense lawyers for Shoaib and Asif was a mistake but not an intentional one as many in Pakistan seem to be suggesting.

    What I fail to understand though is why in the world did Shoaib and Asif refused for their B samples to be tested. If I were in their shoes and knew that I had not taken any banned drugs then for sure I would have questioned the results of the original sample thinking that maybe there is something wrong with the test/results. Why would I refuse to get my B samples tested? Shoaib and Asif could not have been dumber.

  • Asad Rizwi - Karachi, Pakistan on November 17, 2006, 16:15 GMT

    I would like to share with the participants that what Aquib Javed former Pakistani fast bowler said y,day on one of the Pakistani Tv Channel. He quoted one of his friend, who said, “ When Gen Tauqeer Zia took charge of Pakistan team it was the most undisciplined side, when the well known Diplomat Sheryar Khan took charge of Pakistan cricket team, the diplomacy failed in England and now when Dr Naseem Ashraf become chief of Pakistani cricket team, the players had to face Doping charges ”

    Cheers Asad Rizwi

  • kamran zaffar on November 17, 2006, 15:42 GMT

    In doping case i think both the players are innocent. But it looks like something else in shoaibs case, a conflict between him and board.I will support shoaib here after hearing him and some other great players about the knowledge given to them about dope test, and also greg reduski case.

  • Faisal Rao on November 17, 2006, 15:08 GMT

    Hey if you commit a murder are you gonna cry in front of the world and say oh no one told me murder is wrong. When the whole Shane Warne fiasco happend, Shoaib Akhtar was playing in that match so he should've known that taking illegal substance can lead to a ban. PCB have their doctors and if Shoaib and Asif didn't consult them before taking anything, legal or illegal, PCB can't be blamed for that. I have no sympathy for either of them!

  • Farrukh on November 17, 2006, 14:57 GMT

    I am not sure if both are guilty or both are innocent.However,PCB has nurtured Shoaib's arrogance and insdiscipline for years and years,now at the end of his career,why PCB has dropped him from the list of favourites? Corrupt nations will produce corrupt Gen Mussharafs,Tauqir Zias,Shaharyar Khans,Dr Naseem Ashrafs,Shoaib Akhtars etc.In Pakistan justice anywhere is a surprise everywhere.The current President of Pakistan and all the previous PCB chiefs came through unjust and unfair means.How can they say Shoaib and Asif are unfair?

  • Faraz Ishaq on November 17, 2006, 14:36 GMT

    As been to my understanding there is some thing cooking. I have never seen punishing your own players like this in history. Indian cricket board is fighting for Azhar, Pakistan cricket board shielded wasim and his crew from gambling in past by going against the recommendation of the judge they appointed for the gambling hearing and there are several other cases where board has protected its own players rather sacking them. Secondly Shoaib is the most discussed cricketer in the world. He is has less friends but he resides in the bad books for several. Nobody wants him to excel at all. If you read the statement of Intikhab Alam after the decision, he said that they wanted Shoaib as an example because he ahs active sex life, he drinks and take supplements. This makes it contradictory. This is his own life he can do whatever he wants. I understand he is representing Islamic Republic of Pakistan and he should be a role model but for god sake Imran Khan was awarded as sexiest man alive by GQ-Australia, he was famous as Euro-Playboy but sill was awarded with the highest civil award in Pakistan. Gambling on loosing and performing bad in the sport like cricket is a sin and for me its being a pimp of your own mom but in past so many of Pakistan players have done it, enquiry commissions recommended ban and no representation of nation at any level, how come they are being a national face of Pakistan and no one is stopping them... I have just one last thing, by looking at Shoaib's stubborn nature; I can guarantee you his comeback even after two years. At least I believe in him and full faith in his act. Just keep going, you are still the only heart throbbing bowler of the world.

  • Aftab Qureshi on November 17, 2006, 14:16 GMT

    I have a sneeking suspicion that powerful people in PCB had made up their mind that they had had enough of Shoaib. I also have a hunch that Shoaib did what he did knowing that he would be violating the drug rules. So, I have no qualms about Shoaib being banned for 2 years. I suppose the judges were convinced that Shoaib was not innocent. But I do have enormous sympathy with Asif. I believe he did not know what he was getting into when he used the banned substance. In their rush to judgment to punish Shoaib, the tribunal definitely seems to have ended up being unfair to Asif.

  • pakistani fan on November 17, 2006, 13:55 GMT

    i mean how could you ban your 2 stars... PCB absolutely rubbish decision.. that says it all

  • Kamran Abbasi on November 17, 2006, 13:13 GMT

    Lest we all forget the point of this thread, I thought I should make it clear. The point is not that Shoaib and Asif should escape punishment at all costs. If they did knowingly take steroids they deserve to be punished. The point is that they have not yet received a fair hearing. Everybody deserves the right to a proper defence, whether you are the biggest star in the country or the most lowly beggar in the land. If we cannot ensure justice for the biggest stars, what hope for the beggars? Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done. The players must be judged on their individual circumstances relevant to this charge, not on hearsay about their lifestyles or backgrounds. That judgment must not be an exercise in appeasing the players themselves or the international community. The last time I looked people were considered innocent until proven guilty, and doubt favours the defendant not the prosecutor.

    As Martin Luther King wrote in his letter from Birmingham Jail, Alabama: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

  • md. m hossain on November 17, 2006, 13:03 GMT

    its Shame chapter for pakistan cricket. we, supporter want a fair cricket. hope everybody get here fair jusgement..

  • Arslan Shaukat on November 17, 2006, 12:54 GMT

    This sentiment in the public about Shoaib and Asif being unfairly treated by the PCB makes me sick. This whole fiasco is a microcosm of Pakistani society as general; we instead of facing and working through problems hide them under carpet in order to protect our reputations. The notion of declaring the duo not guilty and allowing them to play in the world cup as both are match winners is absurd. We should think about the long term ramifications of such a decision. What sort of a precedent would we be setting to our youth; that being illiterate is a good enough excuse for them to get away with using banned drugs. Next time a fast bowler is caught, for sure he will offer the same excuse, of being ignorant in this matter. Being ignorant is as bad as taking drugs intentionally. In professional sports, it is the responsibility of player and athletes to ensure that they are not taking drugs because it is their body and career which are on the line.

  • Shaan on November 17, 2006, 12:47 GMT

    We as a nation do without thinking....think without doing....there is no pattern in our actions....which suggests we use less of our brains.....its a sad state of affair

  • Muhammad Ali on November 17, 2006, 12:35 GMT

    I think this is all done to please ICC and get appreciation from the world. Dr. Nasim Ashraf said in an interview that they are getting appreciation from all over the world and he was much contented with that. This concludes that PCB cares only about the world opinion. They have no sympathy for their players

  • Najm Kahloon on November 17, 2006, 12:15 GMT

    I think it is drama created by the pcb, shoaib and asif are totally innocent. Shoaib is a proven match winner, he does not need these drugs. He and asif should be acquitted of all charges. The first hearing was a mockery of a hearing, in which they banned shoaib for his lifestyle, not for his drugs.

  • Najam butt on November 17, 2006, 12:05 GMT

    Well of course the ban was unfairly severe and not warranted. We all know Shoaib lets his ego get the better of him, but what has the fact he drinks alcohol or has an active sex life got to do with him alledgedly taking nandrolone? It is clear that by making a point of the above in their report, the PCB is out to discredit him.

    Yes Shoaib may be a fool, and Asif too. But the PCB have done them both a disservice. Instead of playing to the world gallery, the PCB should have put it's country's interests first.

  • Nadeem Khan on November 17, 2006, 11:50 GMT

    I think i agree with kamran here. Iwould say the actions which PCB has recently taken (e.g hiring a lawerr), comments made by intkhab alam and the type of ban given to player suggest that there was some thing fishy fishy there. PCB is infact making things complicated here. I think what PCB is trying to do is 1. The new chairman want to score some points 2. Showing some credibility to the world

    I hope the new panel takes the matter with justice and decide what is right in the light.

  • subhani on November 17, 2006, 11:48 GMT

    i am totlly disagree with the PCB decisioni dont understand why they band them 2yr and 1yr thats unfair even they wanna give them punishment just ban them 4 or 5 match thats it caz SHOIB is a hero of world cricket and asif is a future of cricket i think thats all politics thats it nothing ellse i want bouth player should play world cup must and i wish them good luck in apeel hearing.bye

  • Faisal Lalani on November 17, 2006, 11:17 GMT

    I am not a legal expert. However in the case of Asif, PCB is perhaps more guilty then him. PCB has an onus to inform, protect and grow these national assets such as him. Expect for the later perhaps, they have failed on all counts. Furthermore testing players is an important requirement, but why wait 2 weeks before the champion trophy for something like this. If PCB is trying to suggest how professional they are, I am sorry to say they have failed on most counts. I would also suggest that the Oval fiasco, Younis Khans’s issue, all suggest that PCB believes they are more important then the team. Perhaps they may need to be reminded that it is the team that drives them.

  • Zed Fazel on November 17, 2006, 11:10 GMT

    There are two very important points to the whole issue: 1 - Taking of perfomance enhancing drugs is an offence and rightly so. As then, it does not make for a level playing field among the participants. 2 - Having said that, when the offence is of a such serious nature as it can ruin players' careers, then the whole trial should have been conducted in an exhaustic manner. The impression I got was it was done in a bit of 'rush' fashion.

    Such speedy decisions help flame rumours that there is more to it than meets the eye.

    This episode once again brings to light the need for PCB to be an elected body and not an Ad-Hoc one.

  • Jay Khan on November 17, 2006, 10:18 GMT

    It is a showbiz world. So is cricket. The world cup next year in the West Indies is a perfect stage. My hunch is : Asif will play. I will be surprised if Shoaib doesn't too. In the stardom crowded by batsmen, bowlers are precious few.

  • Alam on November 17, 2006, 10:08 GMT

    I feel that this whole doping episode is to get rid of Shoib Akhtar. Poor Asif is just caught in the middle. How come the PCB became 'holier than thou' all of a sudden.Naseem Ashraf is trying to win brownie points in the eyes of General Musharraf who has asked him to clean up the PCB act. How come the PCB became so proactive as to conduct dope tests on their own and give such harsh punishment. Pakistan cricket has become a 'soap opera' for the last six months where Cricket itself has taken a backseat. Shoib is no doubt a difficult person to handle but is asset to the team.I am an Indian and I can vouch for this. He gives the Paki team a huge psychological advantage.It is the team management's duty to handle such characters. Imran was able to get the best out of such characters like Sarfaraz and Javed Miandad. Now the best thing PCB can do is to reduce their bans.

  • raheel on November 17, 2006, 10:05 GMT

    Conspiracy definatley, they should ve taken the drugs but for what,because they been pressurised by pcb to be available for england tour for all cost, never gave them full knowledge of such drugs, you all guys know how much shoib akhtar been through, in of all his carier,injuries and bans,but he is the only one without taking any drugs bowled fastest ball in history of all cricket, he is real champ in my eyes,despite his off feild life, he is pure,sincere and most patriotic pakistani than any one of us, did you guys see him bowling to all our opponents, with vigour n venom, with full of his ability n strenth, he give all whatever he had when bowling,he started even shivering after bowling, whoever did give this kind of life to cricket, he spoil his body for it, with all those injuries he always ready to give win to pak, please see what he went through with his operation ,why....only for pak...to be ready again n suffer through same pain to give triumph to pak team....n may be in world cup to, if while coming up with injuries had to take something but while not performing in cricket field, but just coming out of such operation...we should consider giving him some break, he deserves if any one in whole world, if govt can forgive mirza tahir hussain than shoib akhtar need one more chance to..... for pak n cricket sake!

  • Syed Naumanuddin Hassan on November 17, 2006, 10:01 GMT

    The management of PCB seems to be under the false impression of sorting out problems ruthlessly. Politics is inevitable and thus every decision is bound to be biased. Pakistan cannot afford to go in the WC 2007 without its spear attack! The bottom line is that I expect to see Moh'd Asif in action soon, although there are some doubts on Shoaib's come back. In case this happens the PCB will once again prove to be adolescent and dim-witted. What a mockery will that be on the face of PCB!

  • Sabi Kazmi on November 17, 2006, 9:43 GMT

    I'd like to raise another issue, let's say both of them used drugs...but question arises...WHY???why they wanted to use drugs??? i think the blame goes to the PCB itself...when u want to take work out of a bowler like a donkey these things will happen...PCB wants the bowlers to work 24 hours a day, and everytime they should perform at their best and if one match they don't perform well. ok...the sword of suspension is on their heads, hanging like the death angel... i remember when they let shoaib akhtar bowl against English on a BATTING TRACK...and even on that kind of dead wicket his bouncers were not even captured by Kamran AKmal(the W/C)...he was tryihng to put his heart n soul in the match to give Pakistan a name...and he wasn't doing it for himself , he was doing it for the nation for the PCB...and what PCB did? banned for drugs!!! who made him unfit??? PCB.. who mader him suffered all the things??? PCB... who banned him...? PCB... PCB do u have any alternate answers for that??? that's what you do to your heroes???first take the work out like donkeys and once they can't catch up, definitely they'll use some energy boosters, just to give PCB the face... so come on dear PCB, take the ban back,,,or even u can't take it back, u know what to do..these kinds of steroids stay in human body for six months and after that they are gone...just ban them for these six months..coz they did it for nation's favor... see the outcome of the matches without shoaib n asif n afridi...audience weren't there ,,,not as much as before.... just think u dU.M.B.S... well, i think i'm getting too much emotional... that;'s all from the newsroom till khabarnama at nine...Allah Hafiz

  • Ruhel on November 17, 2006, 9:35 GMT

    I totally disagree. I think the post and recent articles by mr Abassi are more reflective of an unwillingness to acknowledge what has taken place on the opart of Pakistan cricket fans. This seriously hurt the repuatation of the cricket team and to have players one looked up to such as Shoaib and Asif being tarnoshed in such a fashion must be hard to take - and so everyone is to blame bar the players themselves.

  • Naser Ranjha on November 17, 2006, 9:05 GMT

    The ban is more about politics in PCB than not so high levels of nandrolone. Many a cases in sporting and performance athletics world support Shoaibs and Asif's claim on evidence of increased nandrolone levels especailly in the strenght training area, where lifting heavy weight accompanied by proteien, amino and creatine supplements (all over the counter supplement) cause the nandrolone levels to rise. In any case PCB's ban was immature the board should have waited and should have had the byproducts generated by the protien supplements analysed as shoaib claims before slapping a ban on. As ever PCB with his past and present chiefs are highly incompetent and improfessional. This drama interestingly follows Shoaib's insistance on re-negotiating the central contract, which obviously brought him at loggerheads with a vengeful board thus the overtly harsh ban. We have got to support our boys no matter what. And inshallah it will be proven that Shaoib and Asif didn't take any banned anabolic steroids.

  • Fred on November 17, 2006, 8:52 GMT

    This is not rocket science is it. Why all the pontifications. Why bring up Shoaib's personal life either as an attack or a fake defense?

    The whole episode is simply down to whether Shoaib and Asif used nandrolone. It would seem that they did and they admit they did. Perhaps not knowingly but that is a red herring. This is not at all like the case of Rusedski, who claimed to have no idea how nandrolone got into his system. In this case Shoaib has all but admitted that it was from the supplement he was taking. He just says that as it wasn't listed as a banned supplement, that he is not to blame. He may very well be not to blame but that is not a defense. It's not about whose fault it was it's about the fact that there is nandrolone in his system.

    Shoaib and Asif have taken nandrolone, they know how it got into their system and they are by definition of WADA, responsible. What is difficult to understand about this?

    Are people here suggesting that athletes can take nandrolone providing that it is in a supplement that has not been banned yet? Or are they complaining about the WADA ruling that athletes are responsible for what is in their body? That in iteself might be a reasonable complaint but you can't come up with it after the fact.

  • Riaz Husain on November 17, 2006, 8:27 GMT

    Why has the PCB spent money (lot's of it I can assure you, as Barristers in England do not come cheap and this one is travelling to Pakistan on PCB paid time)to look after its side of the argument when it has no 'side' to defend?

    I find it scandalous that the PCB can dip into its large coffers to get top international legal advice yet leave its own players to foot the bill for theirs. With no disrespect to Pakistani or other lawyers my guess is that specialist lawyers in this field must be either in the UK or the US, if for no other reason than the simple one that this type of case has already some history in those countries whereas in Pakistan it is new.

    Leaving aside the matter whether the WADA prescribed bans, designed I would guess with Olympic sprinters in mind, for whom a two year first offence ban does not interfere with their preparation for the next Olympics, whereas for a cricketer it represents a high percentage of his sporting career are appropriate or not, the very least the PCB could do is to ensure that if their players are pulled up for wrong doing that wrong doing is established without doubt. Paying the players for top counsel, rather than hiring one for themselves should have been the correct course of action.

  • haseeb on November 17, 2006, 8:17 GMT

    We have a long history of bad inquiries, with Justice Qayuum report being the worst. While the idea is you are innocent unless proven guilty. That commision clearly said to all to prove their innocence, and if not, they are guilty. PATHETIC

    But drugs are different, you are guilty unless you prove your innocence. Who is guilty, Asif who was told about doping only in this summer. Shoaib who refusedf to take advice from PCB doctors and had his own. OR the PCB who had Asif in their A TEAM for over two years and then in the international side for a year, and never even asked him what he is putting in his body. The same PCB who continued to play a player when he would not show the discipline to consult and follow his organization doctors. It is like a MNC not following its team of lawyers.

  • NAEEM RAZA on November 17, 2006, 7:39 GMT

    to be honest, there is somthing else. thats not the real story. few weeks time you will hear the REAL STORY. so wait and see. PCB aint DUMB OR THE players. they know what they doing. Its all bloody political Game or maybe to Get OUR Lovely pakistan Badnaam AGAIN.

  • talal on November 17, 2006, 7:35 GMT

    It is quite obvious that the first decision made by the PCB was indeed rushed. Shoaib made a very pertinent points in regards to the Rusedski case. If it is indeed true that his nandrelone levels are lower than Rusedski's then he has a credible point in regards to his innocence. For god sake the PCB need to realise that they need both Shoaib and Mohammed Asif to win World cup. The PCB needs to stop pandering to the ICC and start thinking of a way to develop a winning mentality and protect pakistan players in the future, instead of making them pariahs!!!!!!!

  • Zain Kazmi on November 17, 2006, 6:55 GMT

    Well the truth is out there at last.. Pcb's credibility over the doping case is revealed. this will left enough doubt on pcb's 1 hearing which they conducted in a way of athelitcs race... now we will have to see how the new committe works and more than that how pcb and the new chairman react to this mocking situation that the board is having now.

  • Hassan Choghtai on November 17, 2006, 6:35 GMT

    From where i look at this situation is that whatever is happening is just a big fuss that should have never been created. Why would PCB just bring the results out one day before their opening game of champions trophy. They couldve handled the matter better rather than disgracing our main strike bowlers infront of the world. Just for a second if we believe shoaib and asif both have taken nandrolone its still not enough in their body to be proved that it was not generated naturally. Pcb just wanted to look good infront of the world and plus what was mr intikhab alam thinking discussing shoaibs personal life. The only reason they banned shoaib akhtar is because PCB dont like him. Theirs alot of politics in our part of the world and our cricket which we dont know but all i have to say is if Pakistan stand any chance of winning the 2007 world cup then they need to lift Shoaibs & Asifs ban. I can guarantee alot of players around the world from other teams take all kind of stuff but their board dont disgrace them infront of the world they solve everything internally and only reason Shane warne was banned because the testing was done for a big event and was checked by ICC. Our board needs to be filled with people who know cricket rather than politicians. And PCB needs to take decision that are good for our cricket rather than making ICC or whoever happy.

  • fakhre alam khan on November 17, 2006, 6:21 GMT

    well well stupitidy over stupitidy. first sohaib and asif use the drugs, then pcb bans them both. in case of shoaib i beleive they need to set an example for the younster and for any other player who will play for Pakistan. though shoaib career was over long before than the drug test ( i am refferring to his form, health and attitude problem), Asif thuough didnot need the behaviour he got,for all those evidences and misunderstanding that he went through he shouldnot have been banned but only for 5 tests at the most. truly said that not the sake of the player but for Pakistan the committee should keep the coming world cup and Asif's nourishing career in mind.

  • Rashid Ansari on November 17, 2006, 6:03 GMT

    Dr. Naseem Ashraf does not know that he is destroying Pakistan cricket team just to please ICC and the world of cricket. The ban on Shoaib and Asif in a rush is an example of stupid thinking, what this rush is all about! What PCB is going to achieve by that! I assure you that Pakistan without these bowlers can not make to world cup 2007 super sixes!! Look at Australia, how much they defend their players and empires. Shane warne is an example. Darel Hair intentionally tried to demaged Pakistan cricket team, but still praised by Australian media!! PCB must open their eyes otherwise, i will consider them only jokers!! Dr.Rashid Ansari

  • Haroon on November 17, 2006, 6:02 GMT

    As usual Shoaib always has issues with drugs. Asif is inoccent in my opinion. He never even knew probally that proteins had some drugs or something. I think pak's chances of winning wcup is over. Umar Gul is actually doing really good! PCB is just a lousy cricket board that accuses pak of everything. first thety firs manager, then they say not to pray in public and now they accuse players of drugs!!! This is just saaad!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Aamir Abbasi on November 17, 2006, 5:50 GMT

    i have heard that there are plaers who were condoned or their punishment waived even with higher levels of nandrolone. Bob woolmer said this some where. can anybody elaborate on that. and what was Greig Rosedski case what was his level of nandrolone and what was the outcome / findings on the basis of which he was condoned.

  • Usman Anwar on November 17, 2006, 4:52 GMT

    First of all, has anyone 'ever' heard of a 'fair' trial being conducted in Pakistan? Never! A bribe here a bribe there and the judge/committe gives his verdict. PCB has the worst management of any sport. They don't care about the players, they are mainly concerned about themselves and their reputations. As it is said above, in American sports managements try their best to keep the penalties on their players to the minimum and just look at PCB, they went for the maximum and it took less than two weeks to give the verdict. The whole case is just a big mess and not one thing is clear about it. The funny/weird part about the verdict is that Asif doesn't know english so he will only get one year ban. What the hell! If he doesn't know english why even give him a ban. They just proved it themselves that he took steroids by mistake so why give him a ban? Everyone has a wild side but that doesn't mean that you can use that against a person and judge him. If you really want to judge Shoaib, than judge him on his performance. Since joining the team once again, he performance has just been on the rise. Even if he misbehaves off the field atleast on field he proves his worth and no one can neglect that. In the end I think both Asif and Shoaib will have their bans lifted or at least reduced so that they can participate in World Cup. If Pakistan hopes to win the world cup, than they really do need these two.

  • Adnan on November 17, 2006, 4:31 GMT

    In the real world, there are people who produce, and then there are parasites. While the producers are passionate about their craft, the parasites' strategy is to create an illusion of importance. Deep down inside they are well aware that their contribution to society does not amount to anything. The only way to display their prowess is to harass the producers and act like looters. PCB (and the entire Pakistani bureaucracy for that matter) is composed of such parasites. The sole purpose of their existence is to stroke their bloated egoes at the cost of the real producers, i.e. the players.

  • Karim S on November 17, 2006, 4:22 GMT

    Hold on ... Kamran. In one of your previous posts you were screaming bloody murder about an unfair trial ... and rightly so. But the last time I checked, the right to a speedy trial was one of the fundamental right of an accused individual (even though I know this isn't a criminal case, it's not much different given the stakes). These players are missing games for Pakistan because of their suspension. Although they're probably not going to get a decision before the end of the West Indies tour, the do have the right to know where they stand as soon as possible.

    So I have to disagree with you this time.

  • aftab on November 17, 2006, 4:10 GMT

    The decision was announced so quick and there was not even another test. Also Shuaib and Asif were just asked for another test. I think ban was just unfair. speically when u are reachin the climax and then all your sturggles are turned into ashes

  • Zuahir on November 17, 2006, 3:48 GMT

    One thing is for sure. PCB will be clearing Asif. LAll the stage is being made to clear Asif and not shoaib. PCB is deinatly acting as a party in this matter. th chairman of th panel is already famous for his unpopular decisions in the court of law. Saying that Asif is not guilty and Shoaib is, does not make much of a sense. Living in a city doesnt mean by any stretch of our imagination that one should know about these suppliments. Specially in shoaib's case, where he had gone through with all those operations and injuries during all the time!! and leave all complexities behind, just imagine why on earth would two high class players do such a thing knowingly rightbefore the test being conducted. they knew that the test is going to b conducted. thy are not fools to spoil theier careers knowingly. but alas!! i dont have much hopes..specially for shoaib!!! and this is going to be a big loss, biger than what we are thinking!!! Pakistan would definately struggle in South africa without him. Winning here in pakistan against west indies doesnt mean that we can win matches easily without shoaib specially in australain and south african conditions. A possible verdict that i see would be a ban rduced to one year for shoaib and a couple of months for asif to make him play in the world cup.

  • Fazal on November 17, 2006, 3:43 GMT

    I absolutely agree. I strongly dislike Shoaib Akhtar, but I couldn't help but feel the new PCB management seemed a bit too eager to show that they could deal with a crisis far more efficiently than their predecessors. They've mucked up yet another situation and the only thing hurt is Pakistan Cricket.

    If penalties are going to be so harsh then players should be made aware of banned drugs every 6 months or so. Workshops should be held more frequently to protect key assets of our countries cricket team. PCB spends millions on useless coaches, ride-alongs on international tours, yet they seem to be stingy where it really counts. I wouldn't be surprised if the education players received two years ago was handing out pamphlets written in english to a people majority of whom can't read them!

  • fazal hameed on November 17, 2006, 3:39 GMT

    This has always been our practices to raise questions about decisions made against our cricketers.Its now time that we as a nation should realise that enough is enough.Players at times are doing things that bring disgrace to the nation.If we want to prevent such mishaps in future we should take a strong action against such cricketers.Kamran abbasi has tried to create doubts about the decision but one thing is very clear and that is these players have taken performance enhancing drugs and that is not allowed in modern day sports.We all know that shoaib akhtar has time and again caused disciplinary problems in the past because of his arrogance.The time has come that pakistan cricket authorities should not be afraid of losing games but the time is to promote players who are morally strong even if they are weak in their game.this is the only way that we can restore our pride as a nation.

  • SAFaheem on November 17, 2006, 3:20 GMT

    I fully agree with Omair Choudhry that PCB is ruining Pakistan cricket. All they want is to lick the feet of the people in ICC. The statement given by Intikhab Alam after the verdict was announced had a biased tone to it. What showb does is irrelevent to this case,Intekhab Alam looks like a man with with very little intelligence.It is only PCB that could make a man like Intekhab a judge in such an important case. When Players in other countries could go scott free even after tested positve for much higher level of banned substances then why this drama with our player that too by our own board. PCB,for god aske ,fight for our players .Playing withb their career and life just does not seem right specially by a dishonest board like PCB.The new chairman of PCB seems and he acts more stupid than others. God help PCB and future of pakistan cricket

  • Salman Elahi on November 17, 2006, 3:19 GMT

    Looking at the posts above, it seems most of the people have either made up the their mind about Shoaib and Asif being guilty as charged, or they have a hitch that even though the case has been dragged this far, these two will eventually walk Scott free. Both positions are delusional. The people who pass the guilty verdict and make bold statements like "these two should be punished to set an example or they have brought a bad name to the sport and the nation etc etc" have such conviction in their stance as if they were physically present in the locker room when Shoaib and Asif were taking turns injecting themselves with steriods in their buttocks. People look at the list of the supplements Shoaib was taking and they get horrified, not considering the fact that these are supplements not steroids, and they dont produce banned substances, so dont oh aah at the list of supplement. PCB should be more rational about this issue and it is funny and ironic because the PCB itself is playing Darell Hair by setting precedent&following a rule of law which did not even exist before this fiasco . Most importantly PCB is being arrogant, ignorant, unforgiving an inflexible: the same attributes it found lacking in DH.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 17, 2006, 3:02 GMT

    SHOAIB Akhter the POSTER doesn't like SHOAIB Akhter the BOWLER....why because he is arrogant, he has an attitude and he faked an injury and blady blah... Come on Mr. IMPOSTER you don't like someone is your personal choice. It has nothing do with cricket. First of all he never faked an injury it was later cnofirmed by the medical board. Secondly, don't talk like Pir Intikhab Alam Rahmat ullah Alayeh. Shoaib's personal life is his business, Shoaib's personality traits are his own all you see is his game. You think he immitates Imran Khan, thats your imagination, thats your perception, he may have said, Imran Khan is my idol, there are so many cricketers in Pakistan who idolize Imran, because he was a hero who won the world cup (alone) he could have said it better.

    When Shoaib is in the team, his presence is not only felt in the team but the opposition also feels it. Against England his slow in-dippers and his yorkers produced results. Against India when he knocked one on Tendulkar's helmet there was a message for both teams and Tendulkar did not score much. He knocked off Brian Lara one on his helmet and Lara went off the field, retired hurt.

    The point is even when he is not taking wickets he is intimidating the best batsmen in the world and they throw their wickets to the other bowlers.

    Condemning a player on personal likes and dislikes is not your job and neither it is selector's. The Pakistan Cricket Team needs him. The Country needs his services and there seems to be something more than what meets the eye.

    The way Intikhab Alam ridiculed Shoaib by publicly commenting on his private life doesn't make Shoaib any bad than what he is known for. But, Intikhab Alam stooping so low was unimaginable. At this age instead of retiring and doing something for the Country he took up the job in India to coach some of their youngester. Now, Sarfaraz Nawaz has nothing better to do in his life, he too is following the foot steps of his Guru Alam.

    What a shame that these two ex-players cannot find any local club team or the young players to share their bowling experiences, instead they have to go across the border for the same of MONEY and both of them never hesitate for a moment to wash their private laundry in public.

    I think, not Shoaib, nor Asif but Intikhab and Sarfaraz should be banned from taking such jobs and they must get a gab on their big mouth before they open it again.

  • Nath on November 17, 2006, 2:48 GMT

    The post by Nadeem Salik reveals a laughable ignorance and unfortunate inferiority complex. While the ICC Chief Executive is a WHITE man (why should his colour make any difference?), the ICC is not controlled by 'whities'. The Asian/Sub Continent bloc is clearly where the power lies in the ICC, one only has to look at the Darryl Hair outcome, or the refusal to grant Australia the next World Cup even though it is their turn, to understand that what the Asian countries want from the ICC, they get.

    Perhaps Nadeem Salik could further explain his comment 'How many australians are caught in doping, match fixing and other immoral activities and who raised an eyebrow about that'

    because I am not aware of any Australians having been caught for match fixing, and only two are known to have taken money from a book maker (which is not match fixing).

    Nor have any Australian Test players been convicted of taking a performance enhancing drug. Shane Warne was guilty of taking a banned substance but it was not a performance enhancing drug (as is the case with Akhtar and Asif). Warne received and served a sentence for that.

    'other immoral activities ' ... nice use of vague and ambiguous terminology in an attempt to smear the Australian cricket team, but really, what are you talking about?!

    So at most we have 3 Australians, who even then don't meet the definitions used by Nadeem Salik, whose conduct may have been questionable. And this somehow means Autralia is comparable to the USA?! Give me a break, what an utterly ridiculous proposition.

    And yes, Nadeem Salik, Shane Warne is a hero to many people around the world. He is the greatest leg spin bowler ever to play the game, and perhaps if you weren't so blinded by your agenda you would realise that.

  • Talha Farhan on November 17, 2006, 2:40 GMT

    First impression, sometimes, is the last. As far as I think, this is a great (or worse whatever you call it) piece of efficiency made by the new Chairman PCB in order to make himself a fit-for-the-job person in the eyes of Mr. President. He went on to the extent to say he wont bear this much religious attitude of the team boys - and this to strengthen his likelihood for the so called moderate enlightenment. (Please dont mind, politics has much to do with all this episode, ranging from Shaharyar's removal, Yonis Khan's short lived captaincy, to the ban on two super stars of the modern cricket). I hope the ban wont be lifted altogether even if both Asif and Shoaib prove themselves to be innocent, for PCB has to take care of its past decisions. But it should be diminished, maybe to one year for Shoaib and to three months or so for Asif.

  • Hameed Afghan on November 17, 2006, 2:40 GMT

    I think PCB is a joke. Seriously, their decisions have always been stupid, unnecessary and costly. I hope one day, it is run by some real professional people not old folks how once upon a time played cricket!

    Salaam

  • Imran on November 17, 2006, 2:40 GMT

    I agree that the PCB is making a mockery of its self, and I think the ban is unfair. I dont see how him Drinking Alcohol, and chasing after women etc... should affect the position. I know he may not be the best person, but that shouldn't affect there disicion. They should look at the facts. And I cant understand why they banned Asif at all, if they didn't educate him on the dangers, and what is and isn't banned, how can they expect him to know? It would really be a shame if these two great ballers were to miss the world cup.

  • Alam on November 17, 2006, 2:39 GMT

    Pakistan cricket has been renowned for its controversies. One more won't hurt and especially when their is such a big price at stake (WC). They can still win it without these two as they have shown, but there chances of winning increase. I have always suspected that there punishment was to make an example. Such as when InTikhab Alam said he made an example of Shoaib because, "he goes to night clubs and has an active sex life...". Come on that has got nothing to do with the case and shows how unfair the case was against Shoib. It was almost as though, they said no matter what the results are we are going to wipe you out of the game.

  • lahar mehta on November 17, 2006, 2:18 GMT

    my question is why make an issue of Shoaib's personal life? Should that influence a ruling? I mean did the Aussies make an issue of Ricky Ponting's atrocious behavior back in the 90s or even Shane Warne? No. The fact is the PCB is making Shoaib a sacrificial lamb to please the ICC (think: World Cup bid 2011) and given that the BCCI is already a pariah of some sorts reflects that South Asian countries should get there act together and act as a unit since they generate the revenues. As Wasim Akram would say the fear of gauras drives the decision of the PCB.

  • Fred on November 17, 2006, 2:05 GMT

    This is a pretty clear cut case. They've both taken Nandrolone, whether knowingly or not is irrelevant, who they are is irrelevant, any excuses are irrelevant. They must take, as WADA says, full responsibility and cop it sweet. Otherwise there is no credibility at all for future cases.

    Warne was banned for a year in the twilight of his career for a non performance enhancing doping offence. If Shoaib and Asif are not banned then a precedent is set for future dopsters. Dope taking athletes ruin sport for everyone, they destroy the whole basis of competative sport. To measure onself or other athletes against each other at a known standard. What is the use of a measure against a fake standard, deliberate or not? One year will not harm Asif at all, and it may very well prolong Shoaib's career by the length of the ban.

  • Adnan Yusuf on November 17, 2006, 2:02 GMT

    I fail to understand how we, as a nation, expect functioning of a system which is being run on adhoc basis for so many years, in the first place. Its just like running your car without the fuel-filter over a long period of time, instead of installing a new filter. We should rather expect our car to stand in the mid of the road now!!!!

    Shoaib and Asif are victims of the abysmal PCB adhoc system. PCB, in turn, is a victim of the adhoc political system in the country.

    Asif's one-year ban against Shoaib's two-year, signifies nothing but whoever is new to the system is less spoilt. The more you are in it, the more the system spoils you.

    Instead of appointing lawyers against their own contracted players, PCB should strenghten its own systems to educate and control its players.

    Cricket Australia turned an otherwise spoilt Shane Warne into a world-class performer, and continued with him even after his doping test failure in 2003. Shane was banned for only one year. And he had been playing for Australia for ten years!!! And we should not doubt the information level of Australian players on matters like doping. Its not PCB!!!!

    Over the last ten years, our system has done nothing but crumbled in case of Shoaib Akhtar.

    Asif and others will have to follow.

  • Saad Shah on November 17, 2006, 1:59 GMT

    Someone tell me...whats cricket got to do if someone drinks or womanizes. If it doesnt, then why was it brought up by Intikhab Alam on record ?

  • Umair Muzaffar on November 17, 2006, 1:49 GMT

    Damned if you do ... damned if you don't. PCB is stuck between a rock and hard place. Whatever decision the PCB takes it is bound to make someone cry foul.

    Fans seem to react on a whim.

    Somehow Shoaib, being a flamboyant extrovert, is a fair game for name calling and huge bans while Asif being a new kid (supposedly innocent) should be given a break. This approach is unfair. The punishment should match the crime --- not the personality.

    The system needs fixing --- if it is proved that either one of them knowingly took banned substances then both of them should be banned for the same amount of time. If there is even a little bit of evidence that they did not scheme to take such substances then they should not be heavily penalized - although a monetary and a ban of several games should be imposed.

    But then, even this approach will have its critics.

  • hasan on November 17, 2006, 1:36 GMT

    Yes ! the ban may have been hasty but ignorance at this professional level where your whole country depends on you and you carry the baton for Pakistan is not acceptable,taking drugs or not however should not be confused with or put in the same Junkett as his licentious sex life,drinking alcohol,etc. based on which one player gets a longer ban,when will Pakistan and it's beauracracy learn to respect other people's choices or was this said and done to please the ever prolific mullahs who as we all know are no angels,the two should be investigated professionally and purely legally and if found to be at fault and breaking the law should be appropritely penalised.

  • Micheal Roberts on November 17, 2006, 1:13 GMT

    For sure, PCB can not provide fair trial to our bowlers, since it is run on adhoc basis. Why the Dr. is running PCB? Million dollar question! Intikhab Alam is making his descion on the basis of Shoaib character is pure nonsense. I hope Shoaib and Asif bring law suit against PCB for this totally unfair trial which has been done under influnce of ICC and PCB politics. This is no way to treat your hero. There is so much could be done to protect your natinal heroes then to disgrace them like this.

  • Ameer Hamza on November 17, 2006, 1:01 GMT

    I think the case is not being handled in a fair manner. The impression that I get is that the accused are being treated as guilty untill proven innocent instead of the other way round. It is also worth mentioning that when Shane Warne (more experienced than Shoaib and living in a much more informed society) was found guilty, he was banned only for a year by Cricket Australia, but our board, in order to look good in the eyes of international media and ICC, is prepared to hang two of our best prospects for the World Cup (typical PCB thinking). And what is the crime of Muhammad Asif. The PCB conducts his doping test without even educating him about the whole issue. In his case atleast, PCB looks to be the guilty party. The issue of doping is not that simple. And without giving any prior education of the issue to the person in question, how can he be expected to not have taken any material that can cause his test to be positive.

  • Mir Anwar on November 17, 2006, 1:00 GMT

    I totally agree with the comments of "shoaib akhtar". Shoaib has attitude problem, being aggressive towards opposition is one thing but going around drinking and dating is another. This makes him a bad influence on the youth. Pakistani team, whether or not they are winning as many matches, after a long time,are united and their is strength in unity. They proved it in the first test against West Indies. As much as people like shoaib, they got to keep in mind that this star like many other will have to fade, it is inevitable. I do feel bad for Muhammad Asif, he looks like a sincere cricketer and frankly, the ban is not at all healthy for his future. I hope they (PCB) realise that and save his prospering career from total destruction.

  • dr.snhyder on November 17, 2006, 0:56 GMT

    With all the sympathy towards Asif i want to point out that as far as law is concerned ignorence is no exceuse and for that the best example is shoplifting.When Asif was emerging on the international scene he was advised to gain weight and muscles to increase his speed to be more effective.And for that poor chap may have used the medicine which in our country is not difficult to get even over the counter.One year is not far ,he should keep working hard and should return with a bang INSHALLAH.

  • Omair Choudhry on November 17, 2006, 0:28 GMT

    In my opinoin PCB is ruining Pakistan cricket for their inability to manage anything let alone an organization with millions of dollars of revenues. Most of the people working for PCB are jealous of the modern day cricketer, especially the star players. The case of Shoaib and Asif is bogus and they want to ruin Pakistan cricket to make ICC(goras) happy. Why should we be pleaseing WADA or ICC and ruin our cricket is beyond me. I say lift the bans and let Asif and Shoaib play. If not for the sake of the players then for the sake of Pakistan cricket!!!

  • Fariha Ali on November 16, 2006, 23:49 GMT

    I believe that once again PCB has made a mockery of it self and they have showed that we wont leave any stone unturned in defaming Pakistan and our heroes. I am not even going to argue whether Shoaib and Asif are guilty are not, this is something that is still unclear even after the bans. My complaint with PCb is the way this matter was handled. PCB disgraced the two bowlers before hearing their side of the story and even before they were given a chance to speak. On top of it they were told not to talk to media..Why shouldnt they talk to media? If Saddam Hussain is allowed to give statements then why isnt Shoaib Akhtar allowed or why isnt Mohammad Asif allowed? The biggest letdown in this whole case was the repeated statement by Mr. Naseem Ashraf that the tribunal is an independant body. Mind you it is not, neither is it independant and it is not neutral on any cost. Mr. Intikhab Alam proved the credibility of the tribunal when he used Shoaibs character to defend their decision, it is another case that he made a complete fool out of himself. What ever Shoaib does in his bedroom or what he wear or what he drinks or who is he friends with shouldnt be our concern because on the field he is one one the greatest heroes of Pakistan Cricket. As a pakistani, i didnt understand this concept of having a tribunal to decide the fate of a player. The panel memebers themselves might not even know about doping and Mr.Intikhab Alam has proved that by his statements. He had to base his verdict on Shoaibs lifestyle more than the levels of nandralone found in his body which is a sad case. We dont even know what happened behind those closed doors and what led to this decision. I sincerely hope that the new tribunal will be a little more credible and responsible in their decision making.

  • Shawkat Shareef on November 16, 2006, 23:49 GMT

    PCB, as has been observed for the last few years by experts in particular and cricket fans in general, is a big joke. Do they realize that? They better do because they simply can't destroy not only the lives and livelihood of good cricketers but the great cricket tradition of Pakistan. Shoib Akhtar is not egotistical, the PCB peopel are: playing by the rules of patriarchal terrorism. So many of the greatest ever in cricket come from Pakistan that PCB should at least realize when they display this kind of arrogant and superficial judgements, they are only undermining the greatness of all those people. PCB should remember: children learn bad things from badly behaving parents. PCB, being parent here, please stand up firm and be a model of disciplined actions for your children (the cricketers).

  • Kamran Khan (kami49) on November 16, 2006, 23:23 GMT

    Pretty much true about PCB. PCB just want ICC( all these goraaz) to be happy. And have you seen the reaction of Intikhab Alam with shoiab, this is insane. First off Intikhab Alam should learn how to treat our players. We should protect our team and our player like all other contries do. and in the case of Asif they clearly said that he wasnt even in a single lecture of doping then how come you banned him for 1 whole year, PCB shame on you and intikhab alam shame on you twice.

  • Saleque Sufi on November 16, 2006, 23:22 GMT

    Which team other than Pakistan conducted drug test on its cricketers recently? We believe none.Why the Pakistahan cricket authority choose such a time to conduct and why they had choosen only a few days before the start of the Champions trophy to satrt taking actions? Even the judgement on the basis of inquiry committee was hurried through.All these may logically raise doubts that something is very wrong in Pakistan cricket. The medicines thaose Asif and Shoaib used for alleged energy enhancemet if included under banned items and the players were made aware of it then they deserve punishment. There is no argument over that. But the way the matter has been handled has ebvery reason to believe that there may be some foul play somewhere.Shoaib and Asif are wicket taking match winners. Pakistan in big time cricket can not match Austalia or South Africa without them at the moment. If justice is not done to them the issue must be revisited immediately.

  • Naeem Ayub on November 16, 2006, 23:12 GMT

    It is more than likely that both Shoaib & Asif will have their ban lifted. There is enough precedent and mitigating circumstances to justify this. The PCB's attempt to satisfy two task masters (the world at large and the National interest)is bound to be difficult. It is perhaps more acceptable that the PCB has actually hired a foreign lawyer so the final decision (if in favour of Shoaib & Asif)can have greater credibility. I for one, hope that they both get off - Players from other countries have indulged in match fixing, ball tampering etc and are still playing while Pakistan imposed lenghty (life-long) bans!

  • taz on November 16, 2006, 22:40 GMT

    I think it's a conspiracy theory against Shoaib and Asif, they are the two top bowlers and to 'teach them a lesson' of not getting too big for their boots this whole thing has been fabricated.

    what further made me more suspicious was Intikhab Alam's comments on Shoaib. "He Drinks Alcohol, He chases after women etc " says it all that they passed judgement on him before the trial has started.

  • Pakistani on November 16, 2006, 22:29 GMT

    Hello people, i think Pakistan cricket is boring they are winning less matches and loosing more respect and bringing their country to shame they cant bare.....so i think i best start following Australia ..atleast we know they are going to win...yooo pplz..laterzx

  • Haroon on November 16, 2006, 21:56 GMT

    It is true that this hapless fact has taken place, the term is not to be misunderstood with the doping allegations, rather it is intended to point at the treacherous behaviour of the PCB representatives, especially towards Shoaib Akhtar. I think it was truely an unacceptable act to disclose Shoaib's private affairs. One wonders what in the world does consuming alcohol or being sexually active has any relation with the accusation at hand. Not only did this defame a human being, however it has put Pakistan's reputation at stake too. How many cricketers have been involved in such acts in the past, however none of them were banned from the game. I am not corroborrating the concept that it is a justified comportment, but a pondering mind, lost in the depth of curiosity, is inclined to seek the purpose behind the words of Intikhab Alam. What was he trying to prove or what message did he want the general population to perceive. The current blame has opened doors to many questions. "Should Shoaib be allowed to play just because he has a stained character?". In case the ban is lifted then there will be an international inquisition: "Why were they exonerated if they possessed illegal substances in their bodies". What about the "invisible" cheaters label that will be stamped on their forheads. Also, has anyone thought of the psychologial trauma that these two men will experience in reaction to the taunts of a global crowd? How much would this benefit Pakistan's image?. Thanks to such an "intrepid" and hasty act by the PCB that our express bowlers will always be frowned upon after this because everyone, in the back of their mind, will have the suspicion of "its probably the performance enhancement drugs, its not natural". To conclude my thoughts: Thank you very much PCB, we'd never be able to do anything without your presence. No one has ever, with such prosperity, has crossed such a brilliant milestone. I am truely grateful along with other Pakistani's for the way you have illuminated our country's prestige. I hope one of them are reading this and are smart enough to figure out the sarcasm behind the so-called appreciation.

  • Al on November 16, 2006, 21:42 GMT

    Rushing or no rushing, the players themselves have not shown sincere aggression to prove their innocence. There will be many legal nuances that these players and their lawyers will bring in to twist the case, we know this is not all the surprising. With millions and millions of monies at stake, players will switch to other side. Legal judgement may or may not prove, but we know what happened!!! If they are backed by strong political or money power, they will get away with it. Else, they will get "punished". Rest are nothing but details.

  • Raza on November 16, 2006, 21:40 GMT

    This desicion conducted by PCB is just foolish. Especially for Asif. He is a person who comes from a village with no education of drugs, and he has said it also that he would never do this kind of of cheat ever and i believe him for that he is a inncent person who is trapped. As far as it goes this new PCB member who is a Dr. it is just plane stupidty for hiring a doctor to the job. Asif is a innocent case, where as Shoiab you can never tell becuase he has too much attitude every other day he is sick, i accept he is a fast bowler but there also Bret Lee who bowls fast he does not get sick instead maintains his health and for drug usage to be serious i dont trust shoiab, But Asif is a innocent victim. May Allah help Asif out.

  • Imran Zia on November 16, 2006, 21:38 GMT

    PCB has successfully done what the ICC, the Australians, Daryll Hair, dozens of injuries and disabilities have not been able to do for the last six years. They have deprived of cricket of the rarest spectacle to take a cricket field for just a few nanograms of nandroline. There have been only a few who have been able to bowl at such speeds throughout there careers. He is bad and mad but he has produced deliveries that are even hard to dream of. A person might need a certain amount of madness to bowl at 160kmh!

    I fail to understand the purpose of holding internal tests if the punishment is to be the same. By having these tests niether has the PCB been able to save the players career nor they have saved Pakistan from humiliation. The players were tested when they were in Pakistan and they did not take part in any event under the influence of drugs. It is understandable that an athelete competes and is found to be guilty then there is a case of punishment. Well we hope for the best to both of them in there appeals.

  • Adil Sheikh on November 16, 2006, 21:37 GMT

    Durind the last couple of months the PCB's mismanagemant has been at its pinnacle. From the Oval forfeiture to the doping tribunal everything has been handled, at best, poorly. There is no need for the appeal tribunal to be shouting out that they want an early end to thid hearing, it not doing a great deal for the PCB's already ruined image. If asif is from a village and isn't well acquited with English then Shoaib isn't Einstein either. He might have a 'superstar' image, with rare for, Pakistanis, a good accent; but he is no intellectual. This ban seeems to be a great way of getting rid of Shoaib, and frankly, uptil now the plan's working well!

  • Nadeem Salik on November 16, 2006, 21:34 GMT

    For a long time PCB is run by people of no stature, who have either played no cricket or played a little. They're out to make a name for themselves at the cost of country. What qualifications Dr. Nasim or Salim Altaf has? They are simply idiots who have inferiority complex from WHITE people running ICC and trying everything to look good to them. Who the hell is Malcolm Speed to lecture everybody on what to do or what not to do. How many australians are caught in doping, match fixing and other immoral activities and who raised an eyebrow about that? Shane warne is still a hero? ha ha ha. Australian are doing to world cricket what USA is doing to world at large.

  • Salman N Malik on November 16, 2006, 21:07 GMT

    Mr Euceph Ahmed makes a good point. The point is, doping is wrong and needs to be punished. What the punishment constitutes is not universally, locally, or internationally agreed upon. PCB are absolutely right - players needed to be punished. And there appears to be no remorse, regret or public appeal by Shoaib or Asif or their respective agents. No talk of "I'm sorry - fans, it was stpid it won't happen again" It's appropriate to implore for his career, but he does need to self reflect. People who talk about Shoaib and Asif being forgiven or take a lenient view forget that for these folks, cricket is a professional sport. If they plead ignorance, it is only fair to consider it their own fault of not finding out about the rules. After all, even in one's nonprofessional life, one does not go about taking "unknown substances" to heal up - doing so blindly borders on stupidity. Mr Abbasi, you are a physician surely you can understand this basic concept. Talking about the machinations of PCB and fairness of hearings is a point of discussion, beyond all of the above has transpired. For once, why not look at something and take it for what it is worth - a plausible action on the part of the PCB - excessive may be, but correct nonetheless. Being an ardent Pakistani fan, it is very hard for me to see Pakistan fielding without Shaoib and Asif bowling - they're just too good to lose!

  • khalid mahmood from U.S.A on November 16, 2006, 21:06 GMT

    until and unless pcb is being run by incompetent people pakistan cricket would alway remain in termoil.this doping saga is nothing but trying to pleased the big bosses in the ICC .in my humble opinion pcb should be accountable for tarnshing the image of the country through mohammed asif and shoaib akhtar,this whole tribinual thing is nothing but a complete waste of money and time ,WADA care less but there are certain elements in PCB who want to detroy careers on the basis of their personal greivances and agos.

  • Jamil on November 16, 2006, 21:06 GMT

    I always suspected something fishy in this case. I think PCB is trying to improve its image after match forfeiture and getting rid of Hair - just to prove they are 'men of prinicples and morals'. I seriously believe that PCB needs to get out of self-guilt complex. Mr Ashraf doesn't have to prove anything to the rest of the world. However, I have a suspicion of at least Asif being declared innocent (or perhaps Shoaib too). But Mr Ashraf (may be under auspicies of PCB Patron) is more concerned about image than the job. It is reflected by the undue advertisement of drug scandal and failure to bring in new fast bowlers (most of our bowlers are seamers and their success stories are due to english pitches - may be debatable). Having cavalary of lawyers, announcement of appeal board before the case was heard the first time and quiet Mr Ashraf is indicative of good news for the two bowlers. Let's not forget the anti-inzamam movement already being fanned by Mr Ashraf which will be major opposition in this case.

  • usman on November 16, 2006, 20:57 GMT

    Some very good posts up in here..PCB is not being run properly bcuz there is no ONE at the proper position..lol y is a doctor running the PCB who ever appointed him didnt he know how useless shahryar and saleem altaf or what ever there names are..did people already forget wat they did at the oval didnt even knoe the rules if you quit a game ur gonna loose ne how let me cut the story short PCB is ran by people who donot have great or ne knowledge about Cricket..as long as these people are in the association stop following pakistan cricket.

  • Tunaari on November 16, 2006, 20:46 GMT

    If PCB can spend millions in getting Coaches and trainers, I think they should also invest in freshmen orientation for all new comers to the the Team. There should be screened Pre signing the central contract they get. As for Shoaib, I think he will walk away with a 1 year ban. Asif might only see probation or a 3-4 months ban. Right now PCB is playing their luck using lawyers to come out with a appropiate (to PCB) ban on these players. I dont think they care much for WADA, as these players were not caught by WADA.

  • Shamriaz khan on November 16, 2006, 20:37 GMT

    WEll to b hoNest i juS beleive that this all has to do a lot with politics surrounding PCB and Govt. Among few reason i beleive a major one was that Dr. Naseem wanted a Name for himself at iternational level so what better then to do such act. itS jus rubbish the fact that PCB wanted both of them to get fit before ENgland tour and the Dr. didn bothered about Medication they jus got them fit no matter at what cost.And dats where the truth is! eVen one govt. official forbade shoaib from quoting few things! what is dis all about?????

  • u khan on November 16, 2006, 19:55 GMT

    Fraz's last sentence says it all.

  • Faraz on November 16, 2006, 19:40 GMT

    I can't even makeout what PCB are playing at.What are their priorties, to protect their own players or appear as one smart, honest and fair orgnaisation..In my opnion they unfortunatly suck at both tasks.I clearly recall Saleem Altaf or some other PCB official quoting just after Shoaib and Asif were called back that the dope tests were conducted internally in order to avoid any embarsing situtaions.He also said had these Tests been done by ICC, Shoaib n Asif's career would have been ruined.Are we to belive that the punishment handed out by PCB was a HUGE ACT of COMPASSION as compared to what ICC would have done to both of these players.What was the point of wasting money and taking the trouble to get them tested before ICC did.Why dint they just let ICC test them, ban them then atleast we would not be questioning the credibilty of the trial.Alas they have successfully proved yet again that they are the biggest bunch of confused unprofessional idiots.

  • Euceph Ahmed on November 16, 2006, 18:50 GMT

    LOL... Said Chaudhry, you're right, why not do it in public now that the dirty laundry has been hung out to dry. But, I don't agree with you and Osman Ali Khairi above that Shoaib & Asif will walk away free. You forget that the ICC and WADA has the PCB by its (cricket) balls. It's not going to be that easy.

    Shahzad Khurshid, you make a point and negate it in the same sentence. PCB is way too small than the NBA, NHL, NFL, etc. to play with WADA. The penalties you describe are domestic (USA) only anyway. WADA has much bigger influence when players from these leagues represent America internationally. Flouting the law is not a remedy and nothing to be proud of anyway.

    Kamran, for neutrality you'd have to go to a proper court of law. We seem to forget that these are internal PCB hearings.

  • Atif on November 16, 2006, 18:43 GMT

    I totally agree with Kamran on his new topic. and also to disagree with some people in Pakistan who think the bans on shoaib especially are justified mostly for his behaviour (mostly 99% off the field) which is quite irrelevant especially when a player has realised his mistakes over the years and has been trying his best to rectify them and to play his good game neatly. The results of the first hearing had been to be more true " a rush of blood and a rush to take revenge on the personal lifestyle of a player rather than really finding the truth and give the pkayer the justice he deserves strictly concerning only on his ON FIELD performance". By the unprofessional commments stated by one the first antidoping tribunal committee member Mr.Intikhab Alam and the news of meetings held by some Pakistan senate politicians with the Anti doping commitee head Barrister Shahid Hamid to pressurise him to punish the players even before the doping case got underway, proves everything that the way and manner the first tribunal acted in to judge and ban the players was simply unjustified and a pre-planned decision/judgement to just ruin the career of the two players especially of Shoaib was made in a rush and get the false credit for holding a fair trial from most of the politicians in pakistan, the PCB and the outside world. This goes to show the lack of fairness in the trials being held to make or break the careers of these two great players. Sports Institutions all around the world try there utmost best to protect there own players as much as possible and in many cases getting the bans or punishments less severe or getting them off in case of a doubt but only in Pakistan will u find such corruption and personal revenge, hatred to ruin there own players' career in anyway they wish to do just to be good in the eyes of the outside world.

  • Dr.Ahsan on November 16, 2006, 16:37 GMT

    I believe that the least punishment they both would get is some form of minute reduction in their ban.My belief is that Asif's and Shoaib's ban would be reduced by four months.For Asif it would be great relief,though he would be rueing his world cup chance, but for Shoaib the tragedy will still end his career but on a softer note. What will happen is yet to be seen but I guess Shoaib should start his new career in Bollywood movies.After all he is a "Star"who cares if it's a dislocated one.

  • Sohaib Akhtar on November 16, 2006, 16:31 GMT

    Even if Shoaib is not guilty PCB should ban him for being such a egotistical prat. He is by far the most arrogant, small minded person to have ever represented Pakistan. When it came to crucial moments in test cricket against India and Australia he faked injury. Pakistan team can do without his services. He is a bad example for the younger players. Shoaib tries to emulate Imran. The difference is that Imran was an educated intellectual person. Imran dated high society women whereas Shoaib is seen in the night clubs in the West with trash!

    Asif's case is different, he was probably led astray by Shoaib. Shoaib should be taught a lesson, the same way Qasim Omar was through isolation.

  • Shahzad Khurshid on November 16, 2006, 16:24 GMT

    the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB are bigger organizations than the PCB and ICC combined. And they play with WADA like WADA is some sort of barbie doll. All of these organizations have said that we want to protect our players because they are assets. Taking nandrolone in the NBA and testing positive is a punishment of 10 games that lasts about two weeks. And the PCB is banning its own stars for 3 years combined??? that is insane...why doesn't the country force PCB officials to stand on trial on basis of corruption and incompetence???

  • Shahzad Khurshid on November 16, 2006, 16:22 GMT

    Kamran, you are absolutely right once again!! I have no doubt that the PCB messed up in the first hearing. In fact, I feel the PCB is as incompetent as it always was! I always hear Dr. Naseem Ashraf saying that the hearing will be neautral and PCB will have no hand in the trials. Then it ponders me why would they hire an English lawyer???? That is just ridiculous. About Akhtar and Asif declining B samples, how can you say that for sure? there was no accountability in the trials, we don't know what went on, the players weren't allowed to talk to the media..we don't know if they were forced to not take B samples...because it is logic, if they didn't wanna take B samples portraying the fact that they took the drugs, then why would they appeal??? they should have declined the appeal as well. Till today, both are saying they took it involuntarily. And who gave PCB the rights to make such decisions? has anyone punished them on their incompetence and poor management skills for the last 30 years? PCB should be banned for life for giving everybody a laugh when it comes to management.

  • Kashif Malik on November 16, 2006, 16:19 GMT

    I concur with Mr Abassi's view in that the original hearing is devoid of any credibility. It seems that punishment in doping cases is now determined on the accused's place of birth or residence.

    We may now see a huge exodus of cricketers move from the city to the remote villages.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on November 16, 2006, 16:05 GMT

    It should be a privilege and an honor to represent Pakistan on the international stage. And from the looks of things, I don't think the current players take pride in playing for the country (with the exception of a few, ofcourse!). As a natural ramification, if someone indulges in ball tampering, match fixing or the usage of perfomance enhancing drugs, it not only erodes the credibility of the team, it also has a deleterious effect on the image of Pakistan. Such actions thus, need to be liable to punishment of the highest degree. That is essentially the reason, why I don't think the bans on Shoaib and Asif are lenient by any means. No one is bigger than the country or the game itself. As much as I want these two matchwinners to play for us in the World Cup, we have no choice but to punish them and hence, set a precedent for the other players knocking on the doors of Pakistan cricket. I sure do hope, after all the praise showered on the PCB by the international media, that they don't revoke and take back their bans on the guilty party. That would just give support to the growing perception in our country; 'the influential and the resourceful are always above the law and always get their way'. A removal of the ban might be beneficial from a 'cricketing' point of view, but if u look at this issue from a holistic perspective, it would be a major catastrophe for the country's reputation. I hope good sense prevails and the PCB remains obstinate and maintains its current stance on the punishments meted out to the disgraced players.

  • Said Chaudhry on November 16, 2006, 15:32 GMT

    Hah! Well, you just can't live without an eerie feeling of uncertainty if youre a Pakistan-Cricket Fan. I, for one, am not surprised that this story has taken a new twist. With all the talk of top legal attorneys being brought in, makes me wonder if this case is best carried out on Mall Road where the Lahore High Court lies. Perhaps the public and fans should have a say in it as well. Somehow I get the feeling that after all is said and done, Shoaib & Asif will walk away free. You can speculate Shoaib's return, but I wont be surprised if Asif is back and playing for Pakistan before the WorldCup.

    As far as PCB's continuous push to end this case goes, I'd like to think that they do not want this whole fiasco to back fire on them in any way. Such is the way of life in the third world, you can never be sure of whats going to happen next.

  • Qasim on November 16, 2006, 15:31 GMT

    I totally agree... I thought the ban on Asif and Shoaib Akhtar was an unfair one.

    In Shoaibs case, he did apear to have messed his case up himselve and the ban was right although i have heard of cases in football and tennis where players were tested positive altough were not guilty.

    PCB is making a complete mockery out of themselves while trying to look good in the World's eyes.

    A player is either guilty or not, why's Asif in between? PCB agree's to the fact that Asif was unaware of the substances because he is from a village and because he wasn't in the team when the drug seminars/programes were run by the PCB and therefore, it is clear that Asif did not take those supliments intentionally. He doesn't even deserve the one year and if PCB still think after all that he is guilty, then ban him for the whole year.

    Whatever the truth is......... from where I am standing, I see PCB's foolishness is destroying the careers of the two most promising players Pakistan has got at the moment.

    Hate Shoaib all you want but you all know for a fact that he, on his day was a bowler unplayable. Even Wasim Akram and Imran Khan believed that and if they think that, then who are we to disagree!

    And lets not forget, that one year of ban in Asif's career could be the diference between good and great............. we may at the end of his career say "these figures are good, they could have been great".

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  • Qasim on November 16, 2006, 15:31 GMT

    I totally agree... I thought the ban on Asif and Shoaib Akhtar was an unfair one.

    In Shoaibs case, he did apear to have messed his case up himselve and the ban was right although i have heard of cases in football and tennis where players were tested positive altough were not guilty.

    PCB is making a complete mockery out of themselves while trying to look good in the World's eyes.

    A player is either guilty or not, why's Asif in between? PCB agree's to the fact that Asif was unaware of the substances because he is from a village and because he wasn't in the team when the drug seminars/programes were run by the PCB and therefore, it is clear that Asif did not take those supliments intentionally. He doesn't even deserve the one year and if PCB still think after all that he is guilty, then ban him for the whole year.

    Whatever the truth is......... from where I am standing, I see PCB's foolishness is destroying the careers of the two most promising players Pakistan has got at the moment.

    Hate Shoaib all you want but you all know for a fact that he, on his day was a bowler unplayable. Even Wasim Akram and Imran Khan believed that and if they think that, then who are we to disagree!

    And lets not forget, that one year of ban in Asif's career could be the diference between good and great............. we may at the end of his career say "these figures are good, they could have been great".

  • Said Chaudhry on November 16, 2006, 15:32 GMT

    Hah! Well, you just can't live without an eerie feeling of uncertainty if youre a Pakistan-Cricket Fan. I, for one, am not surprised that this story has taken a new twist. With all the talk of top legal attorneys being brought in, makes me wonder if this case is best carried out on Mall Road where the Lahore High Court lies. Perhaps the public and fans should have a say in it as well. Somehow I get the feeling that after all is said and done, Shoaib & Asif will walk away free. You can speculate Shoaib's return, but I wont be surprised if Asif is back and playing for Pakistan before the WorldCup.

    As far as PCB's continuous push to end this case goes, I'd like to think that they do not want this whole fiasco to back fire on them in any way. Such is the way of life in the third world, you can never be sure of whats going to happen next.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on November 16, 2006, 16:05 GMT

    It should be a privilege and an honor to represent Pakistan on the international stage. And from the looks of things, I don't think the current players take pride in playing for the country (with the exception of a few, ofcourse!). As a natural ramification, if someone indulges in ball tampering, match fixing or the usage of perfomance enhancing drugs, it not only erodes the credibility of the team, it also has a deleterious effect on the image of Pakistan. Such actions thus, need to be liable to punishment of the highest degree. That is essentially the reason, why I don't think the bans on Shoaib and Asif are lenient by any means. No one is bigger than the country or the game itself. As much as I want these two matchwinners to play for us in the World Cup, we have no choice but to punish them and hence, set a precedent for the other players knocking on the doors of Pakistan cricket. I sure do hope, after all the praise showered on the PCB by the international media, that they don't revoke and take back their bans on the guilty party. That would just give support to the growing perception in our country; 'the influential and the resourceful are always above the law and always get their way'. A removal of the ban might be beneficial from a 'cricketing' point of view, but if u look at this issue from a holistic perspective, it would be a major catastrophe for the country's reputation. I hope good sense prevails and the PCB remains obstinate and maintains its current stance on the punishments meted out to the disgraced players.

  • Kashif Malik on November 16, 2006, 16:19 GMT

    I concur with Mr Abassi's view in that the original hearing is devoid of any credibility. It seems that punishment in doping cases is now determined on the accused's place of birth or residence.

    We may now see a huge exodus of cricketers move from the city to the remote villages.

  • Shahzad Khurshid on November 16, 2006, 16:22 GMT

    Kamran, you are absolutely right once again!! I have no doubt that the PCB messed up in the first hearing. In fact, I feel the PCB is as incompetent as it always was! I always hear Dr. Naseem Ashraf saying that the hearing will be neautral and PCB will have no hand in the trials. Then it ponders me why would they hire an English lawyer???? That is just ridiculous. About Akhtar and Asif declining B samples, how can you say that for sure? there was no accountability in the trials, we don't know what went on, the players weren't allowed to talk to the media..we don't know if they were forced to not take B samples...because it is logic, if they didn't wanna take B samples portraying the fact that they took the drugs, then why would they appeal??? they should have declined the appeal as well. Till today, both are saying they took it involuntarily. And who gave PCB the rights to make such decisions? has anyone punished them on their incompetence and poor management skills for the last 30 years? PCB should be banned for life for giving everybody a laugh when it comes to management.

  • Shahzad Khurshid on November 16, 2006, 16:24 GMT

    the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB are bigger organizations than the PCB and ICC combined. And they play with WADA like WADA is some sort of barbie doll. All of these organizations have said that we want to protect our players because they are assets. Taking nandrolone in the NBA and testing positive is a punishment of 10 games that lasts about two weeks. And the PCB is banning its own stars for 3 years combined??? that is insane...why doesn't the country force PCB officials to stand on trial on basis of corruption and incompetence???

  • Sohaib Akhtar on November 16, 2006, 16:31 GMT

    Even if Shoaib is not guilty PCB should ban him for being such a egotistical prat. He is by far the most arrogant, small minded person to have ever represented Pakistan. When it came to crucial moments in test cricket against India and Australia he faked injury. Pakistan team can do without his services. He is a bad example for the younger players. Shoaib tries to emulate Imran. The difference is that Imran was an educated intellectual person. Imran dated high society women whereas Shoaib is seen in the night clubs in the West with trash!

    Asif's case is different, he was probably led astray by Shoaib. Shoaib should be taught a lesson, the same way Qasim Omar was through isolation.

  • Dr.Ahsan on November 16, 2006, 16:37 GMT

    I believe that the least punishment they both would get is some form of minute reduction in their ban.My belief is that Asif's and Shoaib's ban would be reduced by four months.For Asif it would be great relief,though he would be rueing his world cup chance, but for Shoaib the tragedy will still end his career but on a softer note. What will happen is yet to be seen but I guess Shoaib should start his new career in Bollywood movies.After all he is a "Star"who cares if it's a dislocated one.

  • Atif on November 16, 2006, 18:43 GMT

    I totally agree with Kamran on his new topic. and also to disagree with some people in Pakistan who think the bans on shoaib especially are justified mostly for his behaviour (mostly 99% off the field) which is quite irrelevant especially when a player has realised his mistakes over the years and has been trying his best to rectify them and to play his good game neatly. The results of the first hearing had been to be more true " a rush of blood and a rush to take revenge on the personal lifestyle of a player rather than really finding the truth and give the pkayer the justice he deserves strictly concerning only on his ON FIELD performance". By the unprofessional commments stated by one the first antidoping tribunal committee member Mr.Intikhab Alam and the news of meetings held by some Pakistan senate politicians with the Anti doping commitee head Barrister Shahid Hamid to pressurise him to punish the players even before the doping case got underway, proves everything that the way and manner the first tribunal acted in to judge and ban the players was simply unjustified and a pre-planned decision/judgement to just ruin the career of the two players especially of Shoaib was made in a rush and get the false credit for holding a fair trial from most of the politicians in pakistan, the PCB and the outside world. This goes to show the lack of fairness in the trials being held to make or break the careers of these two great players. Sports Institutions all around the world try there utmost best to protect there own players as much as possible and in many cases getting the bans or punishments less severe or getting them off in case of a doubt but only in Pakistan will u find such corruption and personal revenge, hatred to ruin there own players' career in anyway they wish to do just to be good in the eyes of the outside world.

  • Euceph Ahmed on November 16, 2006, 18:50 GMT

    LOL... Said Chaudhry, you're right, why not do it in public now that the dirty laundry has been hung out to dry. But, I don't agree with you and Osman Ali Khairi above that Shoaib & Asif will walk away free. You forget that the ICC and WADA has the PCB by its (cricket) balls. It's not going to be that easy.

    Shahzad Khurshid, you make a point and negate it in the same sentence. PCB is way too small than the NBA, NHL, NFL, etc. to play with WADA. The penalties you describe are domestic (USA) only anyway. WADA has much bigger influence when players from these leagues represent America internationally. Flouting the law is not a remedy and nothing to be proud of anyway.

    Kamran, for neutrality you'd have to go to a proper court of law. We seem to forget that these are internal PCB hearings.