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December 29, 2006

Pace attack

Shoaib's New Year curse

Kamran Abbasi

The first major controversy of Shoaib Akhtar's career was at its height over a New Year period. He had been called for throwing and urgent negotiations between Tauqir Zia, the chairman of Pakistan's cricket board, and his pal Jagmohan Dalmiya, the president of the ICC, ended in Shoaib's return to international cricket in front of a cheering crowd in Australia.

With Pakistan's squad announcement for the South African Test series, Shoaib finds himself sitting it out again over New Year with the prospect of a recall for the one-day series. You suspect that the spectre of WADA has something to do with this too. Personally, I'd have taken him to South Africa to ensure he regains fitness under the scrutiny of team management. Unless Shoaib--like Mohammad Asif--is banned by the ICC, Pakistan need him back fit and in form for the World Cup, and that means he has to play the one-day series in South Africa.

For Shoaib's part, he needs to be careful. It is clear that he enjoys considerably less sympathy from the Pakistani cricket fraternity than Asif does. This remains a dangerous period in his career. And if his fitness continues to fail he will rapidly lose the remnants of support he has among Pakistan cricket fans. The public loves to celebrate heroes but it also loves nothing more than cursing fallen idols. Shoaib has to put concerns about WADA to one side and show that he is ready to play if he is allowed to. Anything else will be negligent. Can Shoaib--and the Pakistan selectors--rise to the challenge?

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

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Posted by areeb on (January 24, 2007, 15:44 GMT)

hi kamran how r u the pcb surely have something against shoaib for me hes a top player and pakistan really need him leaving him out wasnt a right thnig and everyone knows it wasnt because of a 'hamstring injury" i also imran farhat gives way to imran nazir. imran farhat is a poor batsmen who doesnt learn from his mistakes and always his innings have been innings with lots of chances to me a very chancy player. i certainly feel salman butt ibeing harsh done he should get a chance a much more talented player after all he has 100 against australia in sydney he must be good to do that. last of all kamran akmal no matter how good a batsmen he is he has no idea how to keep which is his primary job too many miss catches too may miss stumps too much to the extent that they cost pakistan matches . z haider sho

Posted by Wasif on (January 24, 2007, 13:43 GMT)

Pakistan's Notty boy (Shoaib) Always left Pakistan in No-mans land.A recent contoversy with Coach makes a very bad imperssion in the praperation of World Cup. If Pakistan has to made some Impression on critics of cricket They should avoid such blunders in field and Off the Field.

Posted by ~FAWAD~ on (January 24, 2007, 4:47 GMT)

The enigmatic Shoaib is no stranger to controversy since he made his debut in 1997 and it is also no secret that he has had an uneasy and at time stormy relationship with captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and Woolmer.

Shoaib had to face a medical inquiry after a lost test against India in Rawalpindi in April 2004, when in similar circumstances he came out to bat, but didn't bowl afterwards at the fag end of the long Indian innings claiming he had a hamstring problem, leaving Inzamam unhappy and leading to him showing his emotions in the dressing room in full view of everyone.

The inquiry however cleared Shoaib of faking his injury but afterwards he was not selected for tours to India and West Indies under Inzamam's captaincy in 2005 with the selectors insisting he was not match fit.

Ironically the same reason was given out when after being cleared of a doping charge, he was not picked in the original touring squad for South Africa earlier this month and only went to South Africa on the intervention of Nasim Ashraf, the PCB chief as young pacer Umar Gul injured his ankle...

Posted by ~FAWAD~ on (January 24, 2007, 4:43 GMT)

I think that was a great move to send him back .. pakistani Selectors and Captain have been toward his side many times but .. not havent shown capacity yet. SO SOHAIB.. stay home and see how boys plays.. learn from them.. COZ SPEED THIRILLS but KILLS too !

Posted by Hashim on (January 18, 2007, 6:31 GMT)

I pray to God to guide Shoaib. I`ll always support Shoaib. He`s a real cricketer

Posted by borat on (January 6, 2007, 17:54 GMT)

After the latest controversial team selection by PCB. If the reason for not selecting `Shoaib` is simply `Inzi`; then its time PCB should say to Inzi,``You`r fired!`; the reason is simple; if u look at the whole last year of Inzi, no doubt he has won matches for Pakis single handedly:)- and dats the reason he was chosen to be a captain. But with the Oval controversey & then Shaharyar` resig, dopin case;Inzi has responsibility too; he is more thinking as an administrator then just a player who has to serve for the country. its time to fire Inzi, coz of his personal ego towards more deserved players. As we have examples of disgrace like `W Akram as a captain`- Its unfortunate in Indo-Pak; that power is used for the personal benefits than for the country. Soultion is simple; bring back shoaib- if Inzi and Yunis have probs with that? they` both should be sent bck to home as respect of country should be more important than their personal games... (with this ego in players; we will have no chance in world cup anyway) Power is given to `SERVE` and not to `RULE`.

Posted by borat on (January 6, 2007, 17:46 GMT)

After the latest controversial team selection by PCB. If the reason for not selecting `Shoaib` is simply `Inzi`; then its time PCB should say to Inzi,``You`r fired!`; the reason is simple; if u look at the whole last year of Inzi, no doubt he has won matches for Pakis single handedly:)- and dats the reason he was chosen to be a captain. But with the Oval controversey & then Shaharyar` resig, dopin case;Inzi has responsibility too; he is more thinking as an administrator then just a player who has to serve for the country. its time to fire Inzi, coz of his personal ego towards more deserved players. As we have examples of disgrace like `W Akram as a captain`- Its unfortunate in Indo-Pak; that power is used for the personal benefits than for the country. Soultion is simple; bring back shoaib- if Inzi and Yunis have probs with that? they` both should be sent bck to home as respect of country should be more important than their personal games... (with this ego in players; we will have no chance in world cup anyway) Power is given to `SERVE` and not to `RULE`.

Posted by QAZI on (January 5, 2007, 16:42 GMT)

ILL due respect MR tariq hafiz ........this is a place for people to give out thier comments n say what they want too ...... if u want to say pathetic stuff then plzz go n join a chatroom

Posted by Farhan Mughal on (January 5, 2007, 15:54 GMT)

I think Shoaib needs to show some responsibility. He is among the senior players of the team and he has to become a role model for the young players but in fact he is doing the opposite. People are tired of new controversies arising about him every now and then. Shoaib enough is enough!!! He should learn lesson from his mistakes rather than repeating them. I hope being out of cricket for few months would teach him something and BE RESPONSIBLE.

Posted by tariq hafiz on (January 5, 2007, 3:54 GMT)

after reading several of the comments i feel disgusted that how can so- called Pakistani fans can trash mohd sami. ipray to God that sami proves all of these pathetic people completely WRONG .

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

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