The drugged cricketer December 5, 2006

Justice is done

Kamran Abbasi supports the elimination of performance-enhancing drugs from sport but the authorities need to produce better diagnostic tests and stronger evidence to support the validity of their tests
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Shoaib Akhtar says he can breathe again but so can Pakistan's prospects of lifting next year's World Cup. Despite a noble effort by Umar Gul and Shahid Nazir, Pakistan's bowling has a toothless look to it without its premier fast bowlers. Shoaib and Mohammad Asif are capable of taking wickets on any track, a priceless commodity. Welcome back.

Much will be made of their bans being overturned. I can hear the clamour already: "What do you expect from Pakistan cricket, every rule will be bent to protect their star players." Well, my view is that it is better for justice to be done than for the players to be the victims of a witch-hunt. And, let's be clear, several top stars have successfully pleaded a defence in this situation but with higher levels of nandrolone in their urine, take Greg Rusedski for example. The central problem with nandrolone, to my mind, is that the evidence base is not sufficiently strong to end or harm any sportsman's career on the basis of it being found in a urine sample. I fully support the elimination of performance-enhancing drugs from sport but clearly the drugs authorities need to work harder to produce better diagnostic tests and stronger evidence to support the validity of their tests. Nandrolone is a particular problem.

These issues were complicated further by the ramshackle way in which Pakistan players were instructed about drugs. Inevitably there will be denials about the quality of information and the level of supervision that the players received but anybody who has glimpsed the inner workings of Pakistan cricket knows that there is face validity to the findings of the tribunal.

The problem with any hearing that attempts to be fair is that a proportion of people who are guilty will be found to be innocent. Better that, though, than the other way round. In this case, my view is that there was sufficient doubt about the method of raising awareness among players and the process of testing--and further doubt about the wickedness of the players' intentions--for them to be found not guilty. A bad process invariably produces a bad result, which was the outcome of the first hearing.

Pakistan cricket must put this sad affair behind it, learn from its mistakes, and develop a proper process for drugs awareness and monitoring. An urgent review of the PCB's medical panel is required. It has emitted shambolic signals for years. Shoaib and Asif must now be exceptionally diligent about what they consume for there can be no second chance and no second forgiveness.

Above all, Pakistan cricket must now focus on winning the World Cup. And that preparation has to begin with the selection of the team for the second one-dayer, a team that should include Shoaib, Asif, and Shahid Afridi.

Many of you will disagree. But as Martin Luther King once wrote from Birmingham jail: "Injustice anywhere harms justice everywhere."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

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  • gemeAdvomma on August 2, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    In my opinion you are not right.

  • Radha Krishnan on March 1, 2007, 8:34 GMT

    Mr.Kamran Abbasi take a blanket and cover yourself...Shame on You And The Pakistianis...Jusctice Prevails!!!!..Good Joke.. Now both the players are out of World Cup Squad...The entire cricketing fatehrnity knows the real reason behind the drama played by their cricket board. Do you dare to send these two players ???.. If so...they will be totally out of cricket.

  • SK on December 20, 2006, 17:53 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, Do you sincerely believe justice is done ? What a sham !! It's obvious that the author is only concerned about Pakistan's world cup prospects and he conveniently overlooks the damaging effects of the drug cheats' acquittal on world cricket at large. So much for your credentials as a cricket writer! I believe that greater justice will be done when the ICC and WADA impose a bigger ban on those cheats! There ain't no place for drugs in cricket or any other sport. The fact that such cheats were allowed to go scot free in Pak is a sad reflection of the values and ethics in their society. What happened to your so called honour and dignity?

    As a genuine cricket lover, I happened to visit this blog out of curiosity. Now that Mr Abbasi, a dotor to boot, is supporting drug cheats and comparing mere mortals like Youhana to the great Sir Viv, I would never be tempted to visit this blog again !!!

    SK

  • Nomis on December 13, 2006, 21:44 GMT

    The Pakistan Drugs Board have signed the death warrent for honest sport.................why am I not surprised

  • Rumesh on December 13, 2006, 7:11 GMT

    Pakistan should play the druggies against the West Indies immediately before the WADA and ICC can take action against them - This will satisfy the crazy Pakistanies who fit into the 'cheat and win' category ???

  • Khurram on December 12, 2006, 17:42 GMT

    So ICC and WADA believe that a harsher punishment is more appreciated than a leniant one, regardless of it being unjust? They did not get involved when the bans were handed out; Why didnt they try to make sure the players were being treated with justice. Now that the bans have been overturned, they are pointing fingers? ICC is a joke!!!

  • Spaceman! on December 12, 2006, 3:55 GMT

    I am shocked that so many people do not know the charges bought against the two bowlers. At no point was the charge ever about willingly taking nandrelone or not. The charge is having it in their systems. Which they did. 7 yimes the legally allowed limit. Doesn't matter if they knew it or where totally ignorant of it. They were found guilty of the charges brought against them. End of.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 12, 2006, 3:42 GMT

    WILL THE JUSTICE BE UNDONE?

    There has been a strong rumour that the decision of acquitting Shoaib and Asif is not being appreciated by ICC and WADA and they have not only criticized but also suggesting that they would like to delve deeper in to this matter and see if they can do anything to admonish PCB or even force them not to reverse the decision.

    There is also a controversy over the letter that the PCB chairman wrote to Shahid Hamid the Head of the commission prior to the hearing to which, according to Hamid says is: "totally unacceptable and out of order," adding that it amounted to an attempt to put undue pressure on the judgment of the commission. The PCB chairman however rubbished the notion that his letter influences their decision anyway. Here is a link of that article.

    http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/pakistan/content/story/271975.html

    So my question is is this an end to the Nandrolone episode or is it going to drag in to the next year and so on......? Any views on this? Please!

  • saqib on December 11, 2006, 7:41 GMT

    well i can not say any thing about verdict because nor the case has been studies by us and nor the full details we have received but the important point is that after getting free from bans can asif and shoaib perform at the level they were doing previously becuase they will be always undersrutiny for what ever reasons

  • Folding Shovel on May 12, 2012, 6:27 GMT

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  • gemeAdvomma on August 2, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    In my opinion you are not right.

  • Radha Krishnan on March 1, 2007, 8:34 GMT

    Mr.Kamran Abbasi take a blanket and cover yourself...Shame on You And The Pakistianis...Jusctice Prevails!!!!..Good Joke.. Now both the players are out of World Cup Squad...The entire cricketing fatehrnity knows the real reason behind the drama played by their cricket board. Do you dare to send these two players ???.. If so...they will be totally out of cricket.

  • SK on December 20, 2006, 17:53 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, Do you sincerely believe justice is done ? What a sham !! It's obvious that the author is only concerned about Pakistan's world cup prospects and he conveniently overlooks the damaging effects of the drug cheats' acquittal on world cricket at large. So much for your credentials as a cricket writer! I believe that greater justice will be done when the ICC and WADA impose a bigger ban on those cheats! There ain't no place for drugs in cricket or any other sport. The fact that such cheats were allowed to go scot free in Pak is a sad reflection of the values and ethics in their society. What happened to your so called honour and dignity?

    As a genuine cricket lover, I happened to visit this blog out of curiosity. Now that Mr Abbasi, a dotor to boot, is supporting drug cheats and comparing mere mortals like Youhana to the great Sir Viv, I would never be tempted to visit this blog again !!!

    SK

  • Nomis on December 13, 2006, 21:44 GMT

    The Pakistan Drugs Board have signed the death warrent for honest sport.................why am I not surprised

  • Rumesh on December 13, 2006, 7:11 GMT

    Pakistan should play the druggies against the West Indies immediately before the WADA and ICC can take action against them - This will satisfy the crazy Pakistanies who fit into the 'cheat and win' category ???

  • Khurram on December 12, 2006, 17:42 GMT

    So ICC and WADA believe that a harsher punishment is more appreciated than a leniant one, regardless of it being unjust? They did not get involved when the bans were handed out; Why didnt they try to make sure the players were being treated with justice. Now that the bans have been overturned, they are pointing fingers? ICC is a joke!!!

  • Spaceman! on December 12, 2006, 3:55 GMT

    I am shocked that so many people do not know the charges bought against the two bowlers. At no point was the charge ever about willingly taking nandrelone or not. The charge is having it in their systems. Which they did. 7 yimes the legally allowed limit. Doesn't matter if they knew it or where totally ignorant of it. They were found guilty of the charges brought against them. End of.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 12, 2006, 3:42 GMT

    WILL THE JUSTICE BE UNDONE?

    There has been a strong rumour that the decision of acquitting Shoaib and Asif is not being appreciated by ICC and WADA and they have not only criticized but also suggesting that they would like to delve deeper in to this matter and see if they can do anything to admonish PCB or even force them not to reverse the decision.

    There is also a controversy over the letter that the PCB chairman wrote to Shahid Hamid the Head of the commission prior to the hearing to which, according to Hamid says is: "totally unacceptable and out of order," adding that it amounted to an attempt to put undue pressure on the judgment of the commission. The PCB chairman however rubbished the notion that his letter influences their decision anyway. Here is a link of that article.

    http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/pakistan/content/story/271975.html

    So my question is is this an end to the Nandrolone episode or is it going to drag in to the next year and so on......? Any views on this? Please!

  • saqib on December 11, 2006, 7:41 GMT

    well i can not say any thing about verdict because nor the case has been studies by us and nor the full details we have received but the important point is that after getting free from bans can asif and shoaib perform at the level they were doing previously becuase they will be always undersrutiny for what ever reasons

  • Malik on December 11, 2006, 1:48 GMT

    Mansoor you have hit the nail on the head - Shoaib is a good fast bowler but totally uncivilized in his behaviour and attitude - he can only bring bad news and downfall to our whole team - The banned substances issue has overshadowed his behaviour problems (Alam is a genuine man and his accusations about Shoaib's behaviour would have been investigated if not for Shoaib being already banned)Even losing is not a shame if it is done honourably - Get rid of Shoaib and this will be a lesson for Asif and all other cricketers and aspiring youngsters to stick to Cricket and their natural abilities and serve Pakistan honourably.

  • mansoor on December 10, 2006, 8:16 GMT

    already a lot of things has been said. just check Osman Samiuddin s column of December 6. he mentioned a thing in which he is dead right. what type of massage we are giving to our young fast bowlers?. shoab akhtar has been found guilty for chucking, for ball tempering, for having fights with boards and captains and now for taking banned drugs and guess what, he is still playing for pakistan at the highest level. this is a massage which every pakistan young boy is getting. i feel sorry for all those who are saying that justice is done. i think we all should mourn over the un beleivalbly pathetic level of our law and justice. for us, players are bigger than anything. what a pitty. this is the mind set of the general public which has cursed this country for fifty years. our religon tells us to be the witness of truth no matter how painfull it is. but just think how manny of us stays for the truth. you know what, now if pakistan win the world cup, this win will always be called as " the cheating win".

  • JavedK on December 10, 2006, 1:50 GMT

    This is nothing new - We were the first cricketers to get caught smoking weed too - Remember when our present bowling coach and a few others including our how holy man, opening batsman were caught smoking weed in the West Indies - if our team did not know about banned substances the Manager, coach and support team members must be banned along with Shoaib and Asif instead of letting them go scott free.

  • Gimme a break on December 9, 2006, 22:27 GMT

    Come on now - any sports person who has been at the top of international sports for as long as Shoaib has no grounds for claiming not to know about the risks of supplements. It's part of their circle. It goes with everyday on the job knowledge. Even if these things are not known in Pakistan, they are known everywhere else the guy has been during his career. Shane Warne did the crime and did his time (though not enough). Shoaib, at least, should take his punishment.

  • nads on December 9, 2006, 6:48 GMT

    Seen the shirts 'proud to be a pakistani' to be honest at times like these NO IM NOT PROUD TO BE A PAKISTANI WHEN THE CLOWNS AT THE PCB PULL STUNTS LIKE THESE, what a complete shambles, anyway im glad i can start enjoying cricket again with the two heroes back even if the rest of the world is calling us cheats. Once again as pakistanis weve been made to look like a bunch of jokers, to be honest if they had to bring up the issue in the run up to the wrold cup they should have then gone ahead and at least made them miss the world cup 6 month ban so the aussies and englishmen would get off our backs

  • worldcup07 on December 9, 2006, 0:36 GMT

    FUTURE NEWS FLASH. West Indies, 2007. World Cup. Two Pakistani cricketers test positive for performance enhancing drugs in their system. Testing agency dismissed by ICC. Players exonerated.

  • Hamzah Mahmood on December 8, 2006, 22:26 GMT

    It is great news to have our two premier bowlers back. However the acquittal of Shoaib bothers me. He has been around for 10 years, so surely he must now the in's and out of doping. Mohammed Asif i thought was not guilty. In Pakistan most educated people would no know what doping is. The other thing which bothers me is the life style of shoaib akhtar. Our mashallah is very religous at the moment. Our team as whole gives the impression of our nation which is that we are muslims submitting to will of Allah. Shoaib has a total westernised life style tarnishing our image and I ask this question. How long will we tolerate his antics? Until the time when he completelly destroys our image as an Islamic society.

  • Waqar Younis on December 8, 2006, 15:10 GMT

    Their is room for appeal against any decision in the world. so what if shoaib and asif used their right.every thing has done according to procedures through paper work and through proper channel.The question is not whether they took drugs or not.The question is that why were they so harshly penalized.And after being accused and may be proved.,they have won the case through appeal.If somebuddy disagrees with this decision,s/he is pulling out the word of appeal from the dictionary of laws. As far as education is concerned,if ur players cant play well against Shoaib and Asif,they should be sent to My country(Pak)so to get some lessons of cricket.Shoaib and Asif has got enough education which was enough utilized ,resultin ban being overturned.A matter of mental usage,if one can understand.

  • brock on December 8, 2006, 14:40 GMT

    firstly let me say that i am an australian. secondly that as far as i understand it the two players tested positive from a pcb administered test and the punishment is up to the pcb (i could be wrong about this). i do find the "i didnt know" defence funny esp from shoaib (where did he think warny had gone for a year) but i am relieved esp after the second ashes test (looks like the most hyped test series that i can remember is over allready) that the third ranked test team in the world wont be stripped of its two best bowlers. btw in regards to hair us australians havent seen him umpire in years so i cant comment on his umpiring but i think calling him a rasist is foolish, from the incidents that i have heard it seems more like he has a very large ego not that he is rasist which is bad for an umpire and would justify his sacking.

  • aisha on December 8, 2006, 13:12 GMT

    firstly they are not druggies at all,2ndly the drug found in them was nandrolone which is very confusing steriod..it can produce naturally too...they usd some NUTRITIONAL SUPPLIMENTS which are not BANNED in WADA/ICC list but those suppliments contain this illegal substance.. and mind it....shoaib and asif are not the only 2 cases of NANDROLONE positive whose BANS are exenorated by their respective organisations.. there is the most recent example of the tennis player rudeski along wid some athletes and cyclists...NANDROLONE is a big mystry for the medical science..it produces in the body naturally...due to different facts..protein shakes..nutritional suppliments...high training and exercise and all these things are LEGAL/UNBANNED..that is why all the athletes who had their dope tests positive of NANDROLONE..were later on allowed to play...we are only thinking abt the decision..decision is correct not only according to the PCB rules and regulation but also according to the confusion of this specific steroid..that is NANDROLONE...

  • omar on December 8, 2006, 12:40 GMT

    yeyaaaaa!!! im so happy.. and people who are opposing shoaib and asif should just shut their mouth.. nd stop bein scared and jealous of our quikeiz... jst because we gona rok da world now.. nd eveyone becoming scared.. hahahaha.. go asif nd shoaib.. rok it

  • Muhammad Uzair from Attock City on December 8, 2006, 4:56 GMT

    I personally feel that Shoaib was guilty and Asif was innocent. I want to tell you that you can expect worst decisions like this from PCB. PCB believes that “might is right”. Here people are also disusing Darrel Hair’s issue. I want to tell you clearly that BCCI helped Pakistan very much to get rid of umpire Darrell Hair. ICC was not paying any attention on Pakistan’s any request. If you are, an Australian then you should know that I found commentator Mike Haysman saying on T.V that South Africans call Darrell hair nightmare. Therefore, how any Australian can say that Darrell Hair was the second best umpire in the world? Everyone should know that British media was criticising Darrel Hair very much after the Oval test. This also played an important role to finish his career as an international career. Darrel Hair was not a good umpire. I am saying very honestly that I found Darrel Harper and Simon Toffel very good and honest but I cannot use words like good and honest for Darrel Hair.

  • Prathip on December 8, 2006, 2:55 GMT

    How come only Shoaib and Asif took these supliments ?? The other members of the team were not ignorant what they took so something is really fishy here !! The ban must be re-imposed and the whole country freed of this shame and bad influence on younger and upcoming crickets or any other sportsmen or women. Grow up Pakistan. Pakistan Zindabad.

  • Rama on December 8, 2006, 2:05 GMT

    How do you think the guys who get dropped will feel when Shoaib and Asif get back into the pakistani team ?? The druggies get convicted, released by stupid judges with an ignorant excuse and the honest wise (opposite of ignorant, if you did not already know this)guys who performed in their absence get dumped !!!

  • blip on December 7, 2006, 23:13 GMT

    So cricket players the world over are now free to take Nandrolone. If caught, they claim ignorance, point to the ruling in this case, and return to their fat salaries. Victory for whom exactly?

  • RIZWAN on December 7, 2006, 21:28 GMT

    PCB is not perfect , but then who is ? I recall when Shane Warne and Mark Waugh were caught match fixing ,( Yes , it was match fixing why should a bookie pay a player such as Warne to get a pitch report when its televised free by an expert BEFORE the start of the match ) the Australian Cricket Board(ACB) , did not divulge the fact for over 6 months and did so only when a newspaper reporter published it . Thus , if the reporter had not obtained such information the world would not have been aware of the fact even today ( even the ICC was in the dark ) Further , on discovering such a shameful fact , the ACB ( not the ICC ) fined a paltry sum and buried the whole sordid affair and let both Warne and Mark Waugh continue to play whereas Salim Malik and Azhar are serving life sentences . As mentioned earlier , it was the ACB and not the ICC who meted out the punishment . If players are to be banned , comprehensive tests should be carried out at least half a dozen times . None of these tests are reliable , some prominent cyclists were found guilty only to be exonerated later .So , until a foolproof system of testing is devised , let no one cast the first stone .

  • sanam on December 7, 2006, 16:18 GMT

    great decision,im happy to know that ban overturned was a very harsh decision before.well talking abt ppl here,i think they r lil jealous but dont worry i do understand lol,obviously they didnt wanted r bowlers playing in WC2007 but sorry they r back and gonna rock u all.

    All the best Shoaib and Asif :)

  • Aqif on December 7, 2006, 12:57 GMT

    Use of soft words for non-asian players such as accepting money "foolishly" and on the other hand calling certain nations "corrupt" defines bias. The issue of D.Hair was of an umpire and a team..not of a non-asian umpire and an asian team. ICC needs to be stronger and bigger than all the PCBs, BCCIs etc. However, PCB can not and should not carry the blame for ICCs impotency.

  • Clive Dunn on December 7, 2006, 12:01 GMT

    I know it does Imraan, and I think it's terribly sad we've got to this position. But I also think that the bloc voting by the sub-continent boards that we've seen in recent years also reeks of a form of racism.

    I think the time has come to either reform of the ICC, or to break it.

    I really think cricket needs an independant ICC, making decisions for the benefit of the game globally, rather than the petty partisanship we've seen over the past number of years.

  • Imraan on December 7, 2006, 11:17 GMT

    Absolutely right Clive, If this was overturned by an Neutral Judge, then we can at least understand. The PCK should have got Ranjan Madugalle (assuming his relatives are all well now) to make the judgement ??? I have a different view on forming different associations - This reeks of racism - This is exactly what the asian countries want.

  • Nuhal on December 7, 2006, 11:00 GMT

    im really happy to know tht justice has been done.WOW!!! all the best r heroes Shoaib and asif .guys they r back so u better get ready to ROCK!!! HA HS HA ....just knowing how other teams and ppl of their nation r scared of r bowlers lol.

  • Clive Dunn on December 7, 2006, 9:14 GMT

    I tend to agree with Gulam here, the ICC needs to step in and review the evidence. It shouldn't be left to local boards ( with the inherent flaws they often possess ) to decide punishments, especially when they involve key players.

    If the ICC fails to step in, it will just confirm what some of us have suspected for a long time. That is that the ICC is fundamentally corrupt and designed to favour the sub-continent teams.

    Personally I'd happily see the NZ, Australian and English cricket boards withdraw from the ICC and form their own association.

    A disgraceful decision, and one that can only set cricket back 20 years.

  • Gulam on December 7, 2006, 5:17 GMT

    The bottom line is that the guys (I will not call them judges) who turned over the decision are cheats ?? Ignorance cannot be sighted - The ICC should conduct their own tests before the world cup and then more names (not only Pakistanis) will pop up - enogh is enough.

  • Hamid on December 7, 2006, 3:54 GMT

    In the context of doping but referring to the article by Mr.Osman Samiuddin. I am aghast that Mr.Samiuddin does not understand the difference between anabolic steeroids and drugs of addiction (narcotics). He refers to the ban on the Pakistani boxers for using Cannabis in the same context as the doping case of Shoaib and Asif.

  • Euceph Ahmed on December 7, 2006, 3:46 GMT

    Marty, yeah right... and we all still believe in the tooth fairy, and there's an old lady on the moon, and Darrell Hair is just a reincarnation of Santa Clause... give us a break, mate.

  • Ahmer Murad on December 7, 2006, 2:55 GMT

    Kamran, I cannot help but disagree. Claiming ignorance of the rules is not a defence in any court, tribunal, jirga, darbar or any other forum that dispenses justice. Mitigating circumstances can certainly be taken into consideration, but to let them off with no punishment whatsoever (a reduced ban and a hefty fine, for instance, would at least have sent a signal leaning towards the positive) leaves a very bad taste in the mouth.

    I tend to agree with Osman Samiuddin's views expressed in his column on this website and with Ramiz Raja that this issue will taint the players' reputations for some time to come (as if Shoaib needed any more bad publicity...) and reflects extremely poorly on the PCB and on the nation as a whole. Our perception as a people who believe in bending regulations every which way to suit ourselves has been reinforced by this.

  • Saad Pasha on December 7, 2006, 1:07 GMT

    Indeed there will be much banter of the PCB twistng the fate of the their star players keeping in mind important future assignments, but I believe if a tribunal has given its verdict, it should be accepeted, keep in mind this is a completey internal affair.

    Pakistan cricket is truly amazing, it gives a much needed twist to the world of cricket, which with all due to respect can be at times dull.

    I think all of you would agree that all the resignatiations, ball tampering, suspect actions, internal wrangling, mullahism and ofcourse not to forget the sex, makes Pakistan cricket more than entertaning. Obviously our reasons for watching cricket may range from Passion to Pride, but at the end of the day cricket is also a mode of entertainment .... And thats what we get frm Pakistan Cricket.

    All Hail Pakistan Cricket!!!

  • Ross Morgan on December 7, 2006, 0:46 GMT

    Surprising how 2 people only months ago found guilty of using a banned steroid are now innocent after such a bad result at the Champions Trophy. All it shows is that Pakistan (along with some other nations who lobby to change the rules to suit their players) are completely corrupt and have a complete disregard for the rules. I am not surprised the the WADA is now taking this to the ICC (who are completely toothless and are run by the asian bloc anyway after the Darrel Hair incident). In saying all of this when I first heard about 2 player from Pakistan testing positive my first reaction was "I hope it is not Akhtar" as he is a fantastic player and showman and the game will miss him but we don't want drugs in this sport.

  • Marty on December 6, 2006, 22:57 GMT

    For all those trying to shift the focus to Shane Warne, perhaps consider that he was banned for one year for taking a diuretic. As has been mentioned, a diuretic can be a masking agent. It can also be used for weight loss (and we all know Warne has always been a bit round!).

    I fail to see how a diuretic is any worse than a performance enhancing agent. The argument is that he was being devious by masking, when Shoaib and Asif are obviously innocent because they didn't take a masking agent! That is absolutely ridiculous!!!!

    Regarding Shane Warne and match fixing...well it wasn't! He didn't accept money to bowl badly, nor did Mark Waugh. They accepted money (foolishly) to inform a bookie about the pitch condition, as you would assume two fine players would be able to provide a good estimate.

    Whether or not you think Shoaib and Asif are innocent is irrelevant - the fact is the PCB has once again shown how impotent it really can be.

  • Aqif on December 6, 2006, 20:38 GMT

    some one mentioned Shane warne? Drugs and match fixing. Rings a bell? Considering many others are out of the game for match fixing etc, i'd say using him for this oh-poor-shane-got-it-bad-why-dont-they reasoning is absolutely insane!

  • RIZWAN on December 6, 2006, 20:18 GMT

    Dear Kamran , Thank you for being the handful of Pakistani voices( along with Osman Samiuddin) for taking on the large anti-pakistani contingent of cricket writers( exceptions are Ian Chappel and Tony Greig ) I would like to request you to do a statistical analysis of the LBW decisions given in the matches played at home by the leading batsmen , prior to neutral umpires . I would hope you can nail the canard about Miandad's low LBW dismissal in matches played in Pakistan.I hope ALL the non-pakistani cricket lovers will remember that it was Imran Khan who first mooted the idea of neutral umpires befire the johnny come late ICC made it mandatory , and it was Pakistan that first ' fielded ' neutral umpires in matches played in pakistan when the rest of the world were 'using ' local umpires .

  • Jibran khalil on December 6, 2006, 19:54 GMT

    A lot is being said about Ban of asif and shoaib.some people are complaing about dual standard of PCB that it first imposed the ban and then overturned it,But let us realize something very important that in the first place both the players took nanderlone for which purpose if they really used it as every body knows this steroid enhances muscles and mass can anybody tell me what is scope in cricket of muscles and strength for instance could u ask arnold shaznger to bowl over 100miles per hour or silverster stalon to seem or swing the bowl in subcontinent condition. no folks it is not possible it requirs skills not strength if steroid could enhance bowling skills and cricket mind ability then we could think that both bowler might have taken drugs to enhance their ability.2nd if they had taken drugs knowingly or mistakingly it must be because of their recent injuries to heal the injuries soon and it was for whom benefit for pakistan cricket who was injecting them steroids PCB.for what just because pakistan 2-0 down in england.In my opinon this all was drama official knew everything from the very start.they also told both players specialy akhter to keep their mouth shut.One of the new Gentleman wanted some limelight in the begining of his job and he got perfect scenario in tWO "BALI KA BAKRAS" who were assured of their careers.any way it was inevitable it has happend just relax and Enjoy cricket.

  • AN Khan on December 6, 2006, 19:23 GMT

    I had expected the two to be acquitted but not entirely, and certainly not without some kind of punishment given to the two. Specifically, I believe that there should have been a ban of few games and some amount in the form of a fine as that is more in line with what other established and respected sporting organizations have in place. Two-year ban on the first instance is not fair and would create similar controversies in the future again. I live in USA and like what National Football League (NFL) currently has as a policy “The NFL's current drug policy mandates a four-game suspension without pay when a player first tests positive for steroids. A second positive test results in a six-game ban, and a third positive sees the player suspended for one year. Seven players per team are randomly selected each week for testing during the regular season and playoffs.” I think a similar method should have been used to punish Shoaib and Asif. Ignorance is bliss but not in this matter. Lastly, Intikhab Alam or others who were associated with first proceedings had not right to document or comment on Shoaib’s sex life or alcohol consumption as this information is private and should have been treated as such by those who had access to it.

  • Hassan Abbas on December 6, 2006, 19:00 GMT

    Dear Chacha Koora Kircut, Please read the report given by the new tribunal, it says that the evidence of these players being druggists is inconclusive because the urine tests were not done according to the proper procedure. The first tribunal failed to go into the detail of the tests carried out. The third member of the latest tribunal Dr. Danish is a member of WADA and even he accepted the fact that the reports of the urine tests of these players is not convincing because the tests were not taken as they should have been, which gives a clear verdict that these guys may be guilty or may not be guilty and if they are not proven guilty then they are innocent, and if they are innocent then no one can say that they are druggists. So, kindly bring some evidence that proves their guilt and if you cannot do that then please dont call them druggists again. No hard feelings. Thank You.

  • Chacha Koora Kircut on December 6, 2006, 18:30 GMT

    Say Pakistan win the world cup. Don't you think that by having two druggies in the team takes the shine off any achievements?

    The fact are facts are as follows;

    - Both of these players had banned substances in their bodies. PCB had given a verdict which was endorsed both locally and internationally.

    Pakistani pride has suffered an irrevocable dent. I believe the bans should have been reduced to one year each.

    The world would be an even worse place to live if all criminals got off scot-free!

    A sad day for Pakistani pride. Think beyond the short term benefits.

  • niaz Khan on December 6, 2006, 18:21 GMT

    The drugs in Shoaib's system might finally do him some good and stop his womanising habits since one of their side effects is impotency.

    Furthermore, I doubt they will help his performances since he is not even likely to be on the pitch but much rather on the bench or bed with a broken this or a pulled that.

  • Shakir Naved on December 6, 2006, 17:15 GMT

    PCB has just spelt out a recipe for disaster. Not only in damaging its own image, but also in 2 other major areas: 1)Shoaib's presence in the team is counter-productive especially this verdict which indicates that PCB fully endorses what he has done in the past or will do in the future... & 2)all youngsters in Pakistan are watching and getting to know that doping is not as much a crime as much as one's inability to beat the system which supposed to monitor it. Believe me, I am pained about this and wondering how to explain to my two kids who are hoping to represent Pakistan in their chosen fields. What is the use of glory attained by dishonest means? There is far greater pride in losing honestly than winning dishonestly. What has happened is nothing but a shameless act of dishonesty and any match won with Shoaib & Asif is unfortunately going to dilute the efforts of others who have worked hard for victory. Kamran Abbasi, I wonder why you are not able to see through this sham. Oh what a shame, my countrymen !

  • Jay on December 6, 2006, 16:34 GMT

    What an elaborate con job. We've been had. But then, why did I ever believe that PCB was serious? Now let's have Shabbir Ahmed back. And oh, how about Salim Malik as coach?

  • AHSAN KHAN on December 6, 2006, 16:00 GMT

    thanx alot mr kamran for supporting the pakistan team at such a delecate point ,people will go on and on and on and on anothewr on while discussing the pathetic process ,show their anger at shoaib being called innocent :P, but i can understand why most of the people are not happy6 about this wording for all non PAKISTANIS i can understand their sentiments at the prospect of the shoaib and asif bomb tht ll be gearing up to blast now...and for all the pakistanis commenting here against the ban ...grow up.AND FOR ALL THE SOUTH AFRICANS ,here we come .

  • ALI KAHN on December 6, 2006, 15:44 GMT

    Pakistan is just 2 much. When are we goin to get off this rollercoaster ride that is Pakistani Cricket. First they ban both, ICC applauds decision and bans Darrel Hair. Once he's banned we reinstate both of them with no fine and no ban. LOL WTF is going on. Personally this is just the best news. World cricket and defo pak team is not the same without Akhtar, It would have been sad for him to go out like this. Inshallah he can now do wat he does best. (drink, smoke ,womanize etc) No, destroy international batsman of course. lol

  • Amyn Habib on December 6, 2006, 15:36 GMT

    For the scientifically literate in this forum:

    J Sports Sci. 2005 Sep;23(9):883-9. Contamination of dietary supplements and positive drug tests in sport. • Maughan RJ. School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK. r.j.maughan@lboro.ac.uk The use of dietary supplements is widespread in sport and most athletes competing at the highest level of competition use some form of dietary supplementation. Many of these supplements confer no performance or health benefit, and some may actually be detrimental to both performance and health when taken in high doses for prolonged periods. Some supplements contain excessive doses of potentially toxic ingredients, while others do not contain significant amounts of the ingredients listed on the label. There is also now evidence that some of the apparently legitimate dietary supplements on sale contain ingredients that are not declared on the label but that are prohibited by the doping regulations of the International Olympic Committee and of the World Anti-Doping Agency. Contaminants that have been identified include a variety of anabolic androgenic steroids (including testosterone and nandrolone as well as the pro-hormones of these compounds), ephedrine and caffeine. This contamination may in most cases be the result of poor manufacturing practice, but there is some evidence of deliberate adulteration of products. The principle of strict liability that applies in sport means that innocent ingestion of prohibited substances is not an acceptable excuse, and athletes testing positive are liable to penalties. Although it is undoubtedly the case that some athletes are guilty of deliberate cheating, some positive tests are likely to be the result of inadvertent ingestion of prohibited substances present in otherwise innocuous dietary supplements. PMID: 16195040 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

  • Anees Ahmed on December 6, 2006, 14:23 GMT

    The supplements they both took are WADA approved so how is it that they are WADA approved and on the ICC ban list?

    These 2 really need to compare each others rules,

  • Babar on December 6, 2006, 14:07 GMT

    I am sad to read such celebration at the acquittal of Shoaib and Asif. These players have tested positive for banned substances. The very fact that they declined B Samples is an indication that they knew they were taking banned substances. Recently boxers and body-builders from Pakistan have also tested positive for banned substances which is a signal of growing menace in Pakistani sports which undoubtedly are in decline.

    We must be reminded that these players should at least have been prevented from playing till their systems were clear, subjected to heavy fines and kept under strict probationary observation with any further violations resulting in automatic life bans.

    Simply admonishing all charges is not enough to act as a deterence for future offenders. The second committee should have halved the bans at the most. This has further deteriorated the world s perception of our society where the rich and the famous can get away with anything.

  • C.A.R.A on December 6, 2006, 13:47 GMT

    what's got into everybody some are saying it's a great news and some are saying it's a cheat just decide what it is a cheat or a great news some people say they knew it was drugs well asif was born in a tiny village so don't expect him to know ABC and shoaib in the team is the best speaking english person known for his temper and bad manners but he hardly passed grade 10 he has played a lot of time in england in his childhood so that's why he speaks good english he can be a very good captain if he leaves these habits shoaib is the key bowler REMEMBER HOW THE PAKISTANI BOWLERS STRUGGLED IN THE ASHES TEST MATCHES so let's decide what the truth let's have a debate or something else that's all i can say

  • Sadaat on December 6, 2006, 13:28 GMT

    What can i say, Simply Pakistan won it again, No one can chase us Inshallah We would be the winner of Cricket World Cup 2007. After Shoaib & Asif Inclusion alongwtih Inzamam & Yousaf on top order, i can safely, boldly, confidently & more proudly says "PROUD TO BE A PAKISTANI" & We would be the winner of W.C. 2007. Lets imagine how you wd play against team that has Inzamam, M.Yousaf, Razak, Younus, Shoaib Akhter,M.Asif & now Umer GUl as well.. We are proud of our player and our Nation. GREEN WILL RULES......... Inshallah...

  • Mustafa from Houston, Texas on December 6, 2006, 13:06 GMT

    Someone told me two weeks ago "watch they will be aquitted" i was like what are you talking about. he saidits pcb inside politics. rest the players before the wc and in the process look good as well that they keep the players in check. and the oscar goes to PCB.

  • Muhammad Usman Aslam on December 6, 2006, 12:43 GMT

    For all those ashamed sub-continentals...

    While you bask ungloriously under the shadow of jingoistic fervour... let me put some sense where its richly due..

    the goras that you seem to b quite fond of... reasons uknown... do what they want to do.. caring not an inch of what people like Us think about their decisions...

    perhaps u need an example...

    Did u forget how... players like shane warne and mark waugh after giving weather information went scott free at the hands of Cricket Australia.. The younger brother Waugh was instrumental in taking Australia to the finals of WC 96 ... while the leg spinner was responsible for taking more than 15 wickets in WC 99 as AUS won eventually.

    I say.. the PCB even if made a wrong decision but tried to protect its players... LET IT BE

    We in pakistan are not worried about a handful of people like you... who are already in peices after their team's 'remarkable' showing in SA...

    "OUCH" that must hve hurt....

    We do what we think is good enough for US.... dont care one dime for appeasing the anger of hypocrites like U....

  • Shaun Corrigan on December 6, 2006, 12:40 GMT

    How many caps does Shoaib have? Oh so he doesn't know about drugs? He wasn't playing when Warne was banned? CHEAT!

  • Aqif on December 6, 2006, 12:20 GMT

    the day we adopt rules, not on mere paper, and enforce them painstakingly, will be the day when we talk about "international law" being taken seriously and applied in Pakistan. Till then innocents will get sidelined and wrongdoers will get a green signal. Lets not judge shoaib and asif, PCB needs to be taken to task!

  • Saghyr , Mobilink ISB on December 6, 2006, 11:52 GMT

    well well well guys..... cool it ned ...shaan ...or else there shoaib is a yound blood of punjab...wich hardly need any drugs n supliments to bild ...every body knows ..and it was the main point of the appeal that shoaib had terible time with the knees after english tour of pakistan...gone through a harsh alopathic treatment....well where every body know alopathic medicince may enclude these kind of body enegizers....well for your kinda info... it was not so that both found 100 percent edicted by nandorin ( cant spell) they found less then 15 % of it there A test..... cool cool it ...dont compare it with any other player... dont compare PCB to any other board .... i would like to warne people who r talking about the policies n procedurce in Pakistan ... it highly a internal matter of Pakistan n PCB.... PCB done well becoz before ICC ruled them out coz of drugs,,,PCB warne both players before it ... people talking from india or else country knows real fear of shoaib ... thats why arguing baseless... shoaibs back ...... Game On....

  • David Furrows on December 6, 2006, 11:36 GMT

    The whitewash, sorry, appeal verdict, exonerates the players largely on the basis that "they weren't warned about supplements".

    Well I'm sorry, but you don't record 7 times the maximum level of steroids in your urine from taking supplements.

    Make no mistake, Messrs Akhtar and Asif recorded these results thanks to use of a needle and a vial, not a powdered food supplement.

    I hope that the ICC and WADA intervene, even though the consequences for the (relatively) innocent Asif will be a disaster.

  • KS on December 6, 2006, 10:40 GMT

    The doping laws need to be more clear for all sports. Todays atheletes push their bodies to the limit and need supplements of sorts to stay available. The whole notion of performance enhancement through drugs needs a new look and should be applied differently to different sports. The other point i want to make is that the presence of a banned substance does/should not mean an act of cheating. And i suppose this is what this committe took into consideration. I dont consider our guys were cheating. They need to be educated andthis is what PCB is there for; they are to ensure smooth running of the game and this should at best be a slap in their face rather than being a reprimand for players!

  • Steven on December 6, 2006, 10:35 GMT

    A beautiful game cricket is under constant interruption by too many scandals during the recent 15 years or so....Its the game now control by the thugs and match fixers...started by the Indians and south Africans involving other teams like Australia And Pakistan as well..but most of the players involved got away with it and only 1 or two players whom places were not important in their teams any more were punished....most of the big scandals were covered up by their cricketing boards...every one remembers match fixing scandal between Indians and south African players which is still under investigation...Match fixing scandal involving two prominent players of Australian team was covered up by their ACB.Fans were told Mark Waugh and Shane Warne accepted money in exchange of giving pitch condition during a match in India....Common guys cricket fans are not that stupid that big players accept cash just to give pitch report....not on....it was a cover-up both players were very important to Australian cricket that time. Both got away only with caution….later when they found Mark Waugh’s involvement in the match fixings he was forced to retire not Banned or Punished. Indians did the same….they banned players whom they don’t need any more and other Indian players were covered up. Any one can go to India and see by himself what’s still going on their during a one day cricket match and how the game is controlled by big bucks……… Now this drug scandal rose by the PCB and then banned own players and then a tribunal let them go….. What’s going on in this beautiful game cricket…it’s the gentleman’s game …is it really still????

  • anum on December 6, 2006, 10:13 GMT

    justice, mr kamran, has NOT been done. you cannot take international laws as a joke...shoaib and asif have been found guilty of doping & they must suffer the punishment.

  • Owais Ahmad on December 6, 2006, 9:43 GMT

    Have Afridi, Shoaib, Asif on the team and drop who ??? Razzaq, Omer Gul and the other pacemen ? drop Malik, Razzaq, third pacemen ? drop Malik, Farhat, younis ???? We have to bear in mind that there are only 11 players and on current performance only a 1 or 2 players deserve being axed. I dont think Afridi has performances in last 20 or so matches that deserve him dislodging someone else from the team let alone performing players like Hafiz or shoaib or razzak.

  • aysha on December 6, 2006, 9:43 GMT

    go green go.. rock the world now

    but will ICC/WADA will look into this matter or not????

  • Fatir Malik, Italy on December 6, 2006, 9:36 GMT

    For those who speak of backroom politics, let us not forget that it was the PCB itself who had voluntarily tested the players and decided to take strict action (exclusion from the Champions' Trophy) awaiting a proper course of justice. Surely, had the PCB wanted to play dirty, they could have done so right at the outset. So let us put all this behind us and look forward to that wonderful sight of Shoaib running in to bowl.

  • Imran Ali on December 6, 2006, 8:58 GMT

    It was the best news i have heard for a long time hope to see both pacers in team again and performing. About ICC and WADA they have nothing to do with this because pakistan did this test by them self and they setteled it by them self so there is no reason to any one interfearing in this matter it was internal matter so people who are opposing this decision should shut there mouth and let them play.

  • Faesal on December 6, 2006, 8:41 GMT

    Let’s just look at the difference between Shoaib/Asif case and Warne’s. Warne took a Masking Agent. For the some of the Einsteins above, let me make it easier for you. A masking agent MASKS the other drugs in your system. Now enlighten me; can the use of a masking agent be unintentional? You know there are drugs in your system and you don’t want those to be detected, that’s when you use it. He was not only cheating, he was caught in the act of trying to cover it up. And what exactly was his defense? My mommy gave it to me! .......wow. Honesty as we know it!

    Since we are talking about honesty, may we look at another example? Mark Waugh and Warne are caught dealing with bookies. And what does Cricket Australia do? Let them off with a fine (while some of the best players in subcontinent are lost to life long bans). Why? Because they chose to believe the narrative that they were just sharing the “pitch information” in exchange for money. As if the bookies were so dumb they couldn’t get it for free from the pre-match briefing of the commentators who are all over the pitch doing exactly that. ACB chooses to believe the person who cheats his own wife. He publicly promises to never cheat on her and then goes to England and cheats on her again. He can’t be even truthful to one person he claims to love for goodness sake! Talk about being crooked and disgraceful….Bending the rules to save your players? No! Never……I say, all the courts in the world should be run by ACB and if a crook says he hasn’t done it, then that should be the end of it.

    So when you yourself are crooked/cheats and shameless about it too, labeling others is a bit rich for you. It is like a convict calling the one who is acquitted, a crook. Oooops…..Did I say convict? I hope it doesn’t hit close to home.

  • Furqan Athar on December 6, 2006, 8:40 GMT

    Enough has been said about the verdict, both good & bad. My only comment is it doesn't really matter now. The reputation of the country, PCB, and the players is already tarnished. Another feather in our cap. We have always bin looked at suspiciously and always will, and the WORST thing is we dont help the problem...we only make it worse...

  • Saad on December 6, 2006, 8:28 GMT

    It’s good to hear! But first of all was there any necessity of conducting such tests (by PCB)? And secondly (after the BAN decision has been overruled) what will the ICC do?

  • Irfan on December 6, 2006, 8:10 GMT

    I would not say that this is a victory of justice or pakistani cricket as it is not. I understand Asif's case that when he took those suppliments he wasnt part of the team and he was totally unaware of it, anyone can take these kind of suppliements, but shoaib's case is different, he knew he was taking wrong suppliments and he should have been penalized for that, Now by overturning the decision PCB has made a joke of themselves.

  • Waseem on December 6, 2006, 7:58 GMT

    Principles only matter when those principles are hardest to keep. I'm a huge fan of Pakistani cricket but I am appalled by the acquittal of Shoaib and Asif. They broke the law, knowingly or by mistake, it does not matter. They should be punished for tarnishing the name of Pakistan. It is also sad to see justice not being served from the highest to the lowest level in our society and you defending it. That's a shame, Kamran.

  • Mubasher Hassan, Lahore on December 6, 2006, 7:27 GMT

    All is well that ends well. Welcome back to the game, gentlemen game aka Cricket.

    I hope this decision turns out to be a good one for Cricket, circketers and its lovers. PCB and other boards should familiarise their players about banned drugs. There must be basic understanding about drugs. I hope ignorance is no more a bliss and players wont use it as a legal loophole in future.

  • Abdul Kadir Hussain on December 6, 2006, 6:48 GMT

    Most people seem to have ignored one major aspect of this whole episode. The role model factor. My 10 year old religiously reads the sports sections and a few of the sports websites that he is allowed to access. Yet he views things from a much clearer frame than we do. 'Dad, did they do something wrong or not?' 'If drugs are wrong and they had them in their body should'nt they have some punishment?'.

    The answers are not so simple....

  • M Nawaz Anjum on December 6, 2006, 6:16 GMT

    Correct Disicion, I don’t agree with the blog Posted by: Shan at December 5, 2006 9:34 AM. It’s great news and fair one. You cant destroy the career of Pakistani stars from the decision taken by previous non experience panel ( in medical sense). Also Intikhaab alam blamed the personal life of shoaib akhtar to support the ban which is actually non professional and not relevant to the current issue. Finally the true judgment is done. And its good for Pakistan cricket as well as for world cricket. Its exiting to watch shoaib and asif bowling and the pressure they create on other batsmen especially on Indian batsmen. Best of luck

  • Mark on December 6, 2006, 6:04 GMT

    Its all started by south african criket followed by australian criket and now relived by pakis...You all know what i mean.

  • Kamran Khan (kami49) on December 6, 2006, 5:45 GMT

    Its a Gr8 moment to have you back boys.... Sweet!! PCB should educate all the players abt the drugs and the rules.... now we are talkin ... and we gotta bring 07 worldcup home.. ISHA ALLAH :)

  • Syed Imran Ali on December 6, 2006, 5:42 GMT

    i think its good for cricket specially for shoaib if his band continue it well be saad for cricket lover's to not see a great bowler again

  • Sheikh Tony,Pakistan cricket club Taipei,Taiwan on December 6, 2006, 5:40 GMT

    I'm a great cricket fan as well as playing cricket in Taiwan along various great cricket lovers from all over the Pakistan staying/living in Taiwan.And i congratulate PCB,Shoaib & Asif from all members of Pakistan cricket club taipei (PCCT)and welcome back!!!!!!! CHEERS. BEST REGARDS, SHEIKH TONY (PCCT)

  • Jay Khan on December 6, 2006, 5:32 GMT

    Mr Abbasi is an ambidexterous spinner. One day he spins to ask why rush to judgement and the next day he turns it the other way to proclaim justice is done. You reflect Pak cricket aptly - full of mind boggling off-pitch spins.

  • Gondal on December 6, 2006, 5:29 GMT

    Pakistan's world cup chances have received a big boost after the re-instatement of shoaib akhtar and muhammad asif..but this calls into question the wisdom,expertise and the real intent of the previous doping panel,which handed out those draconian sentences,without even giving the players a proper chance to defend themselves!and how the ever foolish Intikhab Alam mocked pun publicly at shoaib's sex life.

  • ABC on December 6, 2006, 5:21 GMT

    I smell something fishy in overturning the previous decisions. This case should be looked at by a neutral third party with the proper expertise. It does confirm one thing that the PCB is an uncapable and mismanaged institution.

  • chris on December 6, 2006, 5:17 GMT

    What's a performance enhancing drug insofar as cricket is concerned? Cricket is a game of skill, not pure strength or stamina such as weightlifting, swimming or sprinting - would nandrolone make Shoaib bowl fewer no-balls? Improve Asif's outswinger? Could steriods improve a batsman's timing or shot selection? I don't think so. If steriods are a legitimate part of injury recovery, then why are players not allowed to take them? Cricket and WADA should have nothing to do with each other.

  • Omer Admani on December 6, 2006, 5:14 GMT

    Well, good for Pakistan that they are back, though who knows what justice really should have been in this instance? There are no local solid regulations regarding dope in Pakistan cricket to judge through; however, I do personally think that this loophole went to the player's advantage. It is impossible to know whether they took it deliberately or not, the crux of the matter, however, is that those substances were present in their bodies. A judgment either way would have been ridiculous, because any judgment presupposes the existence of a certain logic to judge through. It wasn't really the lack of knowledge, but a lack of logic.

  • Shan on December 6, 2006, 5:10 GMT

    For all those who are saying that thie will damage Pakistan's image, let me reassure you. Don't worry. There is no image left to lose. In fact, after this fiasco, the only way for Pakistan cricket's image to go is up. To all those who ask em to get a life, I say this - I have a life beyond cricket, that is why I can love it and still be objective about it. Maybe the people who let their jingoism and passion for their country's cricket team cloud their judgments should get a life instead. Defending two drug cheats hardly shows any objectivity. To those who take Warne's and Rusedski's name, I remiond them that Warne was banned for a year while Rusedski got odd because of a technicality. Other runners like Ben Jonson and Linford were banned as well. And even if take the argument to another topic - Mark Waugh and Warne being let off for the bookie business, I would say, that two wrongs don't make a right. So far you had been able to take the moral high stand against the Aussies, but no more. To those who defend Kamran Abbasi's right to "free speech, let me remind you that this blog is not a private one - it is part of Cricinfo which is supposed to be a journalistic endeavour. And Abbasi si supposed to be a journalist himself ('Dawn', anyone?). Oh, and there is this little fact of his being a doctor, let's not talk to much about that shall we? A doctor defending drug cheats! Ah! Sweet, sweet ironies of Pakistani personalities. But no sir, how dare I call Pakistani cricket crooked? It's exemplary record speaks for itself, doesn't it?

  • Suresh Kulkarni on December 6, 2006, 4:58 GMT

    If Australian board was to be deplored for banning Warne for only 12 months, I think Pakistani cricket authorities are even more pathetic. I just cannot understand where does "Justice" come into this ? The facts on the basis of which the ban is overturned were available for the earlier panel to judge and they would have taken that into consideration as well. To say now that it was unjust is shameful. I am amazed to see so many people claiming victory now. Its a phobia where in the quest to win, you overlook everything whether ethical or otherwise. In my view, this act has actually tainted the image of Pakistan cricket. If Pakistan goes on to win the World cup with both the players playing, it will be the most devalued achievement for them.

  • Ejaz Mahmood on December 6, 2006, 4:50 GMT

    Being a Pakistani and die hard Pakistani Cricket fan, this is very pleasing news.

    One wrong doing does make the second wrong doing right, if there was an element of wrong doing from either one of the players, they should have been punished; which they are for rest of their lives. Is that a long enough punishment? That is internal matter and one way or another PCB is managed to pull one out again!

    Stand against Hair was good one in a sense to show unity and national pride, but how the matter was handled at Oval was pathetic. Why Inzi has to go through ban? Why ICC did not intervene when it was no longer internal matter.

    I agree like few have suggested that Mr. Waseem Bari should be sacked because of his lack of creativity. Amir Shoail on the other hand was very enthralling but very rude at the same time. Probably that is what is always needed out of the boys, the likeliness of Imran Khan.

    Good Luck Pakistan and Aloha West Indies! Here comes the ferocious tempo that you ruled once.

  • Matt on December 6, 2006, 4:38 GMT

    A surprising decision by the PCB. In my opinion this will expose the PCB and by extension, Pakistan cricket, to a lot of unwanted attention and criticism. Nor do I believe will it be the end of the matter. I could be wrong here, but only time will tell.

    I am also surprised by the passion and sheer number of East vs. West comments in response to Kamran's blog. It never ceases to amaze me how the decision of the sports administrators can so easily polarise opinion.

    I do not see this as an East vs. West issue at all. To my mind, this is an issue about the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport and how this is policed and controlled by the sports governing bodies. How any country can take the high moral ground on this issue defies credibility. The overwhelming evidence from professional sport in the last 30 years is that drug taking is a real problem. Unlike Michael Holding I believe cricketers can benefit from performance enhancing drugs. Steriods can dramatically reduce the time it takes to recover from serious injuries.

    With regard to the decsion by the PCB, I think it is flawed, not from the viewpoint of any legal technicality, but from the litmus test that any free thinking person should apply:

    Did Shoaib and Asif take responsibility for their own actions (or lack thereof)?

    If I were to interpret the PCB's decision I think the answer to that question is that the PCB beleives both players were incapable of just that.

    I am like a lot of others who think that ignornace is no defense here, but I am also wise enough to admit that this approach is too simplistic and does not reflect the reality and complexity of the way law's and rules are interepted in todays world full of lawyers.

    I also note that a number of responses in this blog have sought to justify the actions of Shoaib and Asif through the actions of others, notably Shane Warne. Might I offer the observation that using Shane Warne's record as an argument in their defense is no defense at all. This is muddle-headed thinking at its most obvious. Since when did two wrongs ever make a right?

    However, despite what I might think, I do not make the decisions and I am only an observer to events. If Shoaib and Asif are free to play for the Paksitan team again, I will be intersted to see how they perform. Who can deny that watching Shane Warne spin his magic is any less enjoyable since his ban?

    The time for a truely independant board of review at the ICC is long overdue. I wonder just how much longer we will have to wait to see one implemented.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 6, 2006, 4:35 GMT

    Wow what a response from the enemy camps! All those ILL-WISHERS were so happy to see a weak Pakistan bowling attack or to be more precise a weak team.

    This decision to acquit Shoaib Akhtar and Asif must have saddened them and their sudden outburst and reaction is appearing like a 'group human combustion'. People like CHRIS, MICK, KUMAR, JUDAHJIT, S.WARNE, PATRICK, RAVESH, MARTY & NED are fuming over the acquittal. I can very well understand their cry and pain but; et tu Zaheer Hussain et Touqeer Tariq? Mais pour quoi? Whats wrong with you guys? Are you guys being let down in the eyes of the people who judge you as Pakistanis? There is nothing to be ashamed of, especially those who were punished were innocent and their appeal wasn't turn down, a reverse a decision does not mean that there is no credibility in the Justice system of Pakistan. And they are not the only players /athletes who have been acquitted.

    First of WHOSE RULES ARE THESE? And why should they be implement Pakistan, especially when it is not obligatory? Since it was an internal check and that too, a poorly planned and poorly executed test, then the stupid decision to impose a ban by the THREE WISE MEN OF GOTHAM, the biggest joker being Intikhab Alam made a fool out of himself, it was a total mess, a haphazard and disorganized attempt to please the ICC and WADA - inferiority complex sustaining from the time of the British Raj to please the superiors. As if ICC and WADA would have awarded medals to PCB and that Hitler Tribunal.

    I think those who oppose must also read the latest article on this subject on cricinfo.com http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/pakistan/content/current/story/271347.html

    And those who were so emotional about imposing punishment and angry upon the acquittal are either:

    JEALOUS of Pakistan team or, IGNORANT about Nandrolone and how it can be produced endogenously within the body without any drugs.

    The must read about it first rather than assuming its some kinda performance enhancement, muscle building drug that was used by Ben Johnson in Seoul Olympics. That was another banned steroid STANOZOLOL, which is not the same as Nandrolone.

    Shane Warne used "Moduretic" (a kind of diuretic pill) which is used as a MASKING AGENT for those anabolic steroids, which is much more sinister than Shoaib and Asif taking any banned substance unknowingly.

    About Nandrolone, here is a link http://www.uksport.gov.uk/assets/File/Generic_Template_Documents/Drug_Free_Sport/Nandrolone_Progress_Report_Feb03.pdf

    Unlike other anabolic steroids, the endogenously increased level of Nandrolone in the body is still a mystery. It may not necessarily be increased by taking drugs, but it can increase on its own by:

    1. Very high protein diet 2. Heavy exercise and training which leads to dehydration.

    Interestingly, it does not increase if one only eats high protein diet or exercise heavily, But with a combination of BOTH.

    And why does it happen, it is still a mystery and scientists are still struggling to find out the answer and that is why ALL those world famous athletes who were tested positive for Nandrolone like, Linford Christie, Mark Richardson, Dougie Walker, Merlene Ottey and Dieter Baumann etc., have been cleared. So why are you guys making so much fuss about Shoaib and Asif? And why calling Pakistan a country where everything is possible. Which other cricket playing nation has carried out volunteer testing of drugs? How many players have sent their samples? And why don't they send it?

    People with pebbles in their shoes cannot look at the stars...... i..e, at a time when you are supposed to be looking inwards you are looking outwards. Go and set your house in order before attacking the Pakistani players or the Justice system of Pakistan.

    Finally; EUCEPH AHMAD..... as usual you are confused in expressing your views. It appears that you are NEITHER HERE nor THERE ! :-)

  • Taimur on December 6, 2006, 4:24 GMT

    i am very happy for shoaib and asif that they have been cleared of the charges of using performacne-enhancing drugs. they are the leaders of the pakistani bowling attack. shoaib akhtar is fun to watch because he is the world's fastest bowler. pakistan need the rawalpindi express rolling. mohammad asif is also a great bowler who is young and this is his time to shine. i hope that both these bowlers come out strong and perform like their usual selves.

  • Ashaq on December 6, 2006, 3:48 GMT

    Dear kamran, You seem too have focused on the so called Injustices meted out too Shoaib akhtar and shahid afridi,Two players who have had more chances then they deserve.The question I would like too ask is why you have not mentioned The real injustice commited by the PCB against Mushtaq Ahmed.If there is any pakistani player who has been unjustly treated it is Mushy.This season for sussex he took 102 wickets and was the leading wicket taker in the English county championship.He has been the best bowler in County cricket for the last four seasons.Age is not an issue shane warne who is older is still playing internationally.Indeed Warne only managed too take 57 wickets for Hampshire and was completely overshadowed by mystical mushy.A great team man a completely unselfish person who spends time helping other players in the nets.I think it is time you posted a blog on mushy he has certainly earned it and has been a great ambassador for pak cricket. THe irony is that whilst the English press have paid homage too him.His achivements have not been recognised by any pakistani commentator.What is suprising too me is the complete lack off bitterness from mushy.This alone bears testimony too his character.Mushy is indeed the great unsung hero.

  • Nick on December 6, 2006, 3:22 GMT

    How contemptible to exploit the legacy of Martin Luther King to protect cheats! He suffered under a repressive and racist system, and kept his integrity. Shoaib and Asif were at best careless, at worst cheats. Why should any other nation want to play a team that abuses honest umpiring, and now covers up drug abuse by its players? I would rather watch Bangladesh or Zimbabwe!

  • sabika raza on December 6, 2006, 2:16 GMT

    it is going to look bad for pakistan regardless

  • Imran Iqbal on December 6, 2006, 2:13 GMT

    If these two players are not guilty of wrong doing then someone else certainly is... yes! you are right.. it's PCB... I still can't digest why they said this was PCB's internal testing and decision would be as per PCB's so called regulations. So why on earth they could not make a tribunal who were educated enough about their board's laws (if any)... What PCB was trying to prove then and now what it is trying to prove now by welcoming 2nd tribunal's decision???? My judgement is PCB must be prosecuted by these two players and all Pakistani fans for making fun of not only players but whole Pakistani nation.. And someone please help them create their own constitution .......

  • Taimur Huk on December 6, 2006, 1:59 GMT

    as a pakistani cricket fan, i am happy that mohammad asif and shoaib akhtar are back. but i must point out that the PCB and the players need to be more alert about performance-enhancing drugs. i hope the PCB will be more careful about these situations so that they never arise again. but once again, i am excited about shoaib and asif back in the team.

  • Afi on December 6, 2006, 1:56 GMT

    Good News for Pakistan, as for What Akhtar and Asif will have live with.. i could care less, they are match breakers, they sell tickets, cricket is already a batsmans game, why not give bowlers a break?

    My suggestion to Asif and Akhtar would be simply this, nandro is little too much, they can try other products such as Protein powders, Creatine, and Glutamine, lay off of qorma and other pakistani sweets i.e ladoo's and gulab jamans basically anything made out of sugar and oil, work out, try aerobics along with working out and they should be fine.

  • Malcom X on December 6, 2006, 1:55 GMT

    Ned ! Dude take the back seat for a second here. I am gonna take you back to Sri Lanka 1997. Two atheletes who should have been given life were allowed to walk free: Mark Waugh and Shane Warne. I am sure your eyes pop up when u see that ripper of a delivery from Warnee spin a yard, but do you take time off to think that this guy was a cheat. Australia went on to win the 1999 Worldcup after the 97 incident all on Warne's virtues; 21 wickets manofthematch for the simis and the final. Did u then take time to ponder he was a cheat. He fixed matches dude and got compensated for it more than once and what more, he admitted it. He's the real OJ Simpson of cricket, not these two. This duo was so stupid, they didnt even hire lawyers to represent themselves on the first hearing. One went in with a friend who was at best a physician and the second chose to represent himself, and he didnt even get through grade 12. And consequently the got slapped with the bans. So u can imagine the relativity of the issue when u talk about whoes capable of cheating and at what scale. Shane warne, a guy with a worldcup ring , nearing 700 test wickets has a matchfixing and drug abuse track record , yet u dont even talk about it. Better get ur facts straight my man, there is evil everywhere, in you in me, but we gotta see through it, and remember everybody looks out for his back. Self interest is the key to Self preservation, be that in the animal kingdom or in sports.

  • Chintu on December 6, 2006, 1:54 GMT

    Well.. I am from India however I love the sport without these cultural and national boundaries. If people (including X cricketers) feel that drugs dont help in cricket.. its false. Try running at Akhtars speed for 5 overs and you will find out what I am saying. How drugs can help you give more energy and help you, you will be able to say.

    Regarding Asif, there can be leniency.. but Akhtar.. no way.. he is a well educated guy who knows what he is doing..

    And no doubt, PCB could have handled this in a better way. I will be really surprised if ICC does not intervene.

  • asd on December 6, 2006, 1:52 GMT

    at least pak has a chance for the world cup

  • Amyn Habib on December 6, 2006, 1:36 GMT

    To S Warne, you are an awesome amazing bowler, and this must seem unfair to you. On the other hand, you did get off pretty lightly for the "pitch and weather information..."

    I am a Pakistani fan and I was livid at this decision until I did a little reading on Nandrolone and the scientific controversy regarding using urine levels of this drug to ban athletes.

  • Gulab Khan on December 6, 2006, 1:30 GMT

    This is a dark day for Pakistani cricket, if we frowned on Shane Warne we have to cry for Shoaib and Asif - ignorence was Warne's plea (mum's prescription) so at least the Pakistani's should have found some other excuse - What happens to the two Pakistani boxers who got life bans after testing positive during the SAARC games ?? Are they also ignorent and to be excused - I think it is time that the ICC steps in and bans them and also conducts its own drug testing prior to the world cup - Let Pakistan emerge winners without any clouds overshadowing them - I know that politicians are cheats but now it seems like the judges are fighting to keep up with them as they cannot claim to be ignorent !!!

  • Nadeem Arshad on December 6, 2006, 1:16 GMT

    Kamran,

    You have definitely done a good job justifying back-door politics present in pakistan cricket. Having said that i will welcome the decision becuae its good for cricket. A quality process manufacture's a quality product. What can one expect from a Ad-hoc PCB where processes & Procedures are literally non-existant. I would be interesting to start a discussion ( suggestions ) about fixing PCB and putting solid processes in place.

  • Ned on December 6, 2006, 0:58 GMT

    This sends the message that it is OK to be a cheat in Pakistan and, in fact, cheating appears to be encouraged by this nation. Why not set up a whole system, a la East Germany during the cold war years, and build up every young Pakistani criketer on steroids. Don't educate them, so that they can't be banned for it. Don't tell them about ball tampering either, because if they're not educated about it they can obviously do it and not be punished, safe in their ignorance.

    I can only imagine the outpouring of hysterical outrage had Australian/English players been cleared of a similar offence. The same people now saying what a great outcome this is would be writing about the crooked, cheating, whities had the situation involved Australians.

    If Pakistan win the World Cup, it cannot be respected for it's achievements because it's team contains unpunished drug cheats. But cheats never prosper, and the whole world knows the truth of the matter.

  • zeeshan tirmizi on December 6, 2006, 0:52 GMT

    AT LAST THE JUSTICE IS SERVED!!! I believe this should be a big lesson for PCB and players. Rightly said Kamran that they wont get any second chances.SO BEWARE! But will we ever learn? They shouldn't have come to this stage in the first place.Both Asif and Shoaib will have to ve very very cautious in future because they will be the targets of tests in the future with other Pakistani players. I whole-heartedly believe that Afridi is a must for the ODI squad.PCB needs to get him in .

  • Obaid Khan on December 6, 2006, 0:41 GMT

    I am a cricket fanatic and love to watch my country play and win and be talked about in regards to acheivements and records formed as of Mohammad Yousuf but not what I am reading today. I believe some sort of punishment or ban should still have been implemended just so we don't look like a joke in the eyes of world cricket and still be considered competitive crickets. But what PCB made Pakistan look like with its intial annoucement on banning them and now completely acquitting them is just embarrasing. Still love my country and its prospects in the World Cup and hope we can do it without having to relay on ano outstanding performance by either one of these two players so we can prove to the world that we have a good cricketer in each and everyone of our players and that this was indeed a rational decision in the aspect of educating our players and not because we need them two to win as Mohammad Yousuf and Umar Gul and the rest of the team has proved in the recent Test series

  • Marty on December 6, 2006, 0:34 GMT

    In a word, pathetic. The PCB have not shown anything but how corrupt and ignorant they are in relation to performance enhancing drugs. I see no reason why the bans have been removed - ignorance is not an excuse, Shane Warne can testify to that.

    I hope every Test playing nation refuses to play against Pakistan until the two cheats have served their respective bans.

  • Ravesh on December 6, 2006, 0:27 GMT

    My gosh. I am not trying to be a 'hater', but honestly, this is the worst piece of document I have ever read. Kamran, I thought you were intelligent, but now I am starting to wonder. These guys were found with DRUGS in their system. Now then, this gives them an unfair advantage, does it not? Yes! I agree with the PCB in looking into the appeal. They should be banned for 10 years. Yup, they were leniently treated. This should not be tolerated. What message is this sending to other players (especially the young ones)- take drugs and nothing will happen. It seems that many of the above posts seem to agree with that idiotic message.

  • Shahan Durrani on December 6, 2006, 0:15 GMT

    As a Pakistani, in a sense I shud feel delighted to have Shoaib and Asif bak in the squad, however, wat I feel is disgusted because of this absolutely appalling decision concerning our bowlers. All this is gonna do is ruin our image further rather than winning us a world cup. I give credit to all the Pakistanis, (especially Osman khairi’s comments) who respect the law and are in favour of seeing these 2 bowlers face consequences of breaking an international law. I mean for heaven’s sake, why can’t we accept that 2 of our players made a mistake and should be held accountable for it?? Why is it so difficult to do that? Why do we always think we are above the law and that have ‘exceptional circumstances’? this pretty much sums up the problem with our society in general, whr every1 can find ways around the law. We are now being called cheats once again by the whole world.. I ask every1 who supports this decision.. do u want to have shoaib and asif back at the cost of being labeled as cheats?? What happened to the ‘pakistani pride’ now? Our national team represents our nation, and if this is how the team matters are handled, wat exactly does that portray to the whole world about our nation? In my opinion Shoaib and asif both broke the law and should face the consequences, that’s what we need to learn to do as a nation. Lets try to look at this from a neutral, or let me say, fair point of view.. if players from another country were involved in such a scandal, would we tolerate them getting away with it?

    As as far as the argument of these 2 players being unaware of the laws is concerned, how many ppl here think that’s completely true?? Well atleast I don’t. and even if it is true, the ICC should fine PCB for the lack of knowledge amongst our players.

    And yes, for those who thinks these 2 players are they key for winning the world cup, plz remember that cricket is a team game, every1 has to perform well in order to claim a victory. Yes I agree that these 2 bowlers r exceptionally talented, however its not true that we cannot win the world cup without them, plz don’t undermine the efforts of the other 9 players who need to perform as well for the team to win. In 2003 WC we had both waqar and waseem, probably the deadliest combination of opening bowlers ever, but we did terrible because we weren’t good as a team.

    Common ppl, its about time we stopped being hypocrites, care more about our integrity than winning a WC whr the world wudnt consider us the true, honourable and deserving champions, I’d rather fall with honour than win by disgracing myself.

  • khurram on December 6, 2006, 0:08 GMT

    How will this bowling line sound now for the world cup; Shoaib, Asif, Shabir & Umar Gul?? It is gonna be the strongest bowling line up Pakistan have ever had. We just need a bit of descipline to win the World cup. Cheers guys

  • hasan on December 6, 2006, 0:05 GMT

    I do not know if justice was done but atleast Pakistan cricket may have been saved atleast temporarily until the next twist in this never ending thriller which hopefully will end like one of our movies with the right boy marrying the right girl!and what does Afridi have to do with any of this? he has been simply playing lousy cricket(wish he would take the supplements they did)and should stay out unless he gets his act together.

  • Ali, Syed on December 5, 2006, 23:40 GMT

    Congratulations both Asif and Shoaib. But be careful in future.you won't get any second chance.

  • Euceph Ahmed on December 5, 2006, 23:32 GMT

    TO ALL THE AUSSIES WHO MIGHT READ THIS...

    This is what happens when you set a precedent by letting your players (Warne & Mark Waugh) off the hook with a slap on the wrist. No point complaining when your chickens come home to roost.

    TO KAMRAN ABBASI....

    Justice is done... yeah right. And, life is an Indian movie? This was the happy ending where the hero (heroes in this case) is honorably exonerated by the judge and everyone lives happily thereafter. Amazing how easily you accept the verdict in this case without blinking to think for a moment. Your bias is so obvious you should wear it on your sleeve. Amazing how you have the audacity to argue that you're against the use of performance enhancing drugs while whole-heartedly accepting this verdict all in the same post!!! You know your gallery well, and you play to it beautifully.

  • Zeshan Yousaf on December 5, 2006, 23:28 GMT

    I think its good thing for cricket.Which is in dire need of great non-Aussie players.But Almost everybody was predicting this judgement from day one of this drama.There is also point of concern that how long it will take their nandrolone to go back to normal level.What does tribunal say about that.I think they should have given them sentence depending upon above question.

  • RIZWAN on December 5, 2006, 23:00 GMT

    The verdict is out... So move on Get Afradi back in the team along with Asif & Shoab and start the run to the World Cup Finals! And win it too!

  • Mawali on December 5, 2006, 22:59 GMT

    Abbasi sahib, first off thank you Zues! The important thing to remember in all of this is the legal proccess took its course and acquited these 2 players. I will not debate whether Shaoib and Asif intentionally took the drug? The point is it is amply proven that they simply did not have enough knowledge or education to do otherwise.Secondly, the legal experts agree both Pakistani and English that the method used to collect the samples was flawed and tainted. That is good enough for me. Now having said that there is indeed a lesson to be learnt for all.For the PCB its about time it started serving its players right in terms of education and awareness on not just these matters but, health and discipline in general. For the players its words to the wise; get your act together;cut out the horseplay and take your career seriously.I am a relieved man today. I so wanted to see Shoaib staring and steaming towards a batsman ready to piss in his pants.For whatever its worth; Pakistan has produced the fastest bowler and thats something to be proud off. Adios!

  • Potblak on December 5, 2006, 22:52 GMT

    So, if ignorance or stupidity is a valid excuse in Pakistan, then Shane Warne should have appealed his one year ban in Pakistan! These are professional sportsmen and they know the rules. They are tested and informed at all levels, not just when they reach test status, as any county, state or provicial player will confirm. The anti doping rules apply at all levels.

  • Faraz Mohammad on December 5, 2006, 22:50 GMT

    Mr shan needs to get life ! so does the rest of the people who believe the verdic involved politics.. be it tennis, cycling, swimming or athletics.. every sport has given its players a chance ! face the fact people! shoaib and asif are back !

  • Shahid on December 5, 2006, 22:45 GMT

    Terrible decision. Make me hope Pakistan fail miserably at the World Cup. And I am a Pakistani fan, but ashamed to say it now.

  • Adil on December 5, 2006, 22:13 GMT

    Eid has come early for me!!! Great news on Shoaib and Asif it was the right decision, and as for the comment posted by Shan, Warne freely admitted taking the offending drug and attempted to come up with a very lame excuse, which did stand up leading to his suspension!!! I just read an interesting piece on young cricketers in Jammu Kashmir... Any thoughts of doing an article on Azad Kashmir as i know there is an abundance of talent that has yet to be tapped into...

  • Nasir on December 5, 2006, 22:11 GMT

    The decision is ridiculous. The image of PCB and Pakistan has came down. ICC will remain silent and WADA will try to improve its methods.PCB ki maan ko LUN.

  • Jim Khan on December 5, 2006, 21:44 GMT

    Look guys , this was a farce from the start. Anyway its now over and the important thing is that we get on with the cricket. There is no room for politics in sport , cricket is the winner. Pakistan now have the most formidable attack in the world. It has to Shoaib,Asif,Gul and Kaneria.The reserves are not that bad too Sami, Nazir,Shabbir and Rana. Quite comfortably the best attck in the world. The Allrounders are not that bad too , Afridi, Razzaq, Malik and Hafeez. With the main 3 batsmen , all we lack is a world class opener. With this combination and competition for places we can nearly match SA and Aus. Pakistan must enearth A saeed anwar. There has to be someone. can you imagine the starting X1.

    Great things are expected of you Pakistan!

  • Saghyr , Mobilink ISB on December 5, 2006, 21:17 GMT

    Shoaibs back.... Fears back ... really very much exited to see shoaibs run... well, it was very sorry to read n hear the statements of the senior comments like " we want to make shoab an example " what really shows evrybdy knows he is innocent... infact proved now... well kamran " what a almighty waste " was the feature about him... which shows that shoaib is unique.... must not be treated like this... thumbs up to cricinfo for its outstanding support to a Pakistan's Proud.kamran keep up the good work!

  • Salman Elahi on December 5, 2006, 21:06 GMT

    Its all premature. ICC can ban them from taking part in the WorldCup (most probably on WADA pressure)since thats ICC's own event, and then it could all blow upto into a mess no one wants. Prepare and grace yourself for a WADA+ICC attack. The acquitall is based on the ruling that "ignorance" is reason for being guilty only according to WADA rules (which mostly applies to Olympic sports) not PCB rules. So the question arises:Who's rules apply? Did the ICC or WADA Catch them??! The answer is no they did not, the PCB did. For WADA or ICC jurisdiction to be applied they better catch the players. Therefore if one strictly adheres to the rules the judges "chose" to follow, which were PCB's, then there really isnt any refutation for the argument. On the other hand, even the ICC has rules which differ from WADA, so it provides a valid line of defence for PCB to have rules different from WADA. I am not sure what will transpire in the next two to three days but it certainly wont be pleasant or provide any reason to be jubilant. And I agree with Haider Azhar "that Shoaib and Asif have had a lucky escape". Just like Shane Warne and Mark Waugh when they admitted to taking money from bookies but where let go scott free by the then ACB, despite hues and cries from the rest of the world!.

  • Hassan on December 5, 2006, 21:00 GMT

    I think that it is not only shoaib and asif's victory but also Pakistani team's victory.Secondly,i think the foriegn media should better watch out for the deeds of their own players rather than complaining about ours becuase our board still had the courage to take dope tests on its own whereas many of the other boards still haven't started this practise.Regarding the aussie(Warne)I would like to make one thing clear that australian board which is thought to be the torch bearer in anti-doping banned shane for only one year while according to wada he should have been banned for 2 years and almost everyone knows the foolish excuse he gave for taking a diuretic.Apart from this i think the only people complaining about the decision are those who are either jealous of shoaib and asif or belong countries whom batsman have been their bunnies for sometime..lolz.finally i think we should all remember that Pcb unlike icc hasn't signed any contract with wada and sice it conducted the tests on its own ; it was never bound to give a decision that appeases bth the wada and icc.

  • MastanKhan on December 5, 2006, 20:56 GMT

    After hearing comments from the original panel of Intikhab and co about the initial verdict, I realized that, that team was not technically competitive enough to pass the judgement to ban the players. Inti and party lacked the understanding of civil rights of these two individuals, the margin of error related to the drug tests in collecting the samples, the lack of education provided by the PCB to the players on consistent basis etc etc. But later on when I read about the rumour what Mark Gay had to say about collection of samples, I realized that Intikhab and party had chewed on something bigger than their ability to swallow. Also reading about other international players in similiar circumstances and what happened to them, I was really surprised at the original verdict. I am still at a loss to understand the timing of the urine test. If it was not required by the ICC, why did the PCB had to do it at the given time. Is their a limit to stupidity by the PCB executives.

  • atta-ur-rehman,md on December 5, 2006, 20:51 GMT

    dear mr abbasi, i am a physician living the usa and left pakistan because of these injustices and no plan to go back because of this lawlessness. i know you are not going to publish my comments here. if you have any courage please communicate with me. i am surprised to hear from you these comments. i thing you have personal relationship with these crickter,otherwise i cant belive that educated person like you support them. i thought that you work for british medical journal and living in england change your mentality. but i think like most of the pakistani live in england,you hane same 'dagga' mentality. i am not sure who we are following. either west or east.australia put shane warne for 1year ban and still there doping body feel that was not enough. or islam where our prophet said that if my daugter would do the crime i will cut her hand. this army dictator can do any thing. we have no integrity and we can get the worldcup by hook or by crook. but shame on you mr abbasi

  • Shahriar Hoque on December 5, 2006, 20:50 GMT

    When Akhtar and Asif was banned I was amazed that they had taken the decision so fast. I mean how can one take such a decision so fast? I hear ppl. banning AKHTAR were/was not happy with AKHTAR's non ISLAMIC life style. They just vented on AKHTAR and banned him with out any deep analysis. Yes, JUSTICE has been DONE now!! There was no evidence that NAD... was taken on purpose. Also the fact that this substance can be found under legal over the counter pills. Just look at the post from SHAAN!!! READ the 30 pages report which clearly and logistically proves why their bann was overturned. The coming tour in SA will be a cracker if PAK batsman can bat better than what the INDIANS are doing now. AKHTAR, ASIF and GUL - will make a deadly fearsome pace trio. Alongwith KANERIA in SPIN. WI, PAK, AUST always have had the rich PACE tradition and it doesn't depend on any NADRO... RUDESKI's case was the wxact and he was let go and by the SAME logic AKHTAR and ASIF were also released.

  • Hassan Abbas on December 5, 2006, 20:33 GMT

    Hi, For all those people who are saying that Shoaib and Asif have taken performance enhancing drugs, let me clear you one thing that according to the report given by the tribunal in the latest hearing it is inconclusive whether they took the drug or not because according to this tribunal the procedure of taking out the tests was not correct, even the WADA doctor who was in the tibunal agrees that the procedure of taking out the tests was not good enough and he also says that the tests should be retaken and the whole procedure should be repeated. The thing to consider is that suppose they had not taken the drugs at all, then? Do they deserve to be punished even when it is inconclusive that they took the drug? Many people here are also saying that they should be punished even when they did not know the rules and laws and watever, let me tell you my good people that these guys are not criminals, they are cricketers, they are heroes for so many people, you cannot even imagine how many people look up to them. They have not commited a murder or something as serious as that and as I said before that whatever has been done the evidence is so inconclusive that you cannot be 100 percent sure that they are guilty at all. Yes, you can always say that PCB is at fault here, for they failed to conduct the tests in a proper manner and then they even failed to handle the issues that came upfront later on. The last thing that I want to add here is that Shane Warne's case was a completely different one. The drug that he used for performance enhancement was not nandrolone, the ratio of the drug in his body was far greater than Shoaib and Asif have been found to have, and finally that test had been taken out by the ICC with proper procedure and codes and remember that Shoaib Akhter passed that test and another test before that, also taken out by the ICC.

  • Amyn Habib on December 5, 2006, 20:28 GMT

    Hi Kamran, I reviewed the literature on Nandrolone and you are right. There are a lot of issues with this drug. Amyn

  • usman on December 5, 2006, 20:25 GMT

    Well this is a good news as far as south African tour is concerned cause as we all know that if our batting is all out for around 100 runs then we can get at least 6 wickets with such a great bowling attack. Believe me, Pakistan batting will suck in SA and if pakistan manage to win any match on that tour(Highly Unlikely) then it will be because of our bowling. Asif rocks!

  • Mahir on December 5, 2006, 20:23 GMT

    Everyone here is talking about the justice done to the players. There is no justice. If they've been found guilty of doping, they are guilty. If not for the offence, they should be punished for the ignorance (which should atleast a couple of months and/or the time till which their nandlorone levels are normal again). Secondly, the PCB should realize that their handling of the whole procedure was not apt. From the very moment they made the names of those two players public, the PCB was wrong. They are not allowed to do so. And banning Shoaib for an extra year JUST because of his social habits shows an evident bias against the player. On top of that making such information public is something you'd only see when a board wants to disgrace a player. Yes, for him, justice has been served in that respect. For those who believe that the decision to overturn the ban is unfair to other cricket teams, consider the fact that when you compare their case with Shane Warne's, you have to keep in mind that facilities and information available to him is not even comparable to the pamphlet given to these guys. English and Australian cricketers, are blessed with a regularly updated one-to-one session in which they specifically told how to identify what is what, and what to take and what not take and how to check all of this, what number to call to confirm so and so. I can well imagine the information session given to the Pakistani players, where an expert would giving them a lecture and handing out pamphlets and half the players would have no clue as to what is being said, let alone being able to read the pamphlet to its fullest. Might I remind everyone, that even people very fluent in english would have a hard time understanding those pamphlets. The players are cricketers, not chemists. And in that respect, these two are not guilty of doping with intent. Shane Warne, however, got off easy. His excuse of "My mum wanted me to look slim for the camera" (or a similar) earned him a one year ban only. The drug that he was found guilty for is taken to hide the effects for other drugs. It increases urine quantity, as a result the player loses weight and traces of the old drug. What does everyone have to say about the celebrated Warne now? But as far as the PCB goes, it's like a pendulum. Swinging one way one moment, and the other way the next. Maybe with time it'll be more towards the centre.

  • Salman Salahuddin on December 5, 2006, 20:08 GMT

    It was not a matter or ignorance in Akhtar's case but merely a medical one as the experts pointed out that the band substance can be created within the body whatever may be the reason. Surely the results should be able to identify wheather the substance was created in the body or not but as it is inconclusive therefore considered not guilty.

    About Asif well I consider him lucky as the case he put forward was of a ignorance one still you have to give him a benefit of being as such.

    In all it is a great decision on part of PCB and well appreciated in the cricket world and its followers specially by the Pakistanis as this increases their chances in the next tour to South Africa and the World Cup. Best of luck to these two and the Pakistan Cricket Team.

  • Waqar Younis on December 5, 2006, 19:50 GMT

    Their is room for appeal against any decision in the world. so what if shoaib and asif used their right.every thing has done according to procedures through paper work and through proper channel.The question is not whether they took drugs or not.The question is that why were they so harshly penalized.And after being accused and may be proved.,they have won the case through appeal.If somebuddy disagrees with this decision,s/he is pulling out the word of appeal from the dictionary of laws.

  • zulfi shah on December 5, 2006, 19:45 GMT

    A terrible decision. Just goes to show that our country will prefer short-cuts and face-saving to an agonising process of justice and self-correction. How do you stop any player on the domestic circuit from taking drugs now? The PCB can't possibly educate everyone. You can willfully take any dodgy supplement you want till the board ties you to a chair and forces you to watch a presentation on what is banned and what isn't. The decision on it's own is pathetic... what I don't understand is why there weren't charges put against Shoib for not taking his dope test on time? Rio Ferdinand, a Manchester United defender, was banned for 8 months for delaying his dope test by a DAY (even though the tests were negative). Shoib apparently gave his test 4 or 5 days late, which came out positive, and still gets away with it. Shocking. And another disappointing post from a disappointing columnist.

  • YS on December 5, 2006, 19:44 GMT

    To all those who fear that any victory will be tainted or that the world will not look upon us with any favor, I just say "Who Cares!". As it is right now, the World does not look at us with any favor even when they have blatant evidence in front of them. People are still supporting Hair and hailing him as the second best umpire, ignoring the fact that the only countries on the receiving end of his bad decisions were Asian. If that is not bias, then what is? And no one addresses the fact that there is no accountability for an umpire at all. He could go on making bad decisions against a limited number of countries and still maintain a high percentage of correct decision thus being voted the 2nd best umpire.

    Of course England and Australia like him because they always benefited from his decisions. So, these English and Australians will continue to complain about Pakistan no matter what we do. I have gotten to the point where I just don't care about their opinions anymore as I believe should every other Pakistan supporter. Now, they are complaining about the Asian bloc taking over the ICC when they never complained about anything in the past as they walked all over us. Hey guys, guess what? Yes, it is a fact that the Asian bloc is stronger and if you don't like it, well tough luck...

    Historically, these people have complained about our umpires, our countries, our food, our people, they have labelled us cheats and whatever else makes them feel better. Deep down inside, they just can't fathom our success and they can't believe why Asia had to produce players like Tendulkar, Dravid, Gavaskar, Wasim Akram, Imran Khan, Miandad, Murali and the list goes on and on. They liked us better when we always lost to them.

    In the current case being discussed, I don't like the fact that Pakistan is totally letting Asif and Shoaib off. I think even if something is done without any mischief in mind, you still have to pay the price for it. The penalty should have been reduced but not totally eliminated. On the other hand, this tribunal was just an appeals committee deciding whether the first decision was correct or not. They were not sitting there to decide on an alternate punishment. They had to decide between black and white, between an agreement or a disagreement with the original decision.

    But to hear these English and Australians scream as if they have never done anything bad really forces me to say, I don't care. Yes, we did bend the rules to let our star players back in. So, what? You bent the rules when Mark Waugh and Shane Warne gave information to bookies. Don't pretend to be so honest. The fact is everyone will bend the rules when it comes to it and this was our chance so we took it. I don't care what you have to say about us. Call us cheats, call us whatever you want but we are going to do what we think is in our best interest, not yours..... And I love the way all of you are crying now that you know the Asians are united in the ICC and things won't go your way anymore.

  • Arif khan on December 5, 2006, 19:37 GMT

    A wise decision made!! i agree wid most of u dat it should have been the first decision rather then the afterwards.well i'll be glade if both of shoaib n Asif return soon as possible.... To watch them, paying back to their CRITICS by giving outstanding performance!!

  • Usman Anwar on December 5, 2006, 19:35 GMT

    For PCB to do anything after this hearing is to fix PCB itself first. PCB is corrupt all over. They have no order. Anyone can do whatever they want and have no one to answer to. Their power structure is meaningless. President Musharaf at the head and then his pawn doing the work. If PCB wants to do something good than they should first hire people who "actually" have knowledge of cricket and can teach the captain of the team all the rules that apply on the field and off the field. Secondly, I believe PCB conducted the drug test because either they knew that both of their players had used the drugs and they knew ICC will be doing a doping test after what happened at last world cup. So to protect their interest they had to do an internal doping test so that the matter stayed internal. Both hearing to me look screwed up no matter which way you look at it. Although it's good for Pakistan cricket that both players can now play for their country but it would only be worth it if they actually use this situation and regroup themselves for the tougher tasks that lie ahead starting from South Africa tour and than World Cup. As for Shahid Afridi, well he is a Pathaan. He might be stubborn at times but I think PCB just hasn't handled him in the right way. He can be a great asset to the team if proper coaching and proper role is assigned to him. One day in slogging mode and the other day in containing mode. Altough a batsmen should be capable of both but in defense of Shahid, well he can only one mode and than is slog. Hopefully PCB can come up with some way to using their players in the right manner and get their house in order else some of the players might see ending of their careers.

  • David on December 5, 2006, 19:24 GMT

    I hope the ICC overturns this whitewash for the good of the game - I'm sick of cheating athletes wriggling out of drug offences on the grounds they didn't know what they were taking. This represents a backward step for the sport

  • ali on December 5, 2006, 19:13 GMT

    i think the XI for the odis is simple. we play 3 regular bowlers as usual. asif, shoaib, and gul. gul has surpassed, sami and rana. although sami, rana and rao are good backups and shud be played whenever possible so everyone is rested and healthy.

  • Hassan Abbas on December 5, 2006, 19:12 GMT

    I totally agree with you Kamran and I can say this to you with complete confidence that every single person who understands sports and especially cricket will agree with you word by word. As far as the issue of doping is concerned, I have always said that the biggest punishment for a player is that a banned drug has been found out of his system, which means that he would have to live with a dark patch of being called a doper throughout his life, so why punish him more? Why ban him and harm his career even more when he already has to bear the burden of being called a cheat by the people for the rest of his life. Asif and Shoaib will also have to live with this burden but today is the day of resurrection for them. Finally I would say that, after looking at all the events that took place and after taking the dumbness of PCB into consideration one already had the feeling that the decision taken earlier was somehow shoddy and as you say Kamran atlast justice is done. :)

  • Crazy Cricket on December 5, 2006, 19:05 GMT

    Damn those people who are not happy with this decision, u guyz simply dont't undrstand da word 'justice' WAY 2 GO PAKIZ

  • John on December 5, 2006, 19:01 GMT

    I have read the comments on here with interest. The non-Pakistan people whinging how unfair these two didn't get banned and the Pakistan people rejoicing.

    Well, Nandrolone has been found in many supplements and now supplements are specifically being tested for it.

    Also if Greg 'The White' Rusedski can get away with 10 times the amount Shoaib had in his system.

    So what's the big deal if Shoaib got off.

    What happened to Shane Warne was Australian business. What happens to Shoaib and Asif is the PCB's business.

    Tough, get ready for some pace coming at you next year.........

  • Raza Zaidi on December 5, 2006, 18:49 GMT

    This aqcuittal is downright shameful, disgraceful, and unethical. It has made a mockery of justice, and goes to show how the cricket-crazy nation will sink to the depths of filth to get their hands on that World Cup by hook or by crook. The image of PCB and Pakistan sports has been mutilated forever. ICC and WADA are surely going to contest these aqcuittals in the International Arbitration Court and most likely win a full 2-year ban on both Shoaib and Asif. And then, Pak cricket and nation will be left with neither a face, nor any world cup hopes. All the jubilant supporters of this decision are as ignorant as the players themselves, and will find out soon that this short-sighted decision will go a long way to mar the future of Pak sports.

  • Nadeem on December 5, 2006, 18:34 GMT

    Well, i can't say much about the justice but i only know one thing. This jugglery wod not die down as we think. i have all my doubts about mr express, can't say much about the innocence of asif. things have been made difficult for a nobel and upright man Mr Ashraf. Now he ll have to face the music and will have to defend and justify the ICC or WADA (if they jump in the court). Interestingly this incident has given the hope to those boxers as well. now they can get their life ban lifted and u wod definately see the appeal from their side in near future. i want my Pakistan to be respected else where i go . Will this be happen by the justice made to them.

  • khurshid anwar los angeles on December 5, 2006, 18:29 GMT

    Great news..fantastic ,bravo judge ibrahim ,you have done a great job.i am so glade with shoaib and asif's ban overturned,i been reading some venomous responds from our westren friends...they are really pissed off with PCB....and i am sure that their wrath of hate will not be stopped any time soon....but WHO CARES...i am delighted to see our "LIONS" are back in action...good job PCB (second time around) by not showing your back to our star players....Hello south africa...we are comming and its not team india...it is shoiab,asif,gull and shabir....watch out world....love for team pakistan...pakistan zinda baad.

  • sad on December 5, 2006, 18:05 GMT

    it was noted in the text of the original hearing that he did 3 very strange things for somone who maintained that his nandrolone test came from innocent sources 1. He declined to have a further test which could decide whether the nandrolone was due to natural causes (he was maintaing that excuse was his excessive training and protein intake led to the failed test) 2.He declined to have his supplements tested - 3. He didnt have his B - sample analysed in case there was some mistake ( this has happened in the past)

    Also alot has been made of western hypocrites re Rusedski ,Warne and Christie but i dont think this is an east west issue at all. Most westerners felt Warne was lucky to only get a year , rusedski v lucky and christie rightly banned - in the same way it seems to me that plenty of Pakistan cricket supporters think that this is not the correct outcome either . What people miss is that as long as sportsmen continually hide behind technicalities and are not forced to take responsibility for their actions those players who have never taken drugs will continue to miss out. I completely disagree with Kamrans use of a martin Luther King quote . Doping is so endemic in all professional sport that the sooner there is zero tolerance (even meaning some "innocents" being banned) the greater good of sport will be served and thos honest athletes will stop being penalised.

  • rizwan on December 5, 2006, 17:57 GMT

    i dont have any word to explain how i express my feeling when i read this breaking news about the decision but i want to say somthing about the people who took action against asif and shohaib. they were not sicceare with pakistan cricket as well as player. especially itikhab alam he should be ban all type of TV programs for as expert.He is involve resontly serious against our heros like inzamam, razzaq and other more he is very unbearable person of pakistan cricket i have lot of word to condem him ok by

  • Amif J K on December 5, 2006, 17:46 GMT

    Thanks Allah Almighty! after waiting a lot, the decision has come favourable for both players and the game. Lesson to be learnt for PCB not the players. Think twice b4 u make a decision. you can't ruin someone's career on the basis of false assumptions. anyways welcome both player on the cricket arena and all da best for your and our country's future. May every opportunity welcome you again. Pakistan Zindabaad.

  • Jibran on December 5, 2006, 17:38 GMT

    The World is a mysterious place and Pakistan is even more. Lets hope they perform far better than Warne did on his come back, because that will be the only thing which will wipe off their tainted careers (courtesy to Mr. Ramiz Raja).

  • Touqeer Tariq on December 5, 2006, 17:31 GMT

    Pathetic Decision!!!

    Really I can't understand how Pakistani Fans can celebrate this decision???

    Guys, this decision will tell the whole world that morality, like other espects of our life, is fadding away from our cricket as well.

    Everybody will question that why only Pakistan has problems with Umpires?

    Why only Pakistanis are called cheats when they do the rewerse swing?

    Only Pakistanis are (NOW) involved in Match Fixing? (Since no country is willing to appoint Wasim Akram as even a non-reguler bowling coach, not even Pakistan)

    And how on earth their bowlers can take banned drugs and still escape from the ban?

    Really I thought earlier decision was lot better to initiate the respect we deserve.

    I think ICC should come into this now. PCB and these 2 players donot deserved to escape like that.

    Shoaib has been playing for 8 years now, the whole saga of Warne-ban happened in front of him and he still says that I dont know that what is dope test???

    Is there anybody who can repremand PCB for this act of crime?

  • Dr Badruddin Savja on December 5, 2006, 17:13 GMT

    From the day first I was sure that Shoaib and Asif are innocent.At last justice is done. Congratulations to boththe players and all the people,involved. As usual many people will talk bad things about the process and judgement of this case. Ignore them, as this is human nature.

  • Usman Ghafoor on December 5, 2006, 17:11 GMT

    Its what we've all been hoping for but didn't possibly believe could happen. The ban being lifted is wonderful, but i'm afraid of the skeptics now. They will say tis was all just a show put on by the PCB. They will say It was Pakistani politics, and bigger hand that was using the appeals committee as it's puppet. The only reason Shoaib and Asif are back is because Pakistan couldn't face the fact they had to go into the World Cup without their openning attack. While I doubt this was a clean decision (there was probably corruption) ,but do you honestly think the way Pakistan handled the initial testing and the court decision lacked corruption? At hearing of the ban, the first reaction most people had was, like Mr.Abassi said,"Why would you go after your own players like that?" A witch hunt. Was it to get a couple of props from the ICC, or was it a vendetta against the players altogethor? It is sad that eventhough these players are back, and cleared of all charges, they havn't faced the worst yet. The rest of his life, every ball Shoaib throws, running in from the boundaries, (the wicket keeper standing on the opposite boundary), splitting middle stump, will be looked at with a crooked eye.

    On side not, I wanted to ask Mr.Abassi, Omar Gul is playing great, and he has been one of my favorite bowlers for the past few years. Where does this leave him? Will he be our third pacer behind Asif and Shoaib, or will he be dropped for Razzaq's bat?

  • tox paki supota 4 lyf on December 5, 2006, 17:08 GMT

    come on now tey are back we are favorites alongside the croked aussies as they allways have been to win the world cup. come on lads were gunna prove these south africans that were betta than them.

  • Goher on December 5, 2006, 17:02 GMT

    As happy as I am with this decision, I think it is far from over. I think ICC will drag WADA into this and soon PCB will be criticised. Isn't there a World Cup coming in March? They also "randomly" test 2 players from each team before that starts. Now I wonder which two players would I test if I was a member of ICC... hmmm... hmmm... I think a better decision should have been Asif banned till World Cup begins (that way he doesn't injure himself) and Shoaib banned till for one year, a sentence served out just in time for PAK's Tour of IND. The verdict right now seems like a fairy tale ending and, not so strong if you ask me. Maybe PCB's lawyer Mark Gay has already decided to take up the case if there is a protest from WADA or ICC, which is good too.

  • Satish Kumar on December 5, 2006, 17:01 GMT

    I am Indian fan of Pakistani fast bowling & I am very happy for both Shoaib & Asif

  • Ghalib Taimur on December 5, 2006, 16:57 GMT

    Well it seems the whole cricketing world is going to have reactions to this.Some will be pleased while others will feel they are cheats.

    As for me i don't know whether they cheated or not but logically i would say that they would be stupid if they took performance enhancing drugs knowing how often they are tested.

    Technically there was this interview on Sky Sports of a lady who works in England on their doping issues in the UK and she said that it would be highly unlikely that these two players would deliberately use substances to create nandrolone as it would not be as effective as perhaps other drugs in the market to heal their injuries which they had previously(eg.ankle)

    Also lets not forget bigger organisations like NBA,NFL than the ICC are always in contact with WADA on doping issues and their issues are alot bigger than nandrolone and players are forgiven over the ruling that the drug was taken unintentionally.The players must be given benefit of the doubt.Even the PCB and other boards must be blamed on not enough education about drugs.

  • Yasir Thanvi on December 5, 2006, 16:56 GMT

    being a pakistani yeah i amm eated to have one of the lethal fast bowlers back in the team.. but apart from being biased i contradict with your statement that JUSTICE IS DONE. both the committees were set up by PCB and both gave absolutely different verdicts which implies that both the players are forced back to enhance pakistan's chances in the worldcup.

  • Wasif Shah on December 5, 2006, 16:38 GMT

    it is very good news for me and all pakistani. i am very happy shoaib & asif.

  • Shakeel on December 5, 2006, 16:31 GMT

    Even if we manage to win the worldcup, it'd be in a bitter taste.

    and sorry Mr. Abbassi, you continue to dissapoint.

  • Hamza on December 5, 2006, 16:30 GMT

    I would reiterate the fact that this whole doping saga was nothing more than a stunt on PCB's part to earn credibility in the global circle. All scientific debate is bullshit , it was all predetermined and everybody knew how this whole story will eventually pan out. You can pick out tons of differences between cases in comparison and u can raise hundreds of objections in the verdict issued by either of the tribunals, the crux of the matter is that once PCB had bungled the situation they devised an ill-conceived plan to save their and their players' arses. Saying that, the players aren't innocent at all. They should've been given relief on the ban but a total acquittal is an overly-fair treatment.

  • Waqqas on December 5, 2006, 16:28 GMT

    From what I understand, the first panal made its decision based on the ICC anti-doping guidelines. The drugs test was carried out by the PCB, so the matter fell under the jurisdiction of the PCB. The appeal panal was acting in accordance to the proper framework and hense under this premise the players have been found not guilty.

  • anees ahmed on December 5, 2006, 16:22 GMT

    to the above post by morgan,

    would you care to compare the doping awareness facilities between ACB and PCB?

  • Arshad on December 5, 2006, 16:14 GMT

    well,congrate pakistan and their fans.......well i think this is very gud decision...well now u will see that .the world cup is our,its pakistan

  • Zaheer Hussein on December 5, 2006, 16:13 GMT

    Even Samuel Beckett would find the constant barrage of absurdity that Pakistani cricket's administrators and players subject us to, difficult to handle.

    Obviously, I do not have enough information to pass judgment but from what I understand from your post, the ban has been withdrawn on the basis of technicalities. I am not sure how you can claim that justice has been undone.

    As for all you morons out there who are cheering for Shoaib and his return for the World Cup, remember that the World Cup is 3 months away and Akthar will find a million other ways to self-destruct before that.

    Asif though, is a different story. He is the one true hope left in Pakistani bowling (except the Imran-backed-eternally-toothless-Sami, of course) and I hope he learns from this experience and uses the opportunity to become a great.

  • Morgan on December 5, 2006, 16:01 GMT

    This comment probably will not even be posted... But what the hell is wrong with the PCB? How is it possible that these players are found guilty one day and not the next? This verdict has dodgy written all over it.

    Ignorance and stupidity are now reasons to dodge rightful suspensions? Shane Warne did not get off his ban from cricket for 12 months as a result of his ignorance.

    It is also an ironic decision because of the recent statements being made by the chief of the World Anti-Doping Agency, Dick Pound, saying he was 'disappointed' at the ban handed-down to Warne over the 'diet pill scandal'.

    Well Dick Pound, what do you and the WADA have to say about this and indeed, what will you and your organisation do?

    Players did the wrong thing and should be punished, no matter how important they are to a teams WORLD CUP PROSPECTS. Being stupid or ignorant does not (should not?) exempt one in the eyes of the law. The crooked, biased and corrupt PCB should be ashamed as this decision is a victory for corruption.

  • Fahad on December 5, 2006, 15:45 GMT

    I am very very very much delighted to hear this news :) ! GO GO PAKISTAN !

  • anees ahmed on December 5, 2006, 15:29 GMT

    well the one good thing to come out of all this is that shoaib and asif have ahd some rest, shoaibs knee and ankle injuries should be completely healed up by now. just looking for the positives to come out of their bans lol

  • ZOHAIB KAMAL on December 5, 2006, 15:26 GMT

    well! a brilliant decision made now by the tribunal.the nasty one was made before.now the chances of takin next year,s worldcup 4 PAKISTAN r on da way.i congratulate all my country men on dis brilliant & special news.LOVE PAKISTAN Regards, ZOHAIB KAMAL ABBOTTABAD,PAKISTAN

  • Ehsan on December 5, 2006, 15:17 GMT

    Once again Pakistani players have been vindicated after being crucified. Biases aside on all sides, the enquiry was conducted by a highly respected retired Judge as well as a Cricketer of repute as well as well-regarded medical expert. Instead of reacting in our usual "negative" manner to everything and our love for intrigue & conspiracy, we should welcome and respect the decisions. I congratulate both Shoaib and Asif, as I firmly believe they are not cheaters. Their return will make cricket more entertaining, exciting and competitive. Watch out Aussies, we're back in the hunt for the World Cup!!

  • Hussain on December 5, 2006, 15:13 GMT

    I agree with Jerard on having independent body to decide this. But I am surprised that you were happy with PCB when they banned the players, which was by far the extreme decision, and now when they over turn it, you find it appalling. I also think David Furrows is right about ICC raising their eye brow over this, but when you question Haseeb Ahsan's credibility, why not questions the motives of the earlier commission who, correct me if I am wrong, justified Shoaib's ban because he is also "sexually active". And lastly, Mr. ashamed sub continental, ignorance in knowing the contents of a supplement i don't think should be considered same as breaking any other law. PCB was very wrong in the way they handled the whole issue from the start, but I won't call them crooked. I think it’s your approach which is more pathetic than Kamran's argument in favor of the players. You give example of Warne but ignore the more relevant reference about Rusedski, who probably you don't even know about. Ignorant people like you do more harm than good. I just hope, for the sake of us fans and the cricket, that PCB and players all learn from it and concentrate more on the real game.

  • Rehan on December 5, 2006, 15:08 GMT

    For those who are jumping all over the PCB and crying foul, here are some highlights from the decision that I think clearly spell out why Asif and Akhtar are justifiable innocent:

    "A player commits a doping offence if: (a) a prohibited substance is present within the player's body tissue or fluids, unless: (i) the player uses the prohibited substance for therapeutic purpose (see clause 4.4.); or (ii) there are exceptional circumstances (see clause 4.5)".

    It is important to recognize that the ICC Anti Doping Code although largely WADA compliant, does have a few provisions which are different to the WADA Code. Most significantly, a player who is able to prove 'No Fault or Negligence' is found to have committed no violation. This is a departure from the WADA Code, which even under the circumstances of 'No Fault or Negligence' does not allow for a verdict of no violation but the same is only the basis for reduction in penalty.

    Therefore, there is no doubt in our minds that the PCB Anti Doping Regulations are applicable to the present case of Shoaib Akhtar and Muhammad Asif who were tested in Pakistan by the PCB under its Regulations and not by any other international sports body.

    Don't forget the scientific debate surrounding the level of 19-Norandrosterone and questioned the prescribed limit of 2 ng/ml by citing medical literature which argued that higher levels of 19-Norandrosterone was possible by way of endogenous production.

    The PCB's Anti Doping Control Officer Dr. Sohail Saleem, was specifically asked by the ADC as to how many times were the players advised on Anti Doping Regulations in the past year. He answered, not even once.

    The vast record of the proceedings before the ADC and this Appeals Committee establishes that Shoaib Akhtar and Muhammad Asif were never advised against taking supplements, nor were they even provided with any international or local publications warning them against the use of supplements.

  • Faisal on December 5, 2006, 15:04 GMT

    My issue with the first committee was Intikhab's statements at the end. Shoaib drinks etc etc. That is a seperate crime(according to pak law) you cannot punish a person because he appears/does immoral things.

    What is Intikhab going to say, Danish prays to idols so we had to punish him. those comments made me believe the first committee was on a witch hunt.

  • Rehan on December 5, 2006, 14:56 GMT

    I could care less about all this outrage. No other country has inflicted these pathetic and inconclusive drug tests on their players in the manner the PCB did. It was wrong to hold them to a different standard than Tendulkar or Flintoff. And whichever "doctors" on this message board think they can determine drug usage by physical traits should market their skills elsewhere or admit to being a liar. Finally, in the US, even Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire have never been found guilty of any usage and are permitted to play, even though it is known that they used drugs. Move on people, there's nothing to see here.

  • nasir siddique on December 5, 2006, 14:55 GMT

    As i had predicted, PCB has made a hash of things. This matter is just going to get tougher from here on and is not the end of this saga. Nobody in Pakistan does any wrong. After all when was the last time a celebrity was implicated in anything in this country.

    This decision sets a dangerous precedent since any future Pakistani athlete can proclaim ignorance as an excuse for testing positive.

    As for the boost Pakistan will get with the return of these players, I don't think Pakistan will become a better side and these players will now feel the pressure and heat since each time they perform they will arouse suspicion. I am sure Shoaib will breakdown again under the intense scrutiny and as for Asif it may be easier but he will take time to regain his prowess if ever.

    As for PCB this matter could not have been handled any worse and surely this will not mean the end of this matter, I think its just the beginning.

  • Naser Ranjha on December 5, 2006, 14:47 GMT

    Yes, South Africa... get ready we will rock you now.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on December 5, 2006, 14:42 GMT

    I’m bewildered at the euphoria and ecstasy that has engulfed the country. This is downright, preposterous. Though, there is no doubt about the fact that the Pakistani cricket team will be better with the inclusion of Shoaib and Asif, I for one cannot even begin to fathom how the people of this country, can condone the negative ramifications associated with such a decision. What is even more infuriating is that people in this forum blog or whatever it is you want to call it, are deprecating and disparaging Shan for his blunt and honest views, some even going to the extent of questioning his loyalty to the country. This is sick and absolutely nonsensical. It is unfortunate, that such is the level of tolerance in our society. What is even more vexing is how three months ago everyone raised such a big hue and cry about being labeled as cheats in the infamous ‘pride and respect is more important than victory itself’ scenario. It was purported that the Pakistani nation can bear the pain of forfeiting a test match but can not under any circumstances, tolerate being called cheats. It is hence, hypocritical to now observe an overwhelming proportion of the people here celebrating the return of Shoaib and Asif. For now, even if we do win the world cup with the aid of these two players (which by the way is extremely far fetched!), our victory will be tainted with suspicion. I’d rather come second in the world cup by playing tough competitive cricket with honor and pride rather than win it, and hear people belittle our victory and mock our integrity. Fact is, these two players took ‘PERFORMANCE ENHANCING’ drugs and the VERY LEAST the PCB could have done is impose a heavy financial penalty on the guilty party. It is farcical to note than even that wasn’t done. So much for the country’s honor and image. What a pity.

  • Shahid on December 5, 2006, 14:36 GMT

    My question why WADA and ICC has to get involve. 1)The test was conducted by PCB ICC did not ask for the test 2)WADA was not asked to do the test by any one.

    If this is the internal matter of PCB who the hell ICC and WADA is to get involve in a soverign nation internal matters. Mr. Kamran can you explain this little bit legality for us naive and illeterate people of third world

  • Adnan Yusuf on December 5, 2006, 14:35 GMT

    Mr. Kamran Abbassi, I totally agree with you that the international commentators and critics will start a campaign to refer to Shoaib and Asif as cheats who have been lucky not to get punished, due to the PCB system.

    I request you to pre-empt this campaign by writing an article clearly explaining that Shoaib and Asif got this humiliation due to the adhoc PCB systems and policies.

    I believe that PCB should apologise to these players. Our innocent players got into this mess as PCB does not have the system to let the players know about the doping regulations.

    Additionally, these two innocent players got into international media due to wrong reasons, without any fault of theirs. In fact the blame is totally that of PCB. How can they balme players for taking drugs if they don't have any system to inform them of the banned drugs!!!

    The ICC and WADA should reprimand PCB to improve their anti-doping program and should guide the PCB in this regard.

    Shaoaib and Asif, I feel for you. I am sorry that you have to deal with the pathetic adhoc PCB. You deserve all the respect and applause.

    Mr. Kamran Abbassi, please inform the world about the reality. The world should criticise the PCB, and not these players.

  • Usman Tohid on December 5, 2006, 14:28 GMT

    I totally agree with Hassan Ehsan and Talsha Ahmad in that the lack of clear guidelines and rules to abide by almost ended the careers of our two super stars. The whole process of testing /charging players seems inadequate and calls for majors improvements in the system. However, i am totally clueless as to why people are comparing shane's case to asif and shoaibs. He admitted taking drugs knowinlgy and then try to get away with it with one of dumbest excuse i've never heard. He initially told the media that he intended to fight the ban, but then changed his mind, saying it was the Australian way to "take it in the chin". so lets not compare his case with asif and shoaib's.

    Also i think its a bit too early to celebrate. ICC and WADA will certianly do everthing in their power to make sure enough evidence is there to overturn the bans. Lets just hope and pray we see both of our superstars in the middle of the field, wrecking havocs of our openents and bringing home the glory of world cup!

  • Neil on December 5, 2006, 14:24 GMT

    The result is to be expected really. The PCB were never going to allow 2 of their start players to miss the world cup. I really don't think the PCB should even go through the charade of having a drugs policy ... sorry yes they can .. you can take performance enhancing drugs, just pretend you don't know you are taking them !!!

    It will be interesting to see in any action is taken against the people who gave Shoaib and Asif the drugs... won't hold my breath !!!

  • Hamza on December 5, 2006, 14:20 GMT

    It was all predetermined. It was nothing more than a drama.

  • Zubair Shahab on December 5, 2006, 13:52 GMT

    As a Pakistani, I am glad to see our new ball pair up and running again. But i have to say that ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law... The PCB is going to be severely criticized for its decision but that is beside the point. A proper reason besides that of Mohammad Asif being illiterate has to be given for the bans being repealed.

  • Mahboob on December 5, 2006, 13:50 GMT

    Keeping in mind pakistan's next tour,I was wondering if south african's hammering of indians (specially their bowlers) has any thing to do with this decision.

  • Qasim on December 5, 2006, 13:47 GMT

    yes... happy days are here agaain now we have good chance of winning the world cup. lets just hope akthar and asif can bowl as goood they did before the ban. south africa is going to be a tough series before the world cup. South Africa is 3 on the odi ranking right now. If we win the odi series against west indies. Our ranking can go up to and when we go to south africa. If we can beat south africa. Then we can be the 2 best team in the odi ranking. If south Africa wins the team. They will be 1 in the odi ranking.

  • saqibb on December 5, 2006, 13:43 GMT

    i feel very very good that shoaib and asif r coming back because pakistan team needs them alot as well as the whole country the people who know cricket i was very sad 2 hear that they 2 were not playing but today when i saw the news i felt very happy now i am as well as all pakistanis are looking forward to see them on the ground in the world cup!!!!!!so lets see who wins!!!!!! pakistan opponents ko hil nei nahi deina i wil like to see the pakistani team holding the world cup best of luck guys and em sure that the whole pakistan cricket team especially inzamam,younis khan and bob woolmer wil be very happy about the news!!!!!!!!

  • Khurram on December 5, 2006, 13:39 GMT

    GR8 FOR PAKISTAN First ICC should start to take doping test on EVERY player. There is no such ting.

    I am 101% many other players use doping in others team so why should Pakistan test own players ??

    BUT this should give waring to all Pakistan players plz dont use such stuff.

  • Nadia Aleem on December 5, 2006, 13:36 GMT

    Justice is done as doping case's early decision was simply a case of wrong and hasty decision ......... Remember one thing ...Both Shoaib and Asif were recovering and coming back from injury...they were not playing any competitive cricket when tested and they had no competitive match to play for another month..before they were to be declared match fit...and it is no rocket science that any steroid's effects are effetive for only two weeks at the most...!!!! so all the increased levels were due to recovery medicines....not performance enhancing injections... and by the way just "google" for other atheltes of different sports who have been given similar acquittal for similar offence in case of Nandrolone......Problem is that it is a substance which may pop its head on its own in human body as well as due to food supplements also...!!!!!!!! so please put down the antagonist goggles and see through the truth...Shoaib and Asif were innocent....That is plain truth...

  • SMWaqas on December 5, 2006, 13:21 GMT

    Good news for pakistan cricket and for Shoiab and Asif it was a big mistake from Shahid Hamid & CO

  • Mohammad Aftab Ahmed on December 5, 2006, 13:12 GMT

    Dear Kamran, You've made 4 key points - two of which are rubbish, while the 3rd & 4th certainly carry weight.

    1-Umar Gul. Since his performance against India (prior to his back injury) he had shown us a glimse of what he is capable of. To make the ball move on the flat pitches of Pakistan shows that he can move the ball on any surface. He can reverse swing the ball, and has more pace that Asif. And if not for M. Yousuf's exploits he would have been the first choice for player of the series against the WI in the recently concluded series. He may not have the "consistent" accuracy that Asif has, but he has the knack of producing at least 2 beauties out of a 6-ball over - something Akram used to do all the time. So is Gul better than Asif? Because of his extra pace, better fielding, and clearing improving batting skills - I would say a resounding YES.

    2-Justice? No sir, justice has not been carried out. As an ardent fan of Pakistan cricket, I was devestated to hear the sacking of Asif and Shoaib, knowing that we have lost a major chance to lift the world cup. As well as the future new ball pairing of Gul & Asif, when Shoaib retires. But no matter what, one had to admit that both pair deserved punishment - especially Shoaib - for thier crimes. Not having knowledge of a crime is no excuse if you commit the crime. More importantly, once a judgement has been passed based on existing laws, how can they be COMPLETELY overturned by an appeal? A reduced punishment one can understand. But a complete overruling? Thats not Justice Kamran, thats under-the-table payoffs and corruption.

    3-The PCB needs to get its act straight in regards to better educating the players, to better educating thier medical staff, and thier overall doping committe. Spot on.

    4-Team Pakistan need to start focusing on winning the WC. Which, to be fair, they've been doing well until the Shoaib-Asif Drugs fiasco. They need to get back on track. Spot on.

  • Manish on December 5, 2006, 13:07 GMT

    Few question for Mr Abbasi, and others:

    1) Irrespective of the rightness of wrongness of the nandralone testing procedures, we have to follow the law. And according to the existing law, something illegal has been done. If not these two, then someone else must take the blame. So, who is it? PCB/Trainer/Physio/Coach/Mom(as in Warney's case)?

    2) PCB pulled these two out of Champions' Trophy. Did an enquiry, and acquitted them. Had they not pulled these 2 out, there are chances they would have been found out by ICC dope tests during the tournament. So the PCB saved their skin? !!!!! Shouldn't CA have done the same with Warne? As he was also tested positive before the WC started! Way to go PCB.

    3) Now coming to the player's innocence. Maybe one can forgive Asif...but Shoaib has been around for so long. Played for so many clubs, counties, teams...all around the world. Even played for World XI teams etc. Are you saying he is naive enough to not know about these issues?

  • MesbahTinku on December 5, 2006, 13:07 GMT

    That's the justice for Shoaib &Asif I think. Because, they took the drugs without knowing.

  • a ghaffar on December 5, 2006, 13:06 GMT

    great news for every one in pakistan ,and for every fast bowling lover that shoiab and asif now will be played again very soon.thier inclusion will boost pakistans chances in world cup wnd with umer gull bowl beautifully handsup every batsmen form this pace trio

  • Sohail Badar on December 5, 2006, 13:00 GMT

    Well..well... The PCB cat is finally out of the bag. One tribunal that consists of a top barristor of the country; an ex-captain who served as the manager and coach for several years and a doping specialist physician were totally blind in giving a verdict that was based on ICC code rather than PCB code. And now a second tribunal consisting of a former judge (known for acquitting culprits...e.g. match fixing inquiry where he acquitted Saleem Malik & Co. and they were later punished by justice Qayyum) a cricketer of below average credentials (no match to Intikhab Alam of the original tribunal) and a doping specialist physician who dissented with the PCB framed verdict. But..... What are PCB chances at the World Cup. There regulations will be according to ICC and not the PCB and there is no way that their nandrolone can come down to the legitimate limit in three months. Good luck PCB. Pakistan is a country rich in constitutional wizards who can juggle around with any law and I am sure PCB finds one in the world cup too....

  • Obaid Ilyas on December 5, 2006, 12:58 GMT

    This volte-face does nothing for the image of Pakistan cricket or Pakistan itself. Kamran is right when he thinks that the world will think that rules are being bent to protect our star players. In my opinon they have every right to doubt this decision. Doping is a serious issue around over the world in all sports but, as it is witnessed by nearly all comments here, people in Pakistan don't seem to think so hence the claims of victory and joy. Not only in cricket but in general society as well we need to appreciate that laws are there for a reason and ignorance is not an acceptable defence. Even if Shoaib and Asif have been reprieved due to a technicality in the testing procedure it does not mean that they were never at fault. Admittedly there are issues with Nandralone testing but the statements of both Asif and Shoaib showed that there was more to their positive test than just that. PCB would do well to find out how exactly the tests came positive in the first case and specifically in the case of Shoaib investigate into all the supplements and "medicines" he has been loading up on.

    The circus seems not to be over yet as ICC or WADA could take still take PCB and the two players to the International Court of Arbitration for Sport to appeal this decision.

    What a mess!

  • Khan on December 5, 2006, 12:53 GMT

    Pakitani brothers & sisters its time to celebrate our greatest fast bowlers are back now yupppy

    The decision of last tribunal was pathetic and unjust.As Almighty Allah [swt] says in Holy Quran "When truth is heard against falsehood, falsehood perishes as falsehood by its nature bound to perish" so once again falsehood perishes yoooo

    Advice for frustrated non pakistanis " Please show your frustrations some where else as we are genuinely not interested in your crappy observations".

  • Abdul on December 5, 2006, 12:44 GMT

    Pakistan should be ashamed of itself....this has just proved how corrupt our system is. I am a huge fan of Shoaib and Mohammed but they took a drug to cheat in cricket, this cannot be condoned!

    Our cricket will now be a laughing stock in the eyes of world cricket. Pakistan have no real chance of winning the world cup and now this proves it. I am ashamed to be a Pakistani today. All these other people saying their comments are fools to think otherwise. Pakistani cricket RIP

  • Uns khan on December 5, 2006, 12:42 GMT

    Well!! not surprisingly for "ENGLISH", clearing Shoaib and Asif would always be injustice, but definately when GREG gets cleared its their transparent justice. PATHETIC!!!

  • Abid Khan on December 5, 2006, 12:42 GMT

    What will happen if these two are found guilty of having the hormone in their body at the world cup?

  • Zohaib Malik on December 5, 2006, 12:40 GMT

    Nevetheless a victory of Truth that has made brighter prospects for Pakistan in the World Cup.Shame on PCB for making the wrong decision and letting their Heroes down.

  • Zohaib Malik on December 5, 2006, 12:37 GMT

    I think now there should be a hearing of the people that perviously made the wrong decision. They should be held responsible for it.Shoaib and Asif should file a case against them specialy Intikhab Alam.

  • Majid on December 5, 2006, 12:33 GMT

    I really don't know what to make of the decision. Being a Pakistani I should be absolutely thrilled about the fact that two of our premier bowlers are back in the picture but I am not sure if thats how I feel at the moment.

    Its the extreme nature of the two decisions made by two different tribunals that bothers me. The first tribunal decided on a 2 year ban for shoaib and a year long ban for asif. ummmm WHY? The reasons that surfaced on this website were appalling. Shoaib drinks and has an active sex life. What the hell does that have to do with cricket you moron. I wonder if ACB thought about warnie's lifestyle before laying a verdict. During the first tribunal PCB kept claiming that both players will have a fair chance to defend themselves. I don't think that was the case.

    Now on to the second verdict which completely clears both players. WHY? HOW? WHAT? REALLY...Just like that. The complete turn around is what seems odd here. Maybe they didn't know much about the supplements but somebody did (trainer/nutritionist/doctor). The players should face some sort of ban but more importantly PCB needs to be shaken up. We can do without these incompetent individuals.

    Finally on our prospects in the world cup. If shabbir can start from where he left, I think we have a chance.

  • Junaid KHan on December 5, 2006, 12:28 GMT

    Its the right decision because their tests were not carried out properly.So no one can complain.If a procedure is carried out incorrectly then how can you justify the end result?

  • Wasim Alim on December 5, 2006, 12:27 GMT

    Although as a Pakistan cricket fan and as a cricket fan in general, it is good news to see both of them in action in the WC07 but as far as justice is concerned, it is a dissapointing to see the original verdict overturned. Either the first verdict was taken in a hurry with out taking all the factors into account or PCB just tried to stage this drama. Either way its pathetic. Anyone who saw these two bowlers on the trip to Australia two years ago and see them now can see a considerable change in their bodies.

    I will be interested to hear what some of the more blunt experts like Ian Chappel and Michael Holding have to say about this.

  • bram on December 5, 2006, 12:27 GMT

    im sorry but that decision only goes to say how corrupt pakistani cricket is.Simple as that

  • Patrick S. on December 5, 2006, 12:25 GMT

    Crooks.............

    Bad decision.

    Bad for Gul too.

  • S Warne on December 5, 2006, 12:24 GMT

    What an absolute crock!!!!! What a joke! Aquitted! Where's the justice here? The PCB and just trying to protect their own interests and are not interested in protecting the integrity of the game of cricket at all.

    I take 1 headache pill and get done for a year and these two are boosting with nadrolone and get off scott free - dodgy, Pakistan - very dodgy!

  • Judhajit on December 5, 2006, 12:24 GMT

    It is a farce. I wish the Pak cricket Board had stuck to its stand. It would have helped the credibility and honour of the subcontinent if that had taken place.Even if Pakistan wins the World Cup it would be a tainted one.

  • Kumar on December 5, 2006, 12:23 GMT

    Ha... Ha... Ha...

    What a noble way to defend? Just to win a world cup can anything be done? Even if they resort to ball tampering, our friend Kamran will say that the players were ignorant. Friend, ignorance of law does not stand a reason to commit a mistake.

    Shoiab did not co-operate to go for a B test and donot say that he was not taught to co-operate by the PCB.

    And finally, for those who quote Michael Holding read clearly. He only says that drugs do not help much meaning it helps but not significantly. Don't u see that as unfair play?

    The world sees Pakistan Cricket as not the land of Imrans and Akrams but a place where Ball Tampering, foul action and Match fixing are rampant. Now Doping adds to the list.

    It is in deed a sad day for PCB and Pakistan Cricket as they are spoiling the good name the great players have got for them over the yeras...

  • faraz on December 5, 2006, 12:23 GMT

    oh relief finaly,, i prayed 4 them so much both r great players and shoib is my fav,, i cursed pcb so much for bringing this in first place but now theyve done somfin good.. inshalah wc is ours now with the squad we have yusuf at his best and inzi will be back inform inshallah den who can clench it from us.. bring on the ausies, bring on anyone, inshallah we r gona lift the wc again waited so long for this wc now cant wait 2 see ou nation wins,, but i do think dat when pak do win anyfin with these 2 never mind wc ppl will raise eyebrows saying oh here goes the ban players cheaters who won,, but who cares,, comon shoibbbbbbbbbbbbbb and asifff,,, n i cant wait2 see boom boom back in full form hiting sixes all parts of the ground and ofc0urse razaq,, best of luck pakistan for the wc our prayers r always with u lot sinse u have great religious team

  • Zohair on December 5, 2006, 12:22 GMT

    I think the main aspect of them not being banned was that they were right, shoaib did not inquire more then 14 Nadrolones, which is not even close to McGrath's and Flintoff's, i think Naseem Ashraf had a sick assignment up his sleeves..and i am grateful that it would no longer be completed.

  • aflal on December 5, 2006, 12:22 GMT

    it was such wonderful decision to cricket it self.we are so relieved after hearing the decision.if someone says there is politics behind the decisions they r the biggest fools of all time.this is not the case that should comparesd with warne's case cos warne had accepted he used the drug

  • A.S.Adam on December 5, 2006, 12:17 GMT

    What justive you talking of. You wrongly barred the two players from th champions trophy where your country have a better chance and now u say 'Justice is done' A very poor comment.

  • Jay on December 5, 2006, 12:14 GMT

    Absolute disgrace!

  • Urfi on December 5, 2006, 12:13 GMT

    Good news for Pakistan Cricket. we welcome Shoaib and Asif back in the squad. But shame on PCB on their previous inaccurate decision that these players missed important ICC Champions Trophy and Windi's tour tp Pakistan. Hope these players will perform better than before.

  • Mickey Mouse on December 5, 2006, 12:12 GMT

    What one must appreciate is that the PCB conducted these tests, they are responsible for esnuring the education of their players and they are responsible in taking action. Pakistani cricket has always been in chaos and unfortunately two players who are guilty have been let off, ignorance to an extent can be an excuse, but not to the extent where is clears you entirely.

  • Azmat Shah on December 5, 2006, 12:09 GMT

    Breaking News:Shoab has started to breathe again, and so have Pakistani Cricket Lovers.Dreams of winning world cup will be dreamt again.Clouds of sadness have disappeared.Rawalpindi express is on its ways again.Batsmen round the globe will start shivering again.Helmet makers will start making "resistant to Shoab's deliveries helmets" again. Team Pakistan is stronger again. Thanks to the courageous decision by the panel.Long live Pakistan.Long live its 90 miles bowlers.

  • Asim Ali Fida on December 5, 2006, 12:07 GMT

    We are back in the hunt for the cup. We would have won the champions trophy if we had the two in oyr lineup. But still the return of the two is a great news for the cricket fans and a boost for Pakistan campaign for the world cup

  • Muhammad Tariq on December 5, 2006, 12:07 GMT

    I am Very Happy.Congratulation To Shoaib Akhtar and Muhammad Asif,it will boost Pakistan cricket.

  • mick on December 5, 2006, 12:05 GMT

    How on earth can Pakistan expect the rest of the cricket world to take them seriously?? Two players caught out with Nandralone in their system. But because "there was doubt about the wickedness of their intentions", and because the PCB had not educated the players on the use of drugs in sport, they are let off. Whats next, will Inzimam refuse to go out caught behind because he wasn't educated about that rule? Or he didn't intend to swnick the ball?? If the ICC lets this one pass, it will be a free for all. Pakistan doesn't like an umpire, despite that umpire being voted second best in the world, so he gets sacked. Now they let two drug cheats off scott free. Pakistan cricket is a disgrace.

  • Sam on December 5, 2006, 12:05 GMT

    Ignorance of the law is not a defense. Professional players cannot plead that they were unaware of either what they were taking or that what they were taking was banned. As a professional you must take responsibility for what you put into your body, you must be certain that any drug you take is not banned. While in the case of an inexperienced player a lack of understanding can and should be used as mitigation for a reduced sentence but the simple fact of the matter is that these two players have violated the laws of game, for that they should be punished. This ruling by the PCB fails to do this, as such justice has not been done.

    More broadly the ICC should introduce independent drug testing and punishment panels, every other global sport does this and for cricket, to ensure that its reputation doesn't end up like that of cycling, independent testing is an absolute necessity.

  • Imtiaz Ahmed on December 5, 2006, 12:03 GMT

    The magic roundabout of PCB. This time the two accused get sentenced, dropped from the side, aaand hold on to your hats folks another committee and another decision. And the decision completely opposite to the last one. It is good to see that the careers of 2 best prospects in the side have been saved. But the way we went about it, from public knowledge to acquittal has been very embarassing as Pak Team fan.

  • yamna on December 5, 2006, 12:03 GMT

    Cant stop wondering that the decision has something to do with musharraf predicting victory for Pakistanin the world cup? In pakistan, nothing is as it seems.

  • Fahad on December 5, 2006, 12:02 GMT

    Its a great relief and pleasure for all Pakistani Cricket Fans, that Asif n Shoain can play now BUT...a big BUT of Millions is this that.

    According to PCB Doctors, if Banned substance is present in their blood, then it will take minimum 10-12 months to WASH IT OUT from body..?????

    Now first tell me that on what basis PCB has cleared them....??

    and then tell me, if they had been banned because of presence of SUBSTANCE in the body then...that substance will definitely till now??????

    So whats the AGENDA.

  • Faridoon on December 5, 2006, 12:00 GMT

    The stars must really have lined up right for Pakistan Cricket over the past few months. One after another problems have surfaced and then things have turned out in Pakistan's favour as shown below: - Ball tampering accusation - cleared - Match forfeited - Hair is taken out of circulation for that - Drug bans - cleared

    And its heartening to see that the cricket has not suffered as evidenced by the recent victories agaisnt WI.

  • Tester on December 5, 2006, 12:00 GMT

    Typical of pakistan cricket. Everyone talks about "justice" being done. What part of this is justice? I can understand Asif being ignorant - but not Shoaib. This was not justice being done as Kamran Abbasi rather ridiculously writes (without clearly talking about why it was justice) but just pakistan cricket protecting its cricketers and its world cup dreams. Sad day for them.

  • sad on December 5, 2006, 12:00 GMT

    Kamran - I agree with alot of what you say indeed despite both players admitting to taking nandrolone in some form or other it was unwitting and that they did not receive enough education from PCB . I completely agree about your assertion that this is probably the PCB's fault and that they need to sort out their drug policy and medical board immediately. Indeed they should go further and pull out of international cricket until these issues are sorted - i think this for two reasons : 1.To protect all Pakistan players from the long term damage caused by taking performance enhancing drugs one needs to remove the temptation to take supplements in order to play international cricket. 2.To protect the integrity of the world cup by preventing the other cynical cricket boards ceasing to educate players about drugs and thus encouraging them to take supplements ahead of the world cup knowing thatif tested they will be found innocent! PS Your point about Nadrolone testing is being unreliable is irrelevant as in this case there is no dispute about whether they had abnormal levels of nandrolone in their system as they admitted it and did not request the testing of the B sample.

  • Aqif on December 5, 2006, 11:59 GMT

    It is worrying how every single person amongst us appoints himself the best judge on this issue. I dont know if justice has been done or not, but i wish our conspiracy theories end someday! Do you honestly think that our players are informed on what they take or the consequences etc? I reckon there is a good enough chance they might be innocent. Keep your minds open people! Bottom line is, Shoaib (many may hate him but he is good) and Asif are back. World Cup'07 we are coming!

  • faryal on December 5, 2006, 11:59 GMT

    This can only happen in a country like pakistan. It is absolutely outrageous! By the way shohaib is nothing but a trouble maker that will do the team no good apart from destroying its unity.

  • Chris on December 5, 2006, 11:57 GMT

    Do you honestly believe, in your wildest dreams, that these two can plead ignorance and lack of education? It's pathetic. The rest of the cricket world will shrug its shoulders and once again say of Pakistan "what do you expect........."

  • Alf on December 5, 2006, 11:56 GMT

    It seems that there are different yardsticks for Asian and non-asian players. While Warne had to undergo a one year ban for drug-abuse, Akhtar and Asif have got away scott free!!! And amazingly Mr. Abbasi thinks that Justice has been done!!!

    Shoaib Akhtar played in 2003 world cup where Shane Warne was caught and penalized for drug- abuse, so to say that Akhtar wasn't aware of the policies related to drug abuse is a bit rich. I am sure you , and people like you, would have been yelling murder had an aussie or an English player been caught of the offence and I would have loved to watch your reaction had the player got way scott free. And since this time pakistani players have got away scott free, according to you justice has been done.

    And you are correct that people will snigger and say what more was expected of pakistani board. In the past yer or so pakistani players have been caught pitch tampering, ball tampering, drug abuse and so on and the only reason they have been able to get away is because of the clout that the asian bloc have in world cricket. If such transgressions were carried out in soccer, the team with such a pathetic nd shameful record would surely have been banned by now. I hope ICC has the spine to take a sterner action and not be as spineless as they have been while dealing with other issues such as illegal bowling action (chucking) and ball tampering. And by the way, PCB and pakistan cricket can only earn respect if they take hard decisions and no bend backwards to defend star players who are obviously at fault.

  • Sayed Ibrar Hashimi on December 5, 2006, 11:52 GMT

    Well done, I am really happy with the decesion made by the tribunal. Both Mohammad Asif & Shoaib Akhtar deserve the justice. I hope it will be a lesson for PCB & the Pak players. I hope Asif & Shoaib can contribute more to Pakistan especially in the World Cup. Long Live SHOAIB AKHTAR & MOHAMMAD ASIF.

  • Rizwan on December 5, 2006, 11:50 GMT

    I fully agree, i think we think along the same lines.

    There were enough doubts about the drug and looking at the findings of IOC-accredited laboratory in Cologne, the Aberdeen IOC-accredited laboratory in Cologne, the Aberdeen in 2003.

    Now i think the officials need to back the pleyers, because there are going to be questions raised by ICC and WADA.

    shoaib and asif also need the confidence to perform and this is where they need help from coach,captain,teammates,friends,family and even media.

  • shamail usman on December 5, 2006, 11:49 GMT

    Wow..... good attempt to justify the wrong doing by the players and then the inquiry comittee......... i am a pakistani and it will be good to have the two of them back..... specially asif..... and ofcourse who doesnt like shoaib runnin in....... but the first reaction after reading this news was a sad one...... justifications given to over turn are not good enuf and i hoped that we will take the right decision ourselves...... Now we will see the ICC and WADA make a big deal abt this...... lets wait for them..... and in any case welcome back shoaib and asif

  • Hormaz Dhondy on December 5, 2006, 11:43 GMT

    If the PCB had paraded its cricketers naked through the streets of Karachi, it couldn't have done a better job of disgracing themselves and the players.

    First, completely unsolicited, they run dope tests on the lot, drawing attention to the cesspool of cheating and thuggery that is Pakistani cricket. What's new, says the rest of the world?

    Then, lambasted severely by their fanatical, one-eyed fans, who couldn't spell "integrity" if you shoved a dictionary up their throat, PCB wriggles and squirms, and finally puts up a facade of an appeal, so that the axe can be disentangled from the foot....

    To be buried deeply in the head.

    What a tamasha! What a circus! If it weren't so tragic, I would be laughing my head off at it.

    And Kamran, shame on you! You, as a doctor yourself, know fully well that these two were guilty as hell. Yet, you choose to fuzz the debate with technical inanities, and now rejoice in the fact these two cheats would be back for the world cup?

    I hope you are proud of yourself.

  • jack on December 5, 2006, 11:43 GMT

    surprise, surprise!!! As soon as it was announced that Asif & Shoaib were going to appeal, there was only every going to be one verdict. Nice to impartiality, fair play, & adherance to the rules is alive & well in Pakistan.

  • Tahir Qureshi on December 5, 2006, 11:42 GMT

    A highly appreciated decision. One thing that i would like to mention is, that in my point of view the decision of 1st committee was biased against both players or especially against Shoaib. Intekhab Alam made remarks regarding drinking habits of Shoaib in papers. Howcome a man with his own thinkings against a player be honest in his decision and not biased. I hope Pakistan will be a strong contestent now in the World Cup.

  • Ali on December 5, 2006, 11:42 GMT

    I completely agree, and this is a great victory for Pakistan. Accoring to a comment posted by mr shan who calls pakistan cricket a crooked is simply baseless. The case of Shane Warne and Shoaib and Asif is totally different you can't compare them . We are very happy for the team The opposition must not fear really !

  • Mike on December 5, 2006, 11:41 GMT

    The reference to Rusedski is wrong - as the ATP themselves provided he tainted supplements which caused the positive tests.

    This is nothing more than the PCB protecting their star players in a World Cup year - WADA has strict liability rules which state that all players have ultimate reponsibility for what they ingest but this has been ignored by the PCB in this case.

    You may want to compare this with Shane Warne who inadvertently took tainted supplements a couple of years ago - he held his hands up to the mistake and took his punishment with grace.

    Anyone who thinks this is a victory for Cricket, Pakistan etc is a fool.

  • Steve on December 5, 2006, 11:40 GMT

    I've got a great idea. Make sure you never, ever tell your players what they can and can't take. Then they can take what they like!

    Ridiculous ruling, the World Doping Organisation should get involved here.

  • IMRAN KHALIQ MALIK on December 5, 2006, 11:36 GMT

    Victory of justice and of course the prayers that we done in past for these two players. i think this decision must affect our cricketers and in future they must realize the importance of banned drugs. welcome back two great bowlers of pakistan cricket and they must select for 2nd one dayer.

  • Osman on December 5, 2006, 11:35 GMT

    Justice or no justice, Pakistan cricket has again proven to be an unprofessional organization, and that is shameful. WADA is going to cry foul and I am convinced this is not the last we are going to hear about this case. Having an international or some may say unbiased tribunal would have validated the decision.

    I am elated that the two best people will hold the new ball for Pakistan again, but yet again, will be labelled cheats, and that annoys me more than anything.

  • Rauf Khan on December 5, 2006, 11:34 GMT

    It was absurd to conduct such tests without any education of cricketers in matters of OTC drugs. I call OTC drugs as these are easily available without prescription. I'm glad the charges have been overturned.

  • Anas Ahmed on December 5, 2006, 11:32 GMT

    I am very delighted to hear this news. It is a very big news for pakistan cricket because the world cup is on its way and we will certainly see Asif and Shoaib there. Is this a miracle which can lead pakistan to world cup glory? just imagine inzamam lifting the world cup in the westindies. Not forgetting the bouncy wickets of sauth africa and we will need Shoaib and Asif to bowl some bouncers there. CONGRATULATIONS ASIF AND SHOAIB FOR WINING YOUR CASES (remember allah is with those who speak the truth). COME ON PAKISTAN LETS BEAT SAUTH AFRICA AND THEN WIN THE WORLD CUP.

  • Imran Zia on December 5, 2006, 11:28 GMT

    I dont know if this was planned or not but one thing is for sure common sense has prevailed. We dont have to worry about the ICC or WADA but the interest of the game, the sponsors and also Pakistani Fans. The South Africans would have by now started preparing flatter tracks for the Pakistan series and Pakistan's chances in the World Cup are brighter than ever. For Mohd.Sami and Shahid Nazir we must thank them for keeping the benches warm.

  • Qasim on December 5, 2006, 11:28 GMT

    I saw this would happen when they appealed again with appropiate, proffesional individuals who knew law because the first verdict made by the so called, experts were based entirely upon their own thoughts and not law where clearly M. Asif was innocent.

    Anyways, I know the world won't except this decision but PCB has hired some pretty decent personals to present their case, so am not that worried.

    Congrats to Asif and Akhtar for returning... and as far as South Africa is concerned, Akhtar, Asif and Gul will give them plenty to worry about when Pakistan tours SA. It is now going to be a very close series with 5 or 6 of the world's best bowlers at display.... They've got Pollock, we have Asif, they've got Nitini, we have Akhtar, they've got Nel, we have Gul.... nail biting contest is approaching with bat and ball.... and oh, have I mentioned Kaneria?

    Inzi is gettin into his stride and the form Yousuf is in.... SA has plenty to worry about.. they may have done well at home, but none of the recent touring sides had a bowling attack as potent as Pakistan......

    World Cup 2007, Pakistan now is one of the favourites to win :D...!!!

  • Zeeshan on December 5, 2006, 11:22 GMT

    Though the decision was unexpected & came as pleasant surprise for almost every pakistani fan, I hope there is enough justification in the detailed verdict to satisfy everyone who can question or callenge this decision. WADA & ICC will surely be backed by some other boards to challenge this decision & do whatever they can to turn it around. It is obvious that lots of thinking has been done before making such decision. If enough home work is not done, we might be facing another disgrace at a national level. My advice to PCB is only to make sure that this decision is not challenged or changed at any cost. Because if that happens, we will lose any remaining respect in te international sporting community.

    Players should also take extreme care of themselves as they are our embassadors to every other country. Best of Luck.

  • Imran Haider, Sargodha on December 5, 2006, 11:20 GMT

    its a great news for cricket lovers.

  • Hugh on December 5, 2006, 11:20 GMT

    Alright guys, I'm an Aussie but Asif is my favourite player in the world along with Shaun Tait and in my opinion will be the best pace bowler in the world in time. However I see this situation as a very suspicious one. They took performance enhancing drugs, surely they should pay the penalty regardless of whether they knew the drugs were illegal or not, Warne did the same thing and paid the price and the drugs he took weren't even performance enhancing. I know all the Pakistan supporters here will turn on me for saying that, but I love watching Asif and I'd just rather he pay the penalty and come back a ten times better player. Peace out guys.

  • Kane on December 5, 2006, 11:18 GMT

    Nice win for shoaib and asif........we are now surely a force to be reckoned with in the ICC World Cup......but i do feel for Gul and Nazir....I hope they both get their chances. CHEERS

  • saad on December 5, 2006, 11:18 GMT

    Great news for Pak Cricket, and i feel justice has been served due to the intricacies involved with nandrolone. "Shan" is being a bit too harsh for "reasons" unknown

  • Shahid on December 5, 2006, 11:17 GMT

    Good desicion!! Why should only Pakistani players suffer for doing nothing while other cricket boards in the region are even reluctant adopt doping regulations?

  • Saad on December 5, 2006, 11:17 GMT

    Great!! we are once again back on the track for getting our second world cup,atleast now we have a better chance than before.As for Mr. Shaan's comment,if he is trying to compare Shane warne wit these two then he is way far from cricket.its very easy to criticize someone but it should only be done when you have the clear picture of it.Anyways i totally support the decision and once again SHOIB and Asif wellcome back abd wish you guys Good luck!!!!

  • Aamir Akhund on December 5, 2006, 11:16 GMT

    I am sure there will be many people giving there own opinions but lets just keep all issues aside and be happy about our increased chances of winning the World cup. Inshahallah our boys will put up a great show in WestIndies with our main strikers back in the side.

  • axa on December 5, 2006, 11:16 GMT

    did anybody expected another conclusion so close to the world cup ?

  • Muhammad Umair FROM ATTOCK-PAKISTAN on December 5, 2006, 11:13 GMT

    It is very good news for Pakistanis. Shoaib and Asif were innocents. They did not use the drugs knowingly so a correct decision has been made. After both players, every one was sure that Pakistan could not win big tournaments with the kind of bowling attack as Pakistan had in Champions Trophy. Pakistan has to tour South Africa where pitches are very fast and now we have our strength. These two bowlers will give a tough job to South Africans. Mohammad Asif will swing the bowl (inshaullah). People call him the Pakistani McGrath. Whereas, Shoaib Akhtar will also give a tough job to South Africans.

  • Saad on December 5, 2006, 11:09 GMT

    HI All,

    vowwwwwww, A big big news for paksitan cricket lovers. I am very very excited since after hearing removal of ban from Asif and shoaib. I agree with kamran it's justice finally as the ban induced by ist tubunal was very harsh. Now, they both be selcted for SF tour, and especially for the coming world cup as paksitan's chances are much brighter than it was before.

  • Baz on December 5, 2006, 11:05 GMT

    There are always two sides to any argument, most of us base our opinions on emotion rather than fact.

    Overall, end of the matter for us anyway. For the media this will be an ongoing discussion point and even if we are successful at the World cup because of the performance of these two, it would always be tainted and that is what i fear. For that and that alone I guess they should have been punished. Im not saying necessarily ban them but a hefty fine would have done. Asif I could have believed to be ignorant - Shoaib on the other hand has just been given another lifline for this sheer stupidity or arrogance.

  • DR BASIT on December 5, 2006, 11:05 GMT

    Good news for Pakistan team and their suporters.Now i am waiting for the reaction from all over the world specially from Australia and English media how they are going to make fuss of this.Its all upto PCB to protect their player and for the future educate them about all these sensitive issues .But lets celebrate at the moment MOYO record and Shoaib and Asif's come back.

  • Shuja on December 5, 2006, 11:05 GMT

    Another end to one of the ongoing saga's in Pakistan cricket. Nonetheless, a positive end for the players and cricket itself. What could be interesting is to see the reaction from the cricket world.

  • M.R.S on December 5, 2006, 11:04 GMT

    Well darrell hair deserved what he got for thoes who beleive he is the finest umpire i would recommed them to go in past and read what Don Bradman has to say about him he said "how can one call Murli no ball for throwing when the umpire should be looking at his feet to see the normal noball" further the great umpire gave inzamam run out when he was just trying to evade a throw at him , no wonder you can claim to best despite making wrong decisions because you are australian

  • Najam Butt on December 5, 2006, 10:58 GMT

    Whinge, whinge, whinge. The comments from our anglo-saxon freinds above are so predictable... one rule for the Paks, another 'for the rest of us'. Blah, blah, blah.

    Who are they kidding? Have they forgotten Shane Warne? Greg Ruzedski? Linford Christie?

    Get real. If Aussies and Englishmen can be innocent, so can Pakistanis.

    It's 'them' who need to take their arrogant heads out of the sand, not Pakistanis.

  • Muhammad Ali Ahsan on December 5, 2006, 10:57 GMT

    Although this decision will help Pakistna team to do better in the coming times but it should not be taken as a reference by other players. They should take this seriously and make sure that they are careful while talking supplements.

  • Ghalib Taimur on December 5, 2006, 10:55 GMT

    Well Kamran you guessed it right we have got our premier quicks back!Its great..hopefully Shoaib will come back more disciplined and determined.

  • cricketPagla on December 5, 2006, 10:55 GMT

    IT's great news for cricket - as I feel they were not to be punished in such long time - as well as - this opens a warning for all others... It would be pathetic the cricket without them!!

    Cheers!

  • Rizwan on December 5, 2006, 10:53 GMT

    For thoes who beleive that today is the sad day and injustice has been done i only want to remind them that it was pakistan cricket board who had cought them and not I.C.C or any international body and our board could have easily covered up the whole issue so please don't make your comments that pakistan board has given verdict to save its own players. The fact is that they have been found not guilty by an independent tribunal and international lawyers were used to reach the judgement in this case so we beleive the entire process is clear and justice have been done.

  • S. Laraib Imtiaz on December 5, 2006, 10:53 GMT

    No, this is not justice. The PCB did not just bring a bad name to itself, it has allowed this matter to slip into the hands of the ICC and WADA. I fear that the ICC will not accept this decision.

  • Shahid Faruqui, Detroit on December 5, 2006, 10:53 GMT

    Well, Inthikhab Alam made some stupid comments on Shoeb's personal life. I believe there was more than the drugs in the first decision. Remember the incidence reported by Indians between Bob and Shoeb. Shoeb has to learn to behave (may be in his next life). Asif is a GEM and we ought to nourish and cherish that GEM. I am glad for both of them but I am also glad for UMER GUL since he was likely to injure his back the way he bowled in Multan and Karachi tests and our great lazy capatain kept on using. I hope GUL is already not injured. Let us keep Nazir and pack Rana. He does not know how to through the ball, let alone bowl it. Indian success was a fluke in my opinion. As far as Mr SHAN, frankly speaking I do not give it a damn.

  • sameen on December 5, 2006, 10:48 GMT

    Great Victory for Pakistan Cricket .. The first decision was little bias towards shoaib , It was clear from the remarks of Intikhab alam about shoaib that he is biased . He called shoaib a womanizer in his interview published on cricinfo..

    At the end it is a victory of Truth , Pakistan , Pakistan Cricket and world cricket (Exclude some who fears shoaib and Asif)

  • D Hair on December 5, 2006, 10:48 GMT

    Well done Pakistan Cricket! You are more than welcome to get me to help out with such issues in future, as you know I now have all the time in the world.

    DH

  • fasih haider on December 5, 2006, 10:47 GMT

    "The ban and punishment imposed by the earlier tribunal is hereby set aside as being contrary to the provision of laws."

  • Rushdy on December 5, 2006, 10:47 GMT

    Great to have you boys!! SUPER>>>>>> please be descent carfeul & give pakistan the chance to grab the ICC WORLD CUP 2007 ok!

  • SHEHRYAR SHAUKAT KHAN on December 5, 2006, 10:46 GMT

    The people pointing the finger at Kamran should go n see whats the meaning of free speach. the disparaging comments are totally un called for as Kamran has presented his opinions with ENOUGH CREDIBILITY. as far as WADA taking action on this account, that seems like a far fetched notion because the whole procedure was an internal matter of PCB. the tests were not WADA endorsed or for that matter they wernt done by ICC (Innocuous cricket controlling authority )

  • Omar Ansari on December 5, 2006, 10:45 GMT

    Wow, I can't believe this, I never in my wildest dreams could have thought that both of them would be let off the hook! This is just brilliant... I was so depressed when I first heard they got banned that I stopped watching cricket properly :p Now its back to cricket ladies and gentlemen : ) Just hope this decision can't be overturned by the ICC puppets though...

  • Chamq on December 5, 2006, 10:44 GMT

    I am delighted with the decision, there is no better sight then S.A and M.A getting the better of the batting greats like Lara, Tendulkar, Ponting and Kallis. ( I always have a big smile on my face when i recall the way shoaib and asif dismissed the so-called KP and the chicken dance)which some English critic believe the next Richard(I think they have no idea what Richards was). Now let me come to the real issue this Nandrolone is still not completely understood in terms of invivo biochemistry some claim that high protien diet and excessive workout can result in higher level of this banned substance. So WADA needs not only to get it more throughly studied but at the same time they need to have a proper awareness to the problem that counter selling suplements in pakistan are not as reliable as in UK, Australia e.t.c. Did they ever tried to collect figures how many people die b/c of faked medicines in Asia. If those countries cannot control the quality standards for simple medicines how can some body buy a food supplement and be sure that he is having the stuff which is written on the product.Country such as pakistan where loads of people uses herbal medicines and in case of Shoaib he also did and in herbs you have loads of natrual ingridients which are still not identified and may trigger the body to make Nandrolone e.t.c Lastly i would like to really snub Mr Intikhab Alam, you might be a good ..... but you have no right to judge somebodys personal matter and you know it well you will be asked about it in the........

  • aamer on December 5, 2006, 10:44 GMT

    Responding to comments made by Shan at 09:34am. How can you find some one guilty when no one knows the crime? Its ridiculers that they were found guilty. They were never told what is legal and what is not. There is no structure for drug testing in Pakistan and the players were never made aware of any banned substances. PCB must provide proper awareness to players before going around testing them. Drug testing is going on for 20 years in England and every county player is visited by a Doctor every season, that’s what you call proper awareness. PCBs idea of awareness and education is handing out medical jargon leaflets when they feel like it, its pathetic.

  • raja on December 5, 2006, 10:43 GMT

    GR8 NEws ! but i think steps shoud be taken immediately and effectively frm PCB to avoid these things in the futre . ALso team needs to be more diciplined as for last 4 months we are in the news for all kinds of non cricketing issues. hard time is yet to come as ICC gonna react most probably in a diffrent way . media will be after pakistani team and PCB should protect the players. looking at all the comments its obvious how people who are afraid of these bowlers and pakistani team are feeling at this time ! sorry guys but you have to face them in the world cup ! start ordering for helmets !

  • adeel on December 5, 2006, 10:43 GMT

    i have just read the blog posted by shan and it seems he does not like asians for some reason. shoaib akhtar and mohd.Asif,s let off is perfectly justified. im currently doing a course in sports sciences and i am aware of nandrolone and how easy it is for ones levl to exceed the allowed amount, if one is involved in bodybuilding and weight training. The world anti doping agency pardoned a tennis player for much higher levls of nadrolone, then who give the authority to the PCB to impose 2 year bans? justice has been served

  • Irfan Mehmood on December 5, 2006, 10:42 GMT

    well its been long time PCB took but in the end they did i good job with removing ban on both of pak pacers but what i m worried about is our current bowlers who played so well in current series against WI.... will it be fair to them not to select them for SA toure....

  • Farrukh Ali on December 5, 2006, 10:42 GMT

    I think this is a rediculous decision to completely overturn the ban. Not knowing a law is not an excuse in any court of justice anywhere in the world. Why didnt other members of Pak cricket team were tested positive using almost same food suppliments. There are other fast bowlers in the team as well. Asif illiteracy can help him and it did in getting him a reduced one year ban but there is no solid excuse for Shoaib Akhter. I wonder what was running in the minds of tribunal members when they passed out this decision. Its a very sad day for cricket and will open doors to more cheating worldwide. Indeed a very unfortunate end to this drama.

  • Shabbi Khan on December 5, 2006, 10:41 GMT

    The only reason this news is good news for me is because I'm a Pakistani Cricket Fan. I am pretty certain WADA will definitely have an issue with this decision. Pakistan has once again proven that we are a corrupt society that totally diregards the law as well as preaching justice to our masses. So much for a transparent, independent review. Hopefully future appeal judges will be non-pakistanis.

  • Ian on December 5, 2006, 10:41 GMT

    I can understand how Pakistan's supporters applaud this decision but if the tests came back positive they are quite simply drug cheats. I challenge anyone to find a legal system in which no knowledge of a particular law is a defense. Pakistan have made a suspect decision, which seems to be becoming a habit as they bullied the ICC into banned Hair, when just before he was rated one of the best and he followed the laws of cricket in making his decision, why should he be punished for doing his job?

  • Shah Rukh HUMAYOUN on December 5, 2006, 10:41 GMT

    Good news for cricket and for Pakistan.

  • Gareth on December 5, 2006, 10:41 GMT

    One rule for Pakistan. One rule for the rest of us. Poor old Darrel Hair. Wonder if Pakistan Cricket will every take it's head out of the sand?

  • Mehmood on December 5, 2006, 10:40 GMT

    Coooooooool... now we look forward the "Green" wickets in South Africa.... Lets play at the equal level...

    Best of Luck for Pakistan Team..... Looking forward for lifting WC 2007.

  • Syed Sameer Haider on December 5, 2006, 10:38 GMT

    It's Indeed a heartening news to hear that Shoaib Akhtar & Asif is back. PCB should appoint a permanent governance body comprising of Ex cricketers Like Ramiz Raja, Wasim Akram, Imran Khan etc who knows about the game of cricket.Army officials or Bureaucracy should be left behind in area of sports. This will give new dimension in every game. Nevertheless now the people who gave wrong decissions should be questioned as why they brought disgrace to Pakistan cricket and pakistan names. I wish best of luck to Pakistan cricket team for its future propects. Ameen

  • Syed Aadil Shah on December 5, 2006, 10:37 GMT

    The decision however is bound to have some serious repurcussions as World Anti Doping Agency was keenly observing the situation and ICC being a signatory of WADA cannot look the other way in case WADA differs with the decision took by the Pakistani tribunal. While one can sympathize with the innocence of Shoaib and Asif one cannot deny the role of PCB for its nonesensal acts in bringing up the matter to world's attention without doing any homework of creating awareness among the players regarding the ill effects drugs might have on the lives and careers of the players. It is a welcome news for so many of the Pakistani cricket fans as they will be able to see their fast bowling heroes in action in the near future and the arrival of these two surely will increase the chances of Pakistan in the upcoming world cup.

  • syed raza on December 5, 2006, 10:37 GMT

    great decision,justice has been done now with shoaib and asif and whole nation is very happy and welcome them bact to team

  • Muhammad Qasim Pasta on December 5, 2006, 10:35 GMT

    I agree with decision, especially for 'exceptional case'. I wish you also show some abstract from decision copy.

  • Raihan Ahmed, Bangladesh on December 5, 2006, 10:35 GMT

    If the verdict is given on a fair judgement, it's fine. But-- if it was given for any particular purpose then it is not good for the cricket not good for any purpose.

  • Syed Naumanuddin Hassan on December 5, 2006, 10:34 GMT

    This was bound to happen! I won't be surprised if President Musharraf who happens to be the Patron in Chief of Pakistan Cricket, had an influence on this decision. But at the end of the day, it seems that the players power phenomena had the last say!

  • Muhammad Taimoor on December 5, 2006, 10:33 GMT

    I don't agree with this decission. why? that, this is not good decision.

  • farooq on December 5, 2006, 10:32 GMT

    The whole matter was handled in a very bad way. What I don't understand is that the ICC applauded PCB for punishing the two, when it was very clear that the first rule of ICC regrding the disclosure of the charges, was violated. ICC should have reprimanded the PCB for tarnishing the image of the players before completing the whole process. I believe that the players should take PCB to task along with the ICC, who failed to protect the players' rights under the ICC rules. I think the affair had become quite messy for PCB from Shoaib's side as he is the only one with the money and the guts to take them to court; in which case PCB would have lost flat out!!!

  • ARMAN KHAN on December 5, 2006, 10:31 GMT

    Hey,thats great great news that shobi is back.now worldcup is our if any one doubtfull he is wrong.its bold decision of comittee i m thankfull to them also.all is good and we hope to see them playing in 2nd oneday against westendies.

  • imtiaz shaikh on December 5, 2006, 10:31 GMT

    matter needs to be taken to international arbiteration.

  • Bob Herr on December 5, 2006, 10:31 GMT

    I thought something wasn't quite right when PCB were stressing that it was internal process and they would be the final word on this matter...

    Now I now why.

  • Umran on December 5, 2006, 10:30 GMT

    Asalaam aleikum I am glad the decision was overturned as facts do prove that rudeskis level on nandralone was higher, no I don't mind what shan has to say as its probably really mr daryl rascist hair in disguise but what phillip said was more interesting. he claims that it was the same judge who acquitted salim malik and you wouldn't expect any corruption in the west would you. I mean if bush and blair say saddam had weapons of mass destruction which he didn't as none were used lol, u wouldn't expect them to lose there jobs ofcourse not cos they are in the west where there is no corruption whatsoever and ofcourse errors are and can only be made in the west which is exceptable. but if errors are made in pakistan then all hell breaks loose lol. also the error by bush and blair from the west has caused atleast 300000 lives.....hmmm I wonder where the corruption is lol asalaam aleikum wa rehatmatulaa wa barakatu

  • wasim pathan on December 5, 2006, 10:30 GMT

    excellent news, we have our best bowlers back ready to destroy any batting attack, just imagine it.......shoaib, asif, gul and kaneria? whos betr? u kangaroo kids better watch out....and put AFRIDI BACK!!!

  • Irfan Salam on December 5, 2006, 10:30 GMT

    That's a bit of a shocker, I thought Asif would be released from the ban but Shoaib doesn't deserve it. He has been found guilty on a number of occassions in the past.

  • Azam Ali on December 5, 2006, 10:29 GMT

    I do not think this decision is good one, i belive that Asif has good case, but Shaoib is bad boy of todays cricket. He know what he is taking. He has habit to rubbing everything on worng way. He should punished at fullest extent of the law. Pakistan cricket is bigger then one person.

    I really hope that WADA should look into this matter.

  • Saeed Ahmad Lodhi on December 5, 2006, 10:28 GMT

    For all those sending in negative remarks ... take a look at the Greg Rusedski's nadrolone level in his urine sample and how he got it overturned ...... before criticizing PCB & Pakistani Players.

  • amsis on December 5, 2006, 10:27 GMT

    A great news for all the cricket lovers. Cricket cannot be treated step motherly by world doping agency. In the case of Greg Rusdeski of UK in 2004 and another player from Croatia in 2001 there was acquittal then why not cricketers. I would rather say the poor Warnd was unlucky that he did not present his case stronbly as shoaib and asif did. This looks crazy that you ban a substance and hardly anybody knows from where this comes. in case of cigarettes we write "SMOKING IS INJURIOUS TO HEALTH" then why dont we write for these substances if they are there in some supplement.

  • Azam Ali on December 5, 2006, 10:27 GMT

    I do not think this decision is good one, i belive that Asif has good case, but Shaoib is bad and dirty boy of todays cricket. He know what he is taking.

    I really hope that WADA should look into this matter.

  • Zeeshan Kazmi on December 5, 2006, 10:27 GMT

    Welldone PCB.The way PCB handled their cases its one of its kind.All credit goes to PCB.How they manage to clear them.In case If this ban was imposed by ICC they can do much.Firstly it was very brave move that PCB pull the duo out of ICC Champions Trophy and confronted them with the tribunal and banning them for respectively 1 and 2 years.But it was one of the biggest move by PCB.And everybody including ICC backed them in their decision.The channel PCB took to clear them is totally right and nothing wrong in it.Once again welldone PCB. In the end its win of cricket.Long live Cricket in the world.

  • zulfiqar ali on December 5, 2006, 10:27 GMT

    Rational decision. why do we have to punish our player for something they have not done knowingly.Now it is up to them to show match fitness at the erliest to be consider for salection. i think we should take them to s.a. it will be a bit too early if they be inducted in the side for current odi series. it will distrub the mood and effect the sprit of the team.afridi can be included anytime . But for shoaib and asif i would say it is batter that they should not be rushed back in the side.

  • Qamar on December 5, 2006, 10:27 GMT

    I have read somewhere that the effect of the drug can remain in the body for upto 18 months, so both the players can be tested and banned by the ICC during the world cup again (or in another series within the next year or so)... is this true???

  • Indian on December 5, 2006, 10:26 GMT

    It's a great news for Indian fans especially Sachin Fans to see the action similar to the last world cup India-Pak Match. Sachin's strong wood waits for Shoaib's speedy delivery.

  • Bogusm on December 5, 2006, 10:25 GMT

    What a joke!! An absolute disgarce.

    Has Soaib by any chance bought the Brooklyn Bridge from anyone in the street? How about a pair of x-ray glasses?

    If only Darrel Hair could be judged by the same tribunal.

    No doubt this tribunal belives Osama had nothing to do with 9/11!!!

  • Saim Kashmiri on December 5, 2006, 10:25 GMT

    I salute the tribunal for coming up with a Fair, yet courageous decision. To overtun a decision requires guts, and the tribunal have demonstrated without any doubt that guts they do have! I believe this ordeal would've made Asif and Shoaib mentally strong and this would make them even more effective for future matches; remember a wolf at the bottom of a mountain is hungrier than a wolf on top, and being at the abyss after suffering at the hands of the previous tribunal, Asif and Shoaib would be rearing to go! World cup here we come!

  • Faisal Naumanul Haq on December 5, 2006, 10:23 GMT

    Well i think that this is a miracle for the Pakistan Cricket Team. anyway, now its a good change for pakis to win the world cup. But one think i must say that we cant win world cup if batting failures continues as usual. We cannot win the world cup only through bowling.

  • Greg on December 5, 2006, 10:23 GMT

    A very sad day for cricket and especially for the juniors in Pakistan. Their role models and game administration have shown that hard work and determination take last place in a race to win by any method. Cheating is in, hard work is out.

  • Anum on December 5, 2006, 10:21 GMT

    Its great news that Shoaib and Asif have been acquited from their because they are great bowlers. We must support them both and hope that they will be in firing action soon.

  • Hassan Ehsan on December 5, 2006, 10:21 GMT

    Firstly in response to Shan; Warne was banned for one year because he Admitted taking drugs; he knowingly knew what he was taking; there is something called; the guilty mind and the guilty act; both were present in the issue of Shane Warne.

    As for cases of Asif and Shoaib; just like Greg Rudeski they didn't Knowingly take any banned subtsance.. How would you feel if you were banned for doing something that you thought you were doing correctly.

    I welcome back Shoab and Asif and hopefully our chances of winning the World Cup are brought back and speaking of brining back things it would be stupid to leave out Shahid Afridi

  • M Noor Asi on December 5, 2006, 10:20 GMT

    It is very good and satisfying news for the cricket lover in Pakistan. However, let's see what is the response of WADA, ICC and others in this connection.

  • pirz on December 5, 2006, 10:19 GMT

    now this is something that will take pakistan team to the heights of confidence. First, they won test series without star bowlers and now those stars return back. This is simply wow. and for all people not happy, we know its not the decision which is making you unhappy rather its the fear of facing those two great bowlers again :). Great people and great batsmen wont complain but everyother ordinary cricketer or supporter will try to give his own verdict. Brain Lara, who is one of the very best has already said that he misses Shoaib in the field. So, if its about enjoying cricket then everyone true crickter will love this fair verdict. c'mon paki tigers, go get them all now...

  • S Banerjee on December 5, 2006, 10:19 GMT

    Great news especially for Pak cricket.Really Kamran you asked the right question:what more can u expect from pakistan cricket...not certainly a situation like when Shane Warne was banned from the midst of a world cup.

  • kamran on December 5, 2006, 10:19 GMT

    well first of all congrats to pakistan and pcb for making the right decision.....many people like the guy with the first comment under this topic will be furious and critisize pcb but it will surely be due to thier teams getting a tough competetion in the worldcup from pakistan rather than looking at the root cause of the ridiculous first decision and thinking for a moment that you should not end careers, without even letting people hire a lawyer to represent them...As for shane warne i am sure Australian cricket board has much better awareness programmes for thier players than pcb, who according to shaoib, just told them how to give urine samples during the only wrokshop organised by them!!so i think its the board more than the players that should have been blamed in the first decision...anyways better late than never...I think pcb is now getting ready to accept its mistakes by making such a wise decision...and it has to do much more than its doing right now to make sure such incidence does not occur again... and as for the pakistan team, i really cant wait to see shaoib, asif and gull in such a great form bowling in the same match for pakistan...pakistan's prospects for the worldcup are surely very good now..

  • Kutch on December 5, 2006, 10:17 GMT

    Excuse me? Of course it’s a good day for Pakistan cricket. Two guys (who just happen to be their two best bowlers) are found to have banned substances in their bloodstream - twice - and somehow there is reason to believe they should be reprieved of laws that apply to everyone else. A process that says they are “guilty until proven innocent” - they both had more than the legal amount of nadrolone in their blood. What’s the problem? You are blaming the drug itself for this whole mess. Cricket has already had a positive testing and banning sometime ago, how does putting your hand up and saying I am a complete moron absolve you of your own responsibilities?

    I am sorry Kamran, but no justice has been done by today’s verdict and the joke that is the PCB continues. You cannot change the playing conditions for 2 athletes when they apply to every athlete of every sport that is signed up to the anti-doping laws – regardless of perceived “inadequate” process. There is no way WADA will let this go, not after Dick Pound’s comments about Warne 2 days ago. MLK would be turning over in his grave by the misuse of his quote.

  • Syed Amjad Ali on December 5, 2006, 10:16 GMT

    Good to see justice prevail over knee-jerked action taken by PCB when the news came out first. The ban was imposed hastily, the names of the players were leaked out - against the norms and ethics of doping committee. Whether Pakistan will win the World Cup or not with the return of Shoaib and Asif is debatable. What is good to see that the players were exonerated and a black spot from their careers has been removed.

  • Talha Ahmed on December 5, 2006, 10:15 GMT

    What this whole ordeal does highlight is the fact that when PCB decided to conduct internal testing for drugs, it didnt have a clear purpose.

    PCB has handled things as and when they popped up. It could have been the case that the internal testing could have meant that the players be protected from turning positive samples for ICC conducted tests. Instead, we slapped the harshest possible punishment for our players.

    The PCB used this whole issue to gain credibility among the international circles as a very law abiding body, to make a good presentation for itself. Everybody knows that during all this time PCB hasnt had a clear set of laws, a clear constitution which it is to follow. It was all upto the patriarch how to handle the situation. There could have been different responses if the individuals accused were different or more in number. The fact that we almost ended the careers of two individuals, which were vital to our cause for no clear reason, is just an indication of how precarious the situation was.

    From what I understand is that the WADA doesnt have authority over such decisions. What they provide are sort of guidelines that a sports body may or may not (should) follow. What does it say about players involuntarily taking drugs? Does ignorance really plead innocence as well? Why am I totally unaware of the sources of principles, laws and rule of law followed here? Having full authority, has PCB, in principle, the qualification for banning and acquitting players?

  • Haider Azhar on December 5, 2006, 10:14 GMT

    Shoaib and Asif have had a lucky escape. There will definitely be some fierce backlash against this decision to overturn their bans, especially from the ICC. This poses serious questions: What can the ICC do about this decision? Do they have any jurisdiction over this issue? Will they just sit back and let this issue remain an internal PCB problem and accept the tribunal's decision? If history is to be taken as precedent then I believe the PCB can and will argue that this is an internal affair and ICC has no say over this. When Shane Warne and Mark Waugh admitted to taking money from a bookie in exchange for pitch information during a one-day tournament in Sri Lanka in 1994, Cricket Australia (or ACB) declared it to be an internal matter and refused to let the ICC intervene, disregarding a call for life bans against both Australians from all the major test playing nations. This is now a real test for PCB. No matter who cries foulplay in this situation, the PCB has to hold its ground and back not only their players but also this appeal process. Otherwise this whole escapade will surely become a complete farce!

  • Najeeb on December 5, 2006, 10:13 GMT

    This is the NEWS of the day. A very delightful & joyful Breaking News which thousands of cricket lovers in Jeddah welcome it with great pleasure & happiness. We all pray that such situation should never be faced by these two national heroes as well as other assests of pakistani team. These two should immediately include in one dayers with west indies.

  • Shahid on December 5, 2006, 10:13 GMT

    we disagree because it is an INJUSTICE.

    banning shoaib damages pakistan national pride. taints the image if pakistan - thus it is obvious why many pakistanis will welcome the decision. Let us be clear why this news will be welcomed by some.

  • Omer on December 5, 2006, 10:13 GMT

    Good News for us but very bad news for all the South African batsmen.They should get ready to get a taste of their medicine on their home grounds.Get ready to get bounced and yorked! Well before this news i thougt Pakistan's tour of SA would be a very one sided affair like with the case of indians but now i think its gonna be one hell of a contest (I hope :)) Omer Gul, SHoaib, Asif and Sami would make a great pace attack to match SA pacers.And look who do we have to the bench ex-sttack bowler Shabbir Ahmed and Shahid Nazir.Now tell me who wouldnt love to have a devastating bowling line up like this?

  • ali qazi on December 5, 2006, 10:11 GMT

    believe me, i cant describe my feelings. thanks to Almighty Allah for that. Pakisatn,s cricket will be on hot mood agian. s

  • WoooFy on December 5, 2006, 10:10 GMT

    Great news! Lets all start distributing steroids and other drugs along with cricket caps presented to the players! After all, we know we can get away with it... and that too only if its proven! Sad day for cricket in general.

  • Owais Ehsan on December 5, 2006, 10:09 GMT

    Justice done - for Asif only , I think Akhtar should have been given a Ban since he has been in cricket for a while.

  • A.R.Zaidi on December 5, 2006, 10:09 GMT

    Its a good news . The judgement comes from two wise heads who made the majority. Pakistan does feel strengthened with their come back and series against South Africa will be interesting with Shoeb /Asif/Umer Gul firing in their deliveries and Yousaf/Inzi and Younis and co piling up runs hopefully. South African wickets r fast and bouncy and both the fast bowlers will feel great while bowling on them. World Cup will be interesting too for Pakistan and now followers of Pakistan cricket will have something to cheer at in coming months.

  • SHEHRYAR SHAUKAT KHAN on December 5, 2006, 10:08 GMT

    Justice has indeed been served . i say it for a number of plausible reasons. firstly, the doping mechanism of PCB was inheritantly flawed since the samp[le collection code of WADA was not heeded to while collecting the samples. n secondly banning a sportsman for existence of nandrolone alone doesnt warrant a ban. this was personified in the greg rusedski's case. any one whos points a finger at pakistan should look at the hypocrisy of their particular cricket boards of not conducting a test in the first place. Hail Pakistan, the world champions of 2007 World Cup .

  • ali qazi on December 5, 2006, 10:08 GMT

    i would like to thank PCB for such a brave and bold decision. now stay tuned! watch us in World Cup 2007,

  • Kashif on December 5, 2006, 10:07 GMT

    This is a very right decision. We hope to lift the 2007 World Cup with the inclusion of these two solid performers in our team, INSHALLAH.

  • Mian Zain Zubair on December 5, 2006, 10:07 GMT

    Welcome Back Shoaib...This is a well deserved change in fortune for a man who kept fast bowling alive in pakistan after the two W's Wasim and Waqr. Its a fact that he always finds a way of geting himself into trouble, but so far he always finds a way out:) n I hope that he along wid Asif helps pakistan to win the world cup.It would be a fair end to his career in which he has always been more crticised rather than acknowledged for his talent n his efforts, which i think were sometimes misunderstood but were always honest n in the best interests of the team.Go Pakistan Go. We need another World Cup. Now, its no Stopping us:)

  • Jarad Evans on December 5, 2006, 10:06 GMT

    Absolutely appalling decision. This is making a mockery of every other sportsperson who has had to serve a ban because of the presence of nandrolone. The laws exist to be followed, not interpreted. The world's Anti Doping Council should be the laws that are followed, and no other. If you have suspicions on testing methods, etc, then raise it with them. Don't come up with your own reasons as to why they aren't legitimate, simply to exonerate two of your own players. How the PCB can be expected to be taken seriously is beyond me. It's about time an INDEPENDENT judiciary is used by the ICC to deal with drugs cases, because it is perfecetly clear that, like umpiring was in the 90s, impartiality is beyond cricketing bodies.

  • Mian Zain Zubair on December 5, 2006, 10:06 GMT

    Welcome Back Shoaib...This is a well deserved change in fortune for a man who kept fast bowling alive in pakistan after the two W's Wasim and Waqr. Its a fact that he always finds a way of geting himself into trouble, but so far he always finds a way out:) n I hope that he along wid Asif helps pakistan to win the world cup.It would be a fair end to his career in which he has always been more crticised rather than acknowledged for his talent n his efforts, which i think were sometimes misunderstood but were always honest n in the best interests if the team.Go Pakistan Go. We need another World Cup. Now, its no Stopping us:)

  • M. Naeem Akhtar on December 5, 2006, 10:05 GMT

    shoib and Asif was innocent in this case because in Pakistan there is nothing to do with the anti doping system. This is the duty of Pakistan Cricket Board to organise workshops for the sports players,, as like Cricketers..

  • Gohar Ayub on December 5, 2006, 10:03 GMT

    This was the first instance in our history to counter such kind of offense. However, the final verdict of tribunal is justified as the players were not given proper guidance to save themselves from unauthorized drugs.

    The tempo which Pak team had setted to have a real shot at the world cup was badly disturbed due to the exclusion of these two players. Now, hopefully we realistically have a hope to stand alongside the best teams in the world cup. Pakistan now has a formidable bowling line up with Asif, Shoaib and Umer Gul. It will further strengthen with the inclusion of Shabbir Ahmed. In my opinion Pakistan should play four front line pacers in the world cup. This no doubt can unsettle best batting line ups. Secondly, Asif and Umer should open the bowling and Shoaib should come in the middle overs. This is required to stop the flow of runs in the middle overs and Asif and Umer are better new bowl bowlers than Shoaib. Against good teams Shoaib could prove to be too expensive in the first 15 overs. His style of bowling suites him to come in the middle over with all out aggression.

  • UmpireHair but Nowhere on December 5, 2006, 10:03 GMT

    Pakistani players would not find easy to fool around in future,and this may bring much needed discipline.I hope everybody including Pakistani team doctor and PCB all learn from it.

  • saad malik on December 5, 2006, 10:03 GMT

    hahaha,MY GOD ..lol. PCB just wanted them to spend money on their respective lawyer in form of fee .lol,they just wasted money on lawyers.Anyway welcome back bothof u and hope pakistan will take 1 more WORLD cup back to home INSHALLAH. regards, saad malik

  • ABID SALEEM MUKHTAR on December 5, 2006, 10:02 GMT

    wow its the great moment the victory of cricket and cricket lovers. pray for the best pakistan.

  • Robert Ogle on December 5, 2006, 10:01 GMT

    Typical Pakistani justise, self interest takes precedence over reality. Not much wonder that most people assume they cheat in other ways without any strong evidence eg ball tampering. Always a whitewash to hand or blame somebody other than the culprit, a sad day for cricket & sport in general.

  • nasar on December 5, 2006, 10:01 GMT

    Absolutely wonderful news for Pakistan cricket fans-BUT the celebration might be a bit premature-wait until we hear th everdict from WADA and ICC.Do you think that the likes of Australia and England are going to let this go quietly! never in a million years!I just hope that those involved in the second hearing have got rock solid evidence to ward off the hounds. As for playing Shoaib and Asif in these one dayers, Pakistan should not rush things as the two players are probably not physically and mentally fit.Instead get them fit and ready for South Africa and then the big one-THE WORLD CUP!

  • Rasheed Khan on December 5, 2006, 9:59 GMT

    The global reaction still to come, the ICC, WADA and the other cricket playing countries Heads.

  • Bilal Haque on December 5, 2006, 9:59 GMT

    Absolutely farcical!!! The ban should have stayed. Just goes to show our mentality of repairing everything through patch work with no long term view.

  • Najam Butt on December 5, 2006, 9:58 GMT

    I totally agree with Kamran. Justice has been done, and must be applauded.

    And yes, we know the clamour that will follow this judgement. Of course there should not be a place for performance enhancing drugs in sport. But why should Pakistan make examples of two innocent individuals just to keep happy a biased Western media and an anti-Pakistan ICC executive.

    A great day for cricket... and an even better day for Pakistan.

    I've got that '92 feelin'... we're gonna win the cup! Insha'Allah.

  • Suhail Shaukat on December 5, 2006, 9:57 GMT

    I am very happy as it does boost our chances at the World Cup crown. Shan - are you sure u r a paki.....its a decision that has been taken in the interest of the country and in doing so at a major title..........broaden your views and think for the country.......obviously, i think so by exaggerating the whole affair, it has educated ppl about this crime and they will be meticulous in the future about it.........................

  • Syed HUssaini on December 5, 2006, 9:55 GMT

    I am sure Mr. Shan's comments up there are gonna get a lot of very angry responses, especially with these being a Pakistani blog with Pakistani supporters wanting Pakistan to have a chance next Spring. However, I completely agree with Mr. Shan's comments and I must add that the hypocrisy of Pakistan cricket (and Pakistan in general) has led to the Paki cricket team being the laughing stock all across the world. All you guys who are happy to see Shoaib and ASif back (including Mr. Kamran Abbasi) surely have the right to celebrate, but make to mistake.......... this overturned verdict has rubbish written all over it. I dont knwo about you guys, but Ever since first grade we were told that "I didnt know" is not a good excuse. I have no idea how Shoaib and Asif got their verdict overturned by this excuse.

  • hassan on December 5, 2006, 9:55 GMT

    Go Musharraf!! hehe Iam happy =) I seriously feel Intikhab Alam acted in a really stupid manner when he was in the initial committee. If Shoaib drinks, womanizes etc what does that have to do with this drug issue. Any ways it’s a good thing they are back, let’s just hope that they get their act together for the world cup. Cheers.

  • Phillips on December 5, 2006, 9:54 GMT

    I think the initial steps to ban the players was brave but fool-hardy. In a country where literacy is so low it cannot attempt to pass judgement as that of a 1st world country. Secondly, the levels of Nandalorone were alot less than our Greg who managed to overturn his ban.

    I think awareness will climb rapidly in Pak and Asia after this tribunal.

  • shafiq on December 5, 2006, 9:54 GMT

    it is a happy day, we should celebrate as our heroes come back---but i am not laughing, i am not telling friends in jubilation but only as news. i don't know why----why it is Gul and Shabbir are in my eyes to lead bowling in world cup, not asif and akhtar........... Has some one killed my emotions? has someone played with my heart? has someone betrayed me---i don't know but----it feels in all this episode. Who should ask t PCB to learn affairs in this way? I wish all the best to Asif, Akhtar and Pakistan cricket.... Let us hope we win the world cup. But this decision is like climax of an April fool story---and we all lovers of Pakistan cricket are hurt ones--the fools. Yousuf bhai only you and victories can keep us back to full jubilation and happiness.

  • Ehtasham Usmani on December 5, 2006, 9:54 GMT

    Great news! Its celebration time for pakistan cricket. But what WADA has to say on this decision is yet to be seen...may be the eposide is not over yet......... Good luck to Asif & Shoaib & team Pakistan.

  • Zuhair on December 5, 2006, 9:54 GMT

    This is such a great news for cricket!! it is so glad to hear this!! its a victory of justice!! i know people like Intikhab Alam and Sarafaraz NAwaz will not stop blaming the players and the panel after this decision. What a player dos on the field is all what must matter and not what he does out of the field as Intikhab Alma thinks!! Definately, now pakistan has a very good chance to start favorites again in the world cup!! Specially for the test matches in South africa, Pakistan will be a better team. But this news has always brought a dilemma with it, that now we might see another end to a Sahid Nazir's career!! Alas!! He really did bowl pretty well, and i personally fel that he and umer gul must be kept in the team and we must now opt the rotation policy in the test and On day matches so that the bowlers like Nazir dont get spolied!! I guess, now, its timew 2 say good bye to the likes of rana and sami!! we have had enough of them!! Morover, Shaoib and Asif should resume from the SOuth african tour. Let NAzir and Gul play int he one dayers against west indies to judge thier stregth, Dont forget, we also have rao iftikhar as our almost automatic choice in the on day format!!

  • Muhammad Azam Zia on December 5, 2006, 9:53 GMT

    Shane Warne was banned because Cricket Australia had done enough to educate their players on drug abuse. In Shoaib-Asif story what has been proved is that the two of them were NOT educated enough by the PCB. Asif is new to all this and Shoaib has been injured half of his career. And then again, come on you world, Asif takes wickets pitching it in the right areas and so does Shoaib since the last 2 years.

    Micheal Holding rightfully said that drugs can't help much in this particular sport (Cricket).

    Let the guys go, let them play.

  • David Furrows on December 5, 2006, 9:53 GMT

    Justice, dear Kamran, has not been done.

    You and I both have medical degrees and both follow Pakistan cricket closely. Blind Freddie can see the comical Popeye-like inflation of Asid in the last 18 months, and I believe that both were probably guilty just as I believe that Warne took steroids to recover from his shoulder injury before the last World Cup, only for the masking diuretics to be detected.

    Justice Ibrahim has previously found Salim Malik not guilty, for goodness sake, so we knew what outcome he would produce. Likewise Haseeb Ahsan once described an international umpire as "a disgraceful person" and we knew what he would do too.

    But this appeal verdict is so extreme, so indefensible, that the ICC will send it to the Court of Arbitration in Sport and not just get it quashed, but possibly even ban Asif for the full 2 years now.

    As someone with an affection for Pakistan cricket I was hoping that Asif would have mitigating factors reduce his penalty to a suspended one, with Shoaib still banned for 2 years. But this verdict is so extreme that the ICC cannot possibly allow it to stand.

  • mamboman on December 5, 2006, 9:51 GMT

    A typically shabby decision by Pakistani Cricket. This is a slippery slope argument which the PCB board will continually ignore in order to get their own star players off the hook, while shrieking vehemently about cheating if any other national board does it for one of their players.

  • iqbal aftab on December 5, 2006, 9:51 GMT

    welcome back both , but please ,PCB, keep yours politics away from the game.we need good cricket and these two are best attack in the world.

  • Touqeer Tariq on December 5, 2006, 9:51 GMT

    Absolutely Rediculous!!! I cannot imagine that how Shoaib can avoid a ban. This decision means that every bowler in the world can start taking banned drugs and before any tournament where there is a chance of Dop Test, his board can ban him for 2 months and afterthat he is free to play cricket again. I don't know where our cricket board is taking to us? They are trying to make us beleive that we CAN NOT win anything without our stars? Will we cross every line of morality to just win a world cup? What will be the benifit of winning a world cup after so much controversy? since nobody will ever beleive on our talent, on our players and most importantly on our honesty? Clear its obvious that like all other areas of our country, our cricket is also going down day by day. Even Shane Warne had to wait for 1 year to play again. Is Asif or Shaoib are bigger then him? How can we b so sure that these 2 will win us a world cup since both of them could not help Pakistan to win a pathetic English Team in ODIs this summer? Absolutely a shamefull decision. We should all Regret it.

  • Nasser Siddiqui on December 5, 2006, 9:51 GMT

    I hope Pakistan still plays Umar Gul as he was showing signs in regards to developing into Pakistan's spearhead. And I hope this doesnt disrupt his progression. Don't worry abt Afridi, im sure he will be in the world cup squad and also in the X1 once the first match rolls around in WC2007, PCB will always do these kind of things. Allah Hafiz

  • farrukh on December 5, 2006, 9:51 GMT

    A well orchestrated drama by the PCB comes to a finale! Smart thinking on their part to preempt a ban by the ICC had the players (definitely) been caught by the ICC during the random sampling in the Champions Trophy. But will Shaoib ever learn...........somehow I doubt it! But anyway the game is going to be much prettier to watch with both Shoaib and Asif around so, congrats all Paki fans. But dont raise your hopes to high regarding the World Cup........with Aust in such devastating form one can only aspire to come second in the WC2007.

  • Shahbaz Faheem on December 5, 2006, 9:50 GMT

    Rightly said Kamran. Shoaib & Asif 'welcome back' But my question is when PCB will stop making silly mistakes and avoid becoming laughing stock in cricket world. I hope some kind of sanity will prevail before taking any decisions (like: calling back Shoaib & Asif from Champions Trophy) which later would not be over turned on their faces. Thanks, a great talent (Asif) has been saved from being ruined. I congrats you Kamran. Pak Spin has definitely directly or indirectly played its part for this overturned verdict. Thanks for giving us a platform to raise our concerns over injustice(s).

  • Murtaza Khan on December 5, 2006, 9:50 GMT

    Well difficult to say whether this is a sound decision. As rightly pointed out it, ignorance is not a valid defence and the players must be held responsible. However, in my view such a hardline can only be justifiably taken when you have a system that at least purports to educate all. So who is to blame for this fiasco, I think it is the PCB - with years of an 'ad hoc' board it has consistently failed, and this is just another example.

  • Amjad Husain on December 5, 2006, 9:50 GMT

    I am glad Shoaib and Asif have been exonerated of the doping charges. I don not believe thay would have taken some thing which could finish their career. Both of them should be in the playing eleven againt West Indies. With these coming back there is some hope against South Africa. At least the South African now will think twice about making bouncier tracks.

  • Sami on December 5, 2006, 9:49 GMT

    Great news in the prospect for pakistan cricket team but not that good with respect to the PCB. I think the mistake is not in overturning the ban but to impose it so suddenly. I dont know what they wanted to show the world that they can ban their players as well or so. I think PCB need to get themselves some clear policies when it comes to such matters. There should be a proper process to undergo before such decision are imposed because after imposing a ban and then overturning it doesnt give any good impression. I myself is very happy to get to know that our premier bowlers will be on show now. (If there isnt any more drama in this story).

  • Wajahat Mateen on December 5, 2006, 9:49 GMT

    Just goes to show how badly educated our players are, as a matter of fact this sums up our whole society; we as a nation do not think much of the law, had Shoaib and Asif hired the lawyers in first place, this decision could have been made in their favor earlier as well. A welcome decision nonetheless for these players and for Pakistan cricket.

  • Ghalib Imtiyaz Ahmad on December 5, 2006, 9:49 GMT

    I for one didnt want Shoaib to comeback if he had taken the substance intentionally but Asif i must admit had to go through a traumatice few months. By all means he is not express but a prolific bowler who can swing the ball to a great degree and thus keeps the long tradition of swing bowling pedigree alive. I wanted to Asif to be back but for once Pakistan could do without Shoaib as Asif and Umar Gul would form the backbone of a very potent bowling attack. Now for the forthcoming South Africa tour, inclusion of Shoaib wont be a bad thing after all as his pace will trouble any batsman anyday.

  • Biplob on December 5, 2006, 9:48 GMT

    Correct decision. World cricket needs both of these two exciting bowler.

  • Sarmad on December 5, 2006, 9:47 GMT

    Cricket is a profession to provide entertainment. Without Shoaib and Asif it was boring. I appreciate the decesion. As far as players themselves are concern, they must realize that their are ethics in every thing and they are not playin for themselves but for the country.

  • Farhan on December 5, 2006, 9:47 GMT

    Hi, i am very glad by the decesion made by the commite or tribunal they have realy boosted Pakistan hope of having anythin in coming worl could be on both of these both super star & ALLAH the ALMIGHTY help them they will prove it also INSHALLAH let celebrate this big history moment in Pakistan Cricket History & hope that our team re-unite & perform better than ever before

  • Nooruddin ,Karachi on December 5, 2006, 9:47 GMT

    Now pakistan cricket start taking breath also . Well come back our superstar and we pray for your good health in terms of fitness and mentall approach.

  • Faisal on December 5, 2006, 9:46 GMT

    Its a very good decision for Pakistan Cricket. Some people in our cricket culture tend to be too harsh with players in order to put example towards world that how good we are. Everywhere in the world players are supported by their board and to punish someone on the basis of Inconclusive evidence is not good. Mr Intikhab Alam should be ashmed of himself for giving rubbish statement regarding Shoaib. Take it or not, there is a big difference between a team with Shoaib and without Shoaib. Pakistan need to Identify some of their batsmen and bowlers a proper pool to be made. In bowling pool we should have Shoaib,Asif,Umer Gul, Shahid Nazeer,Shabbir Ahmed, Muhammad Sami, Rana Naved and Samiullah Niazi. Find couple of more good Spinners. The next best thing which Pakistan Cricket Board could do is to kick out Mr Waseem Bari, the most Unimaginative Selector. He hasnt provided any talent to Pakistan Cricket. Amir Sohail was far better than him atleast he was imaginative. He gave Asim Kamal,Yasir Hameed, Umar Gul, Muhammad Hafeez, Salman Butt, brought back Shabbir Ahmed, Shoaib Malik. So please bring Amir Sohail back or some other Selector who is imaginative enough. Mr Bari doesnt have enough Imagination. Remember he is the guy who selected Pakistan team for World Cup 2003. Another thing, bring back ASIM KAMAL. That guy scored 8 fifties in 11 test against South Africa, India, Australia and West Indies and Still he is sitting out. Dont destroy a proven talent like him

  • Raheel Nawaz on December 5, 2006, 9:46 GMT

    Its really heartening to know as a cricket fan, that two of the best ambassodars of the game have eventually been dealt with JUSTICE. There was enough doubt on all the evidence against the two bowlers to receive such a penalty which could finish one's career and affect other's badly. I dont know what will be the reaction of ICC on this latest episode but I think they should also welcome this decision because firstly the whole trial was fair enough and secondly it will come good for the game.

  • Sarmad Munir on December 5, 2006, 9:46 GMT

    it is a a nice news.Pakistan after clearing shabbir as well,are now very strong favourites of winning the worldcup,and i hope theylive up to the expectations

  • Ahmad on December 5, 2006, 9:46 GMT

    Can the play in the ongoing series against West Indies?

  • rizwan on December 5, 2006, 9:46 GMT

    and just when we thought that the debilitating factor of 'shoaib akhtar' was FINALLY gone from the Pakistan team and the team, minus him could forge a unit by the world cup, PCB's notion of'justice' deals a death blow to the team.....

    in my humble opinion, all of this is VERY dodgy. all actors in this controversy look very dubious.

    but then again this is the beauty of the mysterious world of Pakistan cricket eh?

  • Ahad Hayat on December 5, 2006, 9:45 GMT

    i would like to say that mr shan has totally lost it. Whatever Kamran Abbasi has stated is his own opinion. You can vent your anger elsewhere. As for the decision, my friend a few hours ago said " Ahad i just have a feeling that both will come back." to which i said that it was not possible. The committee would be too scared for different organizations calling it a spineless decision but the committee came out with the right decision. I do not think PCB has trained the team enough to know whats right and whats wrong. Welcome back Shoaib and Asif!! As for people who use to be after Shoaib's life and would state that he is a liability to the team. Well to those people all i have to say is " Pakistan's bowling attack relies on him".

  • Badar on December 5, 2006, 9:45 GMT

    I think it is good for Pakistan cricket but the thing is... what is that evidence that prove them guilty and what is wrong with that now. Same goes for other side... where is the evidence which rescured them at that time. But it is good to have them back.

  • Zahra on December 5, 2006, 9:43 GMT

    Absolutely mind blowing news. The Pakistanis were posit for this "Controversies" string. People in the other blogs were celebrating S Akhtars ban on cricket. The terrifing player is BACK guys. So watch Cricket. I would also like to point at rickey Ponting, who was pretty happy looking at the fact that Aktar and Asif were out, and Lee could take akhtar's Place again. I almost going against PCB in every decision ineffect to thesse controversies, but PCB have shown some stand for their player. Happy Shoaib to all the Teams in the WOrld.

  • Waheed Asghar on December 5, 2006, 9:43 GMT

    I totally agree with you Kamran, The way Shoaib and Asif were treated after the 1st haering was appauling. they were found guilty in quick time. The PCB showed they would rather leave its player to the lions than accept they did not have adequate processes to eduacate its players. There will be much talk now about the validity of the 2nd hearing. I only hope the two players concerned are allowed to resume their careers. Its the PCBs job the look after its players and not dance to the tune of the outside world, lets hope they learn from their failings.

  • Mohammed Ali on December 5, 2006, 9:42 GMT

    Thas the best news i have heard rite after MY record man now i can assure that our team can screw anyyyy ChEeRz

  • Niaz Hussain on December 5, 2006, 9:42 GMT

    Well done PCB. this is good for us and cricket fans.

  • Syed HUssaini on December 5, 2006, 9:42 GMT

    I am glad to see these two back, but this overturned verdict just opens doors to more contrvoversies. As for you wanting to see Shoaib and Asif in the next One Dayer a coiuple of days from now, I doubt they will play. Asif hadnt even kept up with his training or any other kind of bowling activities he was so depressed. Same with Shoaib. Both might play the last two ODIs but i doubt we will see them both on Thursday.

  • Rai on December 5, 2006, 9:42 GMT

    Welcome back Shoaib--let's get those fast balls comin'! I believe the verdict to be a fair one and both have leart their lessons. The Theater of Cricket needs Shoaib the Entertainer.

  • Dr Faizullah Khawaja on December 5, 2006, 9:41 GMT

    I find it very strange that the first committe found them guilty and the second one not guilty. It was because the two players took it very casually and did not bother to get legal representation. On the part of PCB I think they should have arranged proper legal help for the players before tha first hearing. Now there will be a big fuss specially in australia about the new verdict.

  • Syed Rizwan Shah on December 5, 2006, 9:41 GMT

    im very much delighted to hear this news, this still unbelivable. i want to congratulate to both players and my pakistani team. now they really one of the favorite to winning the WC-2007. and also we must give hard time to SA in upcomming tour.

  • Zeeshan Cheema on December 5, 2006, 9:41 GMT

    This is wonderful news for Pakistan cricket as it will boom the chances of Pakistan to lift world cup next year in West Indies. PCB needs to educate the players about drugs which are prohibited in sports.

  • Haider Mahmud, Rawalpindi, Pakistan on December 5, 2006, 9:39 GMT

    I think this is a very wise decision taken. You cannot just go on punishing players and destroying careers just to prove the writ of law. That too when it is becoming abundantly clear that the players were not provided full information nor education about these drugs and the usage on their part was seemingly un-intentional.

  • Asim Kayani on December 5, 2006, 9:38 GMT

    Kamran

    I totally agree. Obviously WADA will look into the matter but the right decision has now been made whereas a hasty one was made previously. This is also a big big lesson for the PCB to have a proper process in place with regard to drug awareness although I must add that quite alot of awareness has happened.

    It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few days but yes I beleive they need to seriously focus on the preperatino of the world cup and include Shahid Afridi, Shoiab and Asif in the squad.

    Regards Asim

  • SAS on December 5, 2006, 9:38 GMT

    I generally endorse Kamran Abbasi's analysis

  • Shahrukh Mirza on December 5, 2006, 9:37 GMT

    Hats off to the PCB ..... Justice has finally been done ..... World Cup 2007 here we come ..... so watch out everyone !!!

  • Faraz Ahmed on December 5, 2006, 9:36 GMT

    It is indeed very heartening to see the duo back ...atlast PCB has done something right... Hope to see both of them in action soon

  • Azhar on December 5, 2006, 9:35 GMT

    Great news regarding Shoaib and Asif... indeed justice has prevailed finally. I hope the PCB puts this episode behind and moves on. With the world cup fast approaching, this is a shot in the arm for Pakistan making them once again a force to reckon with...

  • Akeel Kazmi on December 5, 2006, 9:34 GMT

    Amazing victory for cricket! I hope we'll be able to see both bowlers bowling in tandem for the 1st time! Huge boost for the World cup prospects of Pakistan. Will be difficult to decide starting 11 with Gul bowling well!

  • Shan on December 5, 2006, 9:34 GMT

    Your pathetic attempts to preempt the totally justified reactions to the overturning of the ban can't hide the fact that Pakistan cricket has proved to be as crooked, conniving, and pusillaminous as the offending cricketers. It is obvious that backroom politics has contributed to the ban being overturned. Even Shane Warne had to undergo a one year ban. So why not Shoaib and Asif? Even even the most illiterate knows that the ignorance os a law is no excuse for breaking it. So the hoo-haa wbout poor Asif's illiteracy and Akhtar's blind faith in his trainer doesn't really stand does it? Bah! But don't worry. The Indian and Srilankan boards will stand by you completely, as they did duing the Hair affair, nwo that we have all joined a reverse-racism clique. Makes me asjamed of being a sub-continental! And your personal bias? The only excuse I can make for you is that this is a blog, and journalistic standards (read: freedom from bias) do not apply.

  • Mubeen on December 5, 2006, 9:33 GMT

    One day you find the player guilty under the same regulations and the next day the decision's overturned. I hope they have some solid evidence to go with their decision.

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  • Mubeen on December 5, 2006, 9:33 GMT

    One day you find the player guilty under the same regulations and the next day the decision's overturned. I hope they have some solid evidence to go with their decision.

  • Shan on December 5, 2006, 9:34 GMT

    Your pathetic attempts to preempt the totally justified reactions to the overturning of the ban can't hide the fact that Pakistan cricket has proved to be as crooked, conniving, and pusillaminous as the offending cricketers. It is obvious that backroom politics has contributed to the ban being overturned. Even Shane Warne had to undergo a one year ban. So why not Shoaib and Asif? Even even the most illiterate knows that the ignorance os a law is no excuse for breaking it. So the hoo-haa wbout poor Asif's illiteracy and Akhtar's blind faith in his trainer doesn't really stand does it? Bah! But don't worry. The Indian and Srilankan boards will stand by you completely, as they did duing the Hair affair, nwo that we have all joined a reverse-racism clique. Makes me asjamed of being a sub-continental! And your personal bias? The only excuse I can make for you is that this is a blog, and journalistic standards (read: freedom from bias) do not apply.

  • Akeel Kazmi on December 5, 2006, 9:34 GMT

    Amazing victory for cricket! I hope we'll be able to see both bowlers bowling in tandem for the 1st time! Huge boost for the World cup prospects of Pakistan. Will be difficult to decide starting 11 with Gul bowling well!

  • Azhar on December 5, 2006, 9:35 GMT

    Great news regarding Shoaib and Asif... indeed justice has prevailed finally. I hope the PCB puts this episode behind and moves on. With the world cup fast approaching, this is a shot in the arm for Pakistan making them once again a force to reckon with...

  • Faraz Ahmed on December 5, 2006, 9:36 GMT

    It is indeed very heartening to see the duo back ...atlast PCB has done something right... Hope to see both of them in action soon

  • Shahrukh Mirza on December 5, 2006, 9:37 GMT

    Hats off to the PCB ..... Justice has finally been done ..... World Cup 2007 here we come ..... so watch out everyone !!!

  • SAS on December 5, 2006, 9:38 GMT

    I generally endorse Kamran Abbasi's analysis

  • Asim Kayani on December 5, 2006, 9:38 GMT

    Kamran

    I totally agree. Obviously WADA will look into the matter but the right decision has now been made whereas a hasty one was made previously. This is also a big big lesson for the PCB to have a proper process in place with regard to drug awareness although I must add that quite alot of awareness has happened.

    It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few days but yes I beleive they need to seriously focus on the preperatino of the world cup and include Shahid Afridi, Shoiab and Asif in the squad.

    Regards Asim

  • Haider Mahmud, Rawalpindi, Pakistan on December 5, 2006, 9:39 GMT

    I think this is a very wise decision taken. You cannot just go on punishing players and destroying careers just to prove the writ of law. That too when it is becoming abundantly clear that the players were not provided full information nor education about these drugs and the usage on their part was seemingly un-intentional.

  • Zeeshan Cheema on December 5, 2006, 9:41 GMT

    This is wonderful news for Pakistan cricket as it will boom the chances of Pakistan to lift world cup next year in West Indies. PCB needs to educate the players about drugs which are prohibited in sports.