Politics February 16, 2007

Would Bob really say that?

Just when I thought it was safe to hibernate for a month, Pakistan cricket reminds us that its stupidity knows no bounds
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Just when I thought it was safe to hibernate for a month, Pakistan cricket reminds us that its stupidity knows no bounds. This is a little tricky to write since I know the people involved but there are a few of points I can make quite clearly:

1 I know Bob. I find it difficult to believe that he is racist, even if he is would he call somebody a "Blackie"? The only people I've ever heard use that word I'm afraid are people from South Asia. It reminds of the time I was done for a driving offence and the policemen read out a statement that he said he had taken from me which used language I knew I would never use.

2 I know the sports editor of Dawn. I find it difficult to believe that he would publish a piece without something to back it up. The quality of Dawn's sports pages has improved no end over the last eight months or so.

3 I wonder then about Dawn's sources and assume that there can't be many people who were privy to that conversation and could state with conviction - genuine or not - that a racist remark was made. If the source turns out to be unreliable or untrustworthy then Dawn better apologise, and quickly.

4 To accuse a national coach of making a racist remark to one of his players is a most serious allegation. It is the kind of allegation that means at least one head will roll, the person who made the remark or the source of the claim, assuming that it has to be somebody inside the Pakistan camp.

5 It's also time that another head rolled. The shambles in Pakistan cricket has become a national disgrace. Who will take responsibility? Dr Ashraf or Mr Altaf? Perhaps one or both of them? It's time gentlemen. But guess what? I bet neither of them do.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • abercrombie et fitch on September 18, 2012, 20:28 GMT

    Along with everything which appears to be developing throughout this subject matter, many of your points of view tend to be quite refreshing. However, I appologize, because I can not subscribe to your entire plan, all be it refreshing none the less. It looks to everyone that your commentary are generally not totally rationalized and in actuality you are generally your self not even entirely confident of the assertion. In any case I did take pleasure i examining it.

  • makes money on July 9, 2011, 16:32 GMT

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  • coh4 key on May 18, 2011, 16:14 GMT

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  • ali on February 23, 2007, 11:35 GMT

    Economy rate in last 10 overs in ODIs since 2006 Bowling team Matches Runs/ wkt in last 10 Runs/ over in last 10 West Indies 31 20.02 5.85 England 20 22.09 6.21 India 32 22.21 6.25 Pakistan 20 20.25 6.26 South Africa 24 23.94 6.27 Sri Lanka 34 27.42 6.29 Australia 32 21.83 6.64 New Zealand 22 24.45 6.68

    The next two tables provide further illustration of Australia's bowling woes - none of them figure among the top ten most economical bowlers at the crunch. Muttiah Muralitharan and Harbhajan Singh have the same economy rate, but Murali's wicket-taking ability - he averages 23 to Harbhajan's 60 - makes him far more lethal.

    Some of the other names in the list are interesting too. Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle prove the effectiveness of firing the offies flat and fast in the last few overs, while their presence also explains West Indies' position as the best team at the death. In fact, the preponderance of slow bowlers also suggests that's the route more teams might opt for during the World Cup. Andrew Hall emerges as South Africa's best bet, but the entry that might perhaps surprise many is slotted three places below Hall. Rana Naved-ul-Hasan has struggled mightily for line, length, swing and control over the last one year, but with old ball in hand when the slog is on Naved is a transformed bowler - his average and his strike rate are, quite incredibly, less than ten. Compare those numbers with his stats in the first 40 overs of an innings - an average of 58.69, an economy rate of 5.36, and a wicket every 66 balls - and you know exactly how Pakistan should use him in an ODI.

    Most economical bowlers in the last ten overs since 2006 (At least 150 balls; excludes ODIs against Zim, B'desh and all non-Test playing teams) Bowler Balls Bat runs conceded Wickets Average Econ Muttiah Muralitharan 263 209 9 23.22 4.76 Harbhajan Singh 151 120 2 60.00 4.76 Andrew Hall 244 220 17 12.94 5.40 Marlon Samuels 197 184 9 20.44 5.60 Lasith Malinga 206 202 14 14.42 5.88 Rana Naved-ul-Hasan 170 174 18 9.66 6.14 Daniel Vettori 163 161 4 40.25 5.92 Chris Gayle 266 277 7 39.57 6.24 Irfan Pathan 166 181 12 15.08 6.54 Shane Bond 208 224 18 12.44 6.46

    And if you're wondering where all the Australian bowlers have vanished, have a look at the next table, which lists the most expensive bowlers during the slog. Stuart Clark is the second-most profligate bowler, conceding almost nine runs per over, while Nathan Bracken and Brett Lee both leak more than seven. Glenn McGrath doesn't quite make it into the list of most expensive bowlers, but his economy rate of 6.68, coupled with an average of 27.71 suggests he hasn't been the most effective slog-overs bowlers either.

    It's also interesting to see Chaminda Vaas at the top of the table. His impeccable line-and-length stuff, coupled with his exaggerated swing, makes him a deadly proposition at the start of an innings, where he averages 27.17 per wicket and goes at only 3.63 per over. However, at the end of an innings he has tended to be far more predictable. If the ideal way to utilise Rana Naved is to bowl him at the death, Vaas will probably be at his best if Sri Lanka use him through the first 20 overs of the innings.

    Most expensive bowlers in the last ten overs since 2006 (At least 150 balls; excludes ODIs against Zim, B'desh and all non-Test playing teams) Bowler Balls Bat runs conceded Wickets Average Econ Chaminda Vaas 181 243 9 27.00 8.05 Stuart Clark 145 191 6 31.83 7.90 Zaheer Khan 150 183 6 30.50 7.32 Dwayne Bravo 239 284 15 18.93 7.12 Nathan Bracken 282 333 17 19.58 7.08 Brett Lee 301 355 15 23.67 7.07

    S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinf

    Inzamams captaincy is pathetic,unfortunately we are deprived of ppl with any decree of sanity in our team at present to replace him.younis khan would definately have been a much superior choice even though he could not capitaliseon the very few opportunties which were at his disposal. it would be very premature to asses his leadership skils from those matches.He probably would have needed a couple of more games to gain some respect and authority in the team. The only benefit of inzamams captaincy is the solidarity in the team which unfortunately is not good enough to win games ,It might improve the chances to some extent but stupidity has its price too.I fail to understand that it takes him a long time to make descisions , his descisions come too late and in a one day game that could cost you the entire match.I am surprised by the mere fact that we have been struggling to find a good opening pair for a while now and very litte effort has been made to over come those deficiencies.imran farhat is technically incorrect..hafeez seems to be better iof the avialble lot and is technically more correct than others but probably he lacks talent or simply his eye hand coordination is not correct because after taking so many starts he rarely makes a decent score.sulman butt is interesting and talented but lacks confidence ... anyways my point is that if our openers give us an average start of 10-15 runs what is the point in having specialist openers ..we should have rather reshuffeled our batting order and we would have atleast found ppl amongst them who could only have done better than the exisiting pairs but he seemed to be very reluctant and hesitant in experimenting anything..sometimes i feel that he has written everything down on the paper and doesnt make any ammendments according to changing situation..he doesnt have a plan b or plan c ..its plan a or nothing..rana was totally out of form ...his line and lenghth was pathetic in the entire series...heshould have opted for rao who is reltively a better contender specially in the start of innings atleast he could have groomed him into confidence in this series ,,but he stayed with rana all the way and rane sometimes has the ability to be very detrimental to the cause of the team .I mean if you know that you have a bowler who is out of form..first of all you shouldnt play him and if you do , use him wisely and dont dent his confidence further..he could have used rana in short bursts not because he is express pace but because when rana is on song...he can turn the game upside down..so why not rest him and use him in short bursts ..if he bowls very well than you could give him a couple . otherwise there is no point in bowling him out..stats suggest that rana is terrible with the new ball but is relatively much better in the death overs so he should probably use him to the right cause..only use him with the old ball...its very unlikely that shoaib akhter will be participating in the tournament and asifs exclusion from the squad could be a disater..well all we can do is hope for the best with our fingers crossed.I wouldnt play imran nazir as an opener though with an average of 20 and doesnt look reliable if that is the case why wouldnt i open with rana and experiment considering that he was an opener for his side..and he avearges close to 15 and what do we have to loose ..imran nazir and hafeez also make 20 ...and rana has showed some skills in his batting..his shots are pretty good he can drive like a batsmen and can play some attacking cricket as well and seems to be technically correct as well..and we could use him in the end of the innings as the stats suggest. if god forbid shaoib and asif do not play..this is my best pick of 11

    1) rana 2) shoaib/hafeez 3)younis 4)youhanna 5)inzamam 6)akmal 7)razzak 8)afridi 9)gul 10)kaneria 11)rao

  • A. J. Ranjha on February 23, 2007, 0:58 GMT

    Bob is a human after all. He might have picked a It is conceivable that Bob may have picked up a thing or two of the local slang by being with the team for over two years now. Christening some dark skinned person, though jokingly, a "Kaloo" or "Kaala" is common in Pakistan. In fact, sometimes these names are stuck with the person their whole lives. In a similar vein, “Mota” or “Fatty” is also very common nickname in Pakistan. The list is endless. I don’t believe Bob is a racist in any way, but, he could be guilty of this indiscretion that Shoaib is blowing out of proportion due to his own shortcomings. I remember one instance when Ramiz Raja was in the commentary box and Inzamam was batting – Ramiz referred to Inzamam as the “Big Easy Inzy” and both commentators (Ramiz + someone else) were commenting that Inzy was on the heavy side. Then the camera panned to Bob in the dressing room and Ramiz jokingly made a remark that Bob should reduce his weight as well. Bob clearly heard it as he was listening to same commentary and kind of shrugged it off. That in my opinion was an extremely insulting remark – especially millions around the world are watching.

    Anyone who has either lived or lives in the West knows that calling anyone these names even jokingly is considered extremely disrespectful. Bob deserves all the credit and respect for sticking around through the thick and thin of the Pakistani cricket mayhem. One should commend his commitment that he is still with the team after all this insult is being hurled at him from all directions.

    As far as Shoaib is concerned – he is still an important player and should get his act together for what maybe his last stint for his country.

  • M A ALAM on February 22, 2007, 22:23 GMT

    Show---Aib, Give some respect to a gentleman's game and retire now because you will be unfit after one game and then clubbing. Learn cricket love from Kiwis and Englishmen

  • N on February 22, 2007, 19:29 GMT

    Well the thing is that they should have a national coach like someone who have played with the team or one who knows the nature of the pakitanis man this guy is not a native of our country well i m in USA and i have never seen a coach from different country coaching and teaching players of USA sports teams because our country guys are more patriotic and will also work hard to make the team level up from every direction.

  • Rahil Khan on February 22, 2007, 19:19 GMT

    Very well put Kamran. I just hope all concerned would use the same systematic approach and thought process that you have put forth in your article instead of the usual "he said, she said".

  • Billal Anwar on February 22, 2007, 10:35 GMT

    I think bob has done an oustanding job with pakistan since his arrival, and has pushed pakistans test and ODI ranking to 3rd, to say he said certain things to shoaib akhtar is just plain dumb, as a great coach and principled man, i very much doubt he would say such thing, and im sure he isnt daft enough to do so. Also i think we should put all the problems behind us and focus on the world cup, comments by miandad are not neaded and i think the PCB Chairman is showing his lack of experience by trying to arrange pep talks from old stars. leave it to the coach and captain i say.

  • m a Alam on February 22, 2007, 9:41 GMT

    Get rid of womaniser, and useless cricketer of the history...sho---aib

  • abercrombie et fitch on September 18, 2012, 20:28 GMT

    Along with everything which appears to be developing throughout this subject matter, many of your points of view tend to be quite refreshing. However, I appologize, because I can not subscribe to your entire plan, all be it refreshing none the less. It looks to everyone that your commentary are generally not totally rationalized and in actuality you are generally your self not even entirely confident of the assertion. In any case I did take pleasure i examining it.

  • makes money on July 9, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    My neighbor and I have been just debating this specific topic, he's usually in search of to show me incorrect. Your view on this is great and precisely how I really feel. I just now mailed him this website online to indicate him your personal view. After wanting over your web site I e book marked and might be coming again to read your new posts!

  • coh4 key on May 18, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    Your web site is definately worthy of a bookmark, thank you!

  • ali on February 23, 2007, 11:35 GMT

    Economy rate in last 10 overs in ODIs since 2006 Bowling team Matches Runs/ wkt in last 10 Runs/ over in last 10 West Indies 31 20.02 5.85 England 20 22.09 6.21 India 32 22.21 6.25 Pakistan 20 20.25 6.26 South Africa 24 23.94 6.27 Sri Lanka 34 27.42 6.29 Australia 32 21.83 6.64 New Zealand 22 24.45 6.68

    The next two tables provide further illustration of Australia's bowling woes - none of them figure among the top ten most economical bowlers at the crunch. Muttiah Muralitharan and Harbhajan Singh have the same economy rate, but Murali's wicket-taking ability - he averages 23 to Harbhajan's 60 - makes him far more lethal.

    Some of the other names in the list are interesting too. Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle prove the effectiveness of firing the offies flat and fast in the last few overs, while their presence also explains West Indies' position as the best team at the death. In fact, the preponderance of slow bowlers also suggests that's the route more teams might opt for during the World Cup. Andrew Hall emerges as South Africa's best bet, but the entry that might perhaps surprise many is slotted three places below Hall. Rana Naved-ul-Hasan has struggled mightily for line, length, swing and control over the last one year, but with old ball in hand when the slog is on Naved is a transformed bowler - his average and his strike rate are, quite incredibly, less than ten. Compare those numbers with his stats in the first 40 overs of an innings - an average of 58.69, an economy rate of 5.36, and a wicket every 66 balls - and you know exactly how Pakistan should use him in an ODI.

    Most economical bowlers in the last ten overs since 2006 (At least 150 balls; excludes ODIs against Zim, B'desh and all non-Test playing teams) Bowler Balls Bat runs conceded Wickets Average Econ Muttiah Muralitharan 263 209 9 23.22 4.76 Harbhajan Singh 151 120 2 60.00 4.76 Andrew Hall 244 220 17 12.94 5.40 Marlon Samuels 197 184 9 20.44 5.60 Lasith Malinga 206 202 14 14.42 5.88 Rana Naved-ul-Hasan 170 174 18 9.66 6.14 Daniel Vettori 163 161 4 40.25 5.92 Chris Gayle 266 277 7 39.57 6.24 Irfan Pathan 166 181 12 15.08 6.54 Shane Bond 208 224 18 12.44 6.46

    And if you're wondering where all the Australian bowlers have vanished, have a look at the next table, which lists the most expensive bowlers during the slog. Stuart Clark is the second-most profligate bowler, conceding almost nine runs per over, while Nathan Bracken and Brett Lee both leak more than seven. Glenn McGrath doesn't quite make it into the list of most expensive bowlers, but his economy rate of 6.68, coupled with an average of 27.71 suggests he hasn't been the most effective slog-overs bowlers either.

    It's also interesting to see Chaminda Vaas at the top of the table. His impeccable line-and-length stuff, coupled with his exaggerated swing, makes him a deadly proposition at the start of an innings, where he averages 27.17 per wicket and goes at only 3.63 per over. However, at the end of an innings he has tended to be far more predictable. If the ideal way to utilise Rana Naved is to bowl him at the death, Vaas will probably be at his best if Sri Lanka use him through the first 20 overs of the innings.

    Most expensive bowlers in the last ten overs since 2006 (At least 150 balls; excludes ODIs against Zim, B'desh and all non-Test playing teams) Bowler Balls Bat runs conceded Wickets Average Econ Chaminda Vaas 181 243 9 27.00 8.05 Stuart Clark 145 191 6 31.83 7.90 Zaheer Khan 150 183 6 30.50 7.32 Dwayne Bravo 239 284 15 18.93 7.12 Nathan Bracken 282 333 17 19.58 7.08 Brett Lee 301 355 15 23.67 7.07

    S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinf

    Inzamams captaincy is pathetic,unfortunately we are deprived of ppl with any decree of sanity in our team at present to replace him.younis khan would definately have been a much superior choice even though he could not capitaliseon the very few opportunties which were at his disposal. it would be very premature to asses his leadership skils from those matches.He probably would have needed a couple of more games to gain some respect and authority in the team. The only benefit of inzamams captaincy is the solidarity in the team which unfortunately is not good enough to win games ,It might improve the chances to some extent but stupidity has its price too.I fail to understand that it takes him a long time to make descisions , his descisions come too late and in a one day game that could cost you the entire match.I am surprised by the mere fact that we have been struggling to find a good opening pair for a while now and very litte effort has been made to over come those deficiencies.imran farhat is technically incorrect..hafeez seems to be better iof the avialble lot and is technically more correct than others but probably he lacks talent or simply his eye hand coordination is not correct because after taking so many starts he rarely makes a decent score.sulman butt is interesting and talented but lacks confidence ... anyways my point is that if our openers give us an average start of 10-15 runs what is the point in having specialist openers ..we should have rather reshuffeled our batting order and we would have atleast found ppl amongst them who could only have done better than the exisiting pairs but he seemed to be very reluctant and hesitant in experimenting anything..sometimes i feel that he has written everything down on the paper and doesnt make any ammendments according to changing situation..he doesnt have a plan b or plan c ..its plan a or nothing..rana was totally out of form ...his line and lenghth was pathetic in the entire series...heshould have opted for rao who is reltively a better contender specially in the start of innings atleast he could have groomed him into confidence in this series ,,but he stayed with rana all the way and rane sometimes has the ability to be very detrimental to the cause of the team .I mean if you know that you have a bowler who is out of form..first of all you shouldnt play him and if you do , use him wisely and dont dent his confidence further..he could have used rana in short bursts not because he is express pace but because when rana is on song...he can turn the game upside down..so why not rest him and use him in short bursts ..if he bowls very well than you could give him a couple . otherwise there is no point in bowling him out..stats suggest that rana is terrible with the new ball but is relatively much better in the death overs so he should probably use him to the right cause..only use him with the old ball...its very unlikely that shoaib akhter will be participating in the tournament and asifs exclusion from the squad could be a disater..well all we can do is hope for the best with our fingers crossed.I wouldnt play imran nazir as an opener though with an average of 20 and doesnt look reliable if that is the case why wouldnt i open with rana and experiment considering that he was an opener for his side..and he avearges close to 15 and what do we have to loose ..imran nazir and hafeez also make 20 ...and rana has showed some skills in his batting..his shots are pretty good he can drive like a batsmen and can play some attacking cricket as well and seems to be technically correct as well..and we could use him in the end of the innings as the stats suggest. if god forbid shaoib and asif do not play..this is my best pick of 11

    1) rana 2) shoaib/hafeez 3)younis 4)youhanna 5)inzamam 6)akmal 7)razzak 8)afridi 9)gul 10)kaneria 11)rao

  • A. J. Ranjha on February 23, 2007, 0:58 GMT

    Bob is a human after all. He might have picked a It is conceivable that Bob may have picked up a thing or two of the local slang by being with the team for over two years now. Christening some dark skinned person, though jokingly, a "Kaloo" or "Kaala" is common in Pakistan. In fact, sometimes these names are stuck with the person their whole lives. In a similar vein, “Mota” or “Fatty” is also very common nickname in Pakistan. The list is endless. I don’t believe Bob is a racist in any way, but, he could be guilty of this indiscretion that Shoaib is blowing out of proportion due to his own shortcomings. I remember one instance when Ramiz Raja was in the commentary box and Inzamam was batting – Ramiz referred to Inzamam as the “Big Easy Inzy” and both commentators (Ramiz + someone else) were commenting that Inzy was on the heavy side. Then the camera panned to Bob in the dressing room and Ramiz jokingly made a remark that Bob should reduce his weight as well. Bob clearly heard it as he was listening to same commentary and kind of shrugged it off. That in my opinion was an extremely insulting remark – especially millions around the world are watching.

    Anyone who has either lived or lives in the West knows that calling anyone these names even jokingly is considered extremely disrespectful. Bob deserves all the credit and respect for sticking around through the thick and thin of the Pakistani cricket mayhem. One should commend his commitment that he is still with the team after all this insult is being hurled at him from all directions.

    As far as Shoaib is concerned – he is still an important player and should get his act together for what maybe his last stint for his country.

  • M A ALAM on February 22, 2007, 22:23 GMT

    Show---Aib, Give some respect to a gentleman's game and retire now because you will be unfit after one game and then clubbing. Learn cricket love from Kiwis and Englishmen

  • N on February 22, 2007, 19:29 GMT

    Well the thing is that they should have a national coach like someone who have played with the team or one who knows the nature of the pakitanis man this guy is not a native of our country well i m in USA and i have never seen a coach from different country coaching and teaching players of USA sports teams because our country guys are more patriotic and will also work hard to make the team level up from every direction.

  • Rahil Khan on February 22, 2007, 19:19 GMT

    Very well put Kamran. I just hope all concerned would use the same systematic approach and thought process that you have put forth in your article instead of the usual "he said, she said".

  • Billal Anwar on February 22, 2007, 10:35 GMT

    I think bob has done an oustanding job with pakistan since his arrival, and has pushed pakistans test and ODI ranking to 3rd, to say he said certain things to shoaib akhtar is just plain dumb, as a great coach and principled man, i very much doubt he would say such thing, and im sure he isnt daft enough to do so. Also i think we should put all the problems behind us and focus on the world cup, comments by miandad are not neaded and i think the PCB Chairman is showing his lack of experience by trying to arrange pep talks from old stars. leave it to the coach and captain i say.

  • m a Alam on February 22, 2007, 9:41 GMT

    Get rid of womaniser, and useless cricketer of the history...sho---aib

  • MMBS on February 22, 2007, 9:15 GMT

    Shoaib has a history behind him. A history of indiscipline and immoral deeds that no one can deny. He is an immature bully who has been playing cricket for the past 7 or 8 years even after committing deliberate stupidities time and time again. I wonder why in the world have PCB put up with his crap for so long. PCB should have set an example very early on by kicking him out from International Cricket but they failed to do so as a result they reinforced the BULLY inside the man and now he has turned into a "loose cracker". Kick him dudes. We don't need him for the world cup. He is a BAD INFLUENCE. and as far as that incident with BOb is concerned we all know that Mr. Shoaib is not a cute little innocent baby. He must have said something or provoked him. However if Bob said something like a racist slur then he should be questioned as well. But for Shoaib he is like a virus who will not only be the cause of us loosing the world cup but will also destroy the TEAM SPIRIT and would be a bad influence.

  • altaf on February 22, 2007, 5:31 GMT

    "shoiab should b sacked from the team"it may b the begining of the dream team of pakistan.

  • bilal on February 22, 2007, 4:43 GMT

    I wonder if he did call him a blackie ????

  • imran quraishi on February 21, 2007, 21:29 GMT

    I think Bob really said that cuz Inzi who is the witness to this whole thing is not coming forward to deny this really happened.

  • Haider on February 20, 2007, 16:21 GMT

    When you see Shoiab putting in that extra effortsd (when and if he plays) - tells me that he "wants" to play. He has been a match winner - time and again. Apart from poor training practices in the team, I think the weak link is strong, inspirational, and respected leadership. Leadership needs to be backed by consistency (of decisions - selection/batting order etc..) and very strong self-belief - ala Imran Khan and even Wasim Akram. Inzi lacks that. These incidents happen because of this void. That leader should enforce role clarity and seperation of duties for the Team Coach, Bowling Coach, Pyshio etc.

  • kaliem on February 20, 2007, 13:57 GMT

    " believe the selection of Danish Kanaria is forcefully and politically motivated to change our team’s international image from a hardcore fundamentalist ‘Tableeghis’ to more liberal and open-minded unit."

    even if it is the case, they could have done it before WC, involving kaneria into the drama at this stage means a big risk. btw if its true by any percent, its pity then, I dont know why we feel so ashamed on our traditions, culture and religion. Practising religion in its true sense doesnt mean you get a Tableeghi tag. Dont know where media is heading us to! Anyways.

  • Pieter on February 20, 2007, 11:02 GMT

    Wow now Bob Woolmer is a racist. Seems when the cricket side struggle everyone is racist. Pakistan cricket is more like a soap opera, than anything else. Players using drugs, faking injuries, Gibbs, Woolmer racists etc. I think the problem lies at the top and well it will be interesting to hear your excuses during the world cup, maybe Lara, Ponting etc. being called racist.

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on February 20, 2007, 10:25 GMT

    Totally agree with you there Mohammed Munir! Mushy is Inzy's personal masseur! A free trip for a personal service, that's what friends are for.

    Anyone thinking that a disaster in the Carribean can be avoided for Pakistan is has no concept of reality. This will turn out to be one of Pakistan's most embarassing world cup campaigns, surpassing the 2003 debacle.

    As recent games in Australia indicate, ODI cricket has reached a new level.

  • Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on February 20, 2007, 10:01 GMT

    Future of Pakistan Cricket lies in de-linking the Presidency with PCB:

    First, a little re-cap of latest cricketing events all around before we dwell on the all important issue of PCB and Pakistan Cricket.

    Teams playing with half a dozen potent players sitting out, meet the same fate as Australia's but still we could not term these defeats as totally one sided.

    This has not been the case with team Pakistan. The biggest problem confronted by our team is the level of commitment and Inzi shows much less of the same but persisting with out of form players.

    This brings the morale of other key players down as we have seen and the fighting spirit simply evaporates and you see no contest. This is highly embarrassing but Inzi has shown scant respect. On the contrary he is growing stubborn as if he has a direct connection and kind of blessing from the top.

    This is the very reason that we want to see the Presidency de-linked in all its forms from the PCB. This is not an honor any more that the head of the state should hand pick a chief and patronize others. This simply breeds contempt.

    Take my word for it, the writing is on the wall for future heads of state in the country and they will not have the luxury of nominating hand picked persons and thus, continue to spoil this institution called PCB.

    Democratically elected cadres in the PCB, would be able to discharge duties and run the cricketing affairs in a much more effective manner without having to oblige anyone including the big boss.

    Now, President Musharraff can very well take a position to disown this latest mayhem but the fact of the matter remains that he has been hand picking non cricketing personalities over the recent past, time and again and nominating / removing them as and when he pleases and deems appropriate. This has been a reactive approach rather than a proactive one and lacks vision to allow this institution to prosper on merit.

    The PCB chief should only be elected by cricketing bodies’ namely regional cricket associations by consensus vote and the constitution thus, would allow checks and balances. A clear defining principle for PCB chief and other key positions would have to be governed by "Conflict of Interest" clause in their appointment.

    As at present, it may appear to be a hard nut to crack but the tiny hits (The PCB Monster) has begun to receive on public forums would ultimately lead to its demise in its present form and never allow it to raise its ugly head (running on Ad-Hoc basis) again.

    Inshallah!

    Mohsin Malik

  • Mohammed Munir - Sharjah, UAE. on February 20, 2007, 6:15 GMT

    I believe the selection of Danish Kanaria is forcefully and politically motivated to change our team’s international image from a hardcore fundamentalist ‘Tableeghis’ to more liberal and open-minded unit.

    Anyways, now that we have included one leg spinner in the form of “Danny Boy”, the big question remains, that will Mushtaq Ahmed accompany the Pakistani team to World Cup as a personal couch for only one player?

    Any Views Guys ????

  • Taimur Huk on February 20, 2007, 5:45 GMT

    shoaib akhtar should just be thrown off the team. he's just causing distraction as usual and this time, he knows he will fail the doping test and be left out from the WC squad, so he just wants attention. he is unpatriotic and doesn't take his job seriously, thats why he gets injured so often or is in such a bad condition, that he fakes an injury. we need to get rid of him ASAP. we dont need him to be in the world cup and ruin it for the players who actually work hard and are committed to helping their country win; by bowling one match and then getting injured for the whole tournament. and plus we have plenty of talent to win the WC, so we dont need shoaib's services.

  • Sajjad Junaidi on February 20, 2007, 0:50 GMT

    Kamran, comments made in this Post shows that majority of Pakistani Cricket Fans are rational people. Hope Bob is following the comments made in this blog. Bob, THANK YOU and keep the good work going. If possible please get rid of Shoaib Actor.

  • Asad Faizi on February 20, 2007, 0:37 GMT

    Kamran,

    I find it interesting that the same article says, "Woolmer allegedly called Shoaib ‘blacky’ in presence of Inzamam and other players. Shoaib was subsequently fined $2500 for his outburst but the sources claim that in fact, he was slapped with a fine of $5000 by team manager Talat Ali who conducted an inquiry into the incident".

    It Bob, Inzi and many other Pakistani players conspired against Shoaib and then later lied to the inquiry by team manager. This is the same team that prays 5 times a day together. I find it very hard to believe that everybody in Pakistan team has such low morals and dubious character, except Shoaib, that they would go at such lengths just to get rid of Shoaib. If this is indeed the case, then what does it say about Shoaib?

    I am sorry Kamran, the dawn sports may be your editor, but he is not a very smart man or he would have seen through this story.

    Regards,

    Asad Faizi

  • Nadeem Sharifuddin on February 19, 2007, 19:04 GMT

    I believe that no one is saint. and if Herrishle Gibbs can make remarks about Pakistan then why not BoB Woolmer.

    In heat of anger , any body can say any thing and i believe Woolmer might did that but i might be raciest, it just be an anger.

    Woolmer is good hearted man but Shaoib always has bad relations with both Inzi and Woolmer so I think woolmer defiantely said some thing like that but only in anger.

    Nadeem.

  • Ali Majid on February 19, 2007, 16:54 GMT

    I am certainly embarassed. There is no need to ask whether anyone else is as I am sure the answer is in the affirmative.

    Oh.....yeah.....and one final point.....Woolmer did not say it and just drop the joke that is Shoaib Akhtar. Sorry that's two points......while I'm at it and the state of Pakistan cricket is so shocking and appalling I think that I deserve a chance to make one final radical comment....."Is there a way to have Shoaib's Pakistani passport being taken away....as the guy clearly does not seem to possess any love for his country...such a person who just beleives in self glorification and could not care less about his team, country, national honour and pride has no right to be called a Pakistani". I just hope and pray that he proves people like me wrong by putting in the most brilliant performance to bring home the cup (however I doubt it very very much).

  • arshad, india on February 19, 2007, 16:45 GMT

    dear BOb dont worry shoib has finally lost his mind.he realizes he wont play world cup ,maybe never ever so he is as usual trying to get all attention by blaming u as racist.enough of shoaib he shd not have been in team at first place with all injuries & indiscipline associated with him.i wanna know how many matches has so -called match winner played in last 2 years,leave alone winning matches.and how mant controversies have been associated with him in that time.he always brings chaos and confusion to team.he shd be thrown out once for all.he wud never last world cup anyway and we wont be able to replace him at late stage.and his supporters viz Imran kahn,etc shd leave their anti-Bob feelings and not talk abt shoaib anymore.

  • NFP on February 19, 2007, 8:27 GMT

    Dawn has been acting rather weird lately. Most of there so-called "exposes" usually fall flat the very next day. And this seems to be one of them. And how come no-one's asked Shoaib yet?

  • SHEHZAD on February 19, 2007, 8:20 GMT

    Why Bob call him only Blackie, I would have hit him a couple of blows.. I thought he is the quickest bowler in the world. But later I found he used drugs(nandrolone). Nandrolone is a very powerfull drug, remains in ur body for atleast 18 months. Now before the worldcup Shoaib actor will face the life ban. But PCB is looking to let him escape from thr dope tests. He is a blackie, he let Asif use the same drugs. Poor Asif thought Shoaib actor is his friend. But actor thinks only for his own future. If actor was the only one testing pocitive pcb would banned him for life. Because of innocent Asif Pcb reduced thr bans. I am no more actor's fan because of his fake injuries.

  • Nikhil Ranjan on February 19, 2007, 8:12 GMT

    I am an Indian and a big fan of the naturally gifted Pak Team.They are capable of doing anything but unfortunately they have a habit of courting controversies.This all is nothing but attribute of Shoaib to remain in news and limelight by any means.Despite being a great theatre of a bowler,to me he is hurting Pakistan now a days.I sincerely believe that Pakistan can do much better with his omission as he is turning out to be a damaging figure to the team's unity and plans.Get rid of him asap and Pakistan still has chances of winning the World Cup as good as any team.Period.

  • Shahenshah-G on February 19, 2007, 8:12 GMT

    All right.... I do not for a second believe that Bob called Shoaib a "blackie" but I do see how our megapotato captain Inzamam could be the instigator behind a Bob-Shoaib skirmish... why does Inzi expect Shoaib to act like a MULLAH? If the guy hits some nightclubs after the game, so what!! As long as the guy is giving you his 100% why the hell should his religious commitment matter to Inzi.

    First

    Bob woolmer wouldnt say that, i agree

    Two

    Megapotato? Im sure he'd be mortified, perhaps you would care to get a megaphone and taunt him from the crowd, there is no need to insult players, unless your willing to say it to his face kindly shutup

    Three

    Shoaib gives 100%? yes With what? 10% fitness i doubt Bob Woolmer, who also seems to be in conflict with shoaib is a mullah, his objection is, when you play, you focus solely on the game and hit your social life later, you know when a nightly visit to the club wont hinder your training or match the next day, Bob isnt getting influenced by inzi, indeed thats an insult to a highly gifted coach such as he, fact is, shoaib speaks commitment but his actions speak, carelessness, Cricket is a sport, but he gets paid to do it, money and effort goes towards him because he is very good, that is the objection, he never seems to learn, and now this outrage

    If indeed it was shoaib who accused him of this, then i have lost all respect i had for him, racist people tend not to take jobs where they come into daily contact with people they despise so i hope he is not the accuser

    anyway, pass my respect onto Bob will you Kamran!

    Cheers for another decent post

    Peace

  • Hugh on February 19, 2007, 7:59 GMT

    Guys, I'm an Aussie, but I take an interest in Pakistan (Mainly Asif) and you guys need to give Akhtar the boot. All he is doing is creating discord in the side and performs about once every few summers. He is a waste of space and shouldn't be let anywhere near the Paki team.

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on February 19, 2007, 7:11 GMT

    Bob definately cannot say such a silly and rubbish thing and i dont think what Shoaib is saying is true for various reasons. Firstly Shoaib himself is no Saint, and secondly Bob has never been a racist. Coming to the point of the clash between Shoaib & Bob i think Inzy who has learned the art of being a super operator must have played his role as an instigator, and he really is sogood at it. I want to mention a very serious point here which relates to Inzamam's personality, it is very good to become a good muslim and i am really happy that he is one as is projected and I can also see that Allah rewarded him and helped him earn respect both in Pakistan and also through out the cricket playing countries, but now the whole nation is out for his blood can some one say why. The answer is very simple for i think that he was well rewarded by Allah untill he was a straight man, and ever since he changed his ways and started playing dirty politics Allah punished him and in the same way as he rewarded himm He is the same man and with the same talent and class but yet he is not performing. We know one thing and that is " WA TO IZZO MAN TA SHAA, WA TU ZILLO MAN TA SHAA" so Allah has punished him rightly. Praying five times and reciting quran are all good things but back biting and playing dirty politics at the same time makes it very bad for you are not following what u are reading and so Allah will punish you.

    There is one more thing that i would like to mention here and that relates to our world cup team. Every body now seems to believe that this is our team and we as Pakistanis must try and back them and support them instead of criticising them....well it sounds very good but I am sorry to say that I will not back this team for it does not deserve to represent Pakistan, there are many who are better then those sellected so why sould I term it as the best that we had to represent pakistan. This team could be best describe as a Bari/Inzaman XI. Coming to the issue of the heads to role, well i do believe thet Dr. Ashraf, Salim Altaf and Bari should be kicked out of the PCB, as refards Inzamam well we really cant do much about him now, but i would like to see him kicked out as well and the sooner the better. Now for Bob, well he would go any way after the world cup and franhly speaking we as Pakistanis are aggressive ppl as such we need an Australian Coach who can match our temperament and make use of it. English ppl are too soft and have a very defensive nature so is BOB and that is why he has failed with the Pakistani team. WQe must have some one like Tom Moody, Greg, or Steeve Waugh to make use of the telent and potentials of our cricleters.

  • MZR on February 19, 2007, 5:57 GMT

    Does Nandrolone also cause loss of Hearing???

  • Sajjad Junaidi on February 19, 2007, 5:15 GMT

    My comments are about comments made by ‘KS’ and ‘YS”.

    KS, it seems like you are racist yourself and you like to insult people. How rude is that?

    YS, you make sense. Agree with most of your analysis.

  • Razi Ahmed -USA on February 19, 2007, 5:10 GMT

    It does not matter what Bob said to Shoib, we all know that how much grace Shoib brought to pakistan after testing positive for drugs. PCB spend hell of money to provide a relief. We would like to remain positive but I am sure that we need to explain the meaning of positive to our circketers. Bob has everything in his hand why he need to call someone blackie when he has a team of slaves ready to do anything gladly. We promoted a culture of favortism in every walk of life. Our players have learned that professionalism means demanding money all the time.Having long hair, wearing fashionable glasses, shooting commercial, marrying to a dream girl and having an house in a posh area is the dream of our cricketers. They need to have some training in communication, patriotism, honesty and fighting spirit.

  • Aamir Rath on February 19, 2007, 4:44 GMT

    Bob did'nt do it. It has to be said that Shoaib, is fragile; what the hell he bowls 10-15 overs and breaks down for a month.

  • RASHID on February 19, 2007, 4:14 GMT

    TO solve all the problems from Pakistan Cricket, throw Inzi from Pakistan Side

  • Taimur Huk on February 19, 2007, 3:46 GMT

    yeah even i'm getting sick of these controversies that pop up...when when will the team focus on the GAME of cricket instead of putting themselves in a mess. from ball-tampering, drug-tests, failures in champions trophy and now in SA, when will the controversies end for pakistan.

    anyways i wish the team BEST OF LUCK.

  • munda punjabi from NY on February 19, 2007, 3:12 GMT

    I think Rashid Latif is the right man for thr JOB, incase Bob retires. Whats Musheee doing in team.. I heared he is Inzamam's translator for Bob.

  • Yameen , USA on February 19, 2007, 0:17 GMT

    PCB should appoint Rashid Latif Latif Coach and Yonius Khan captain till next world cup.

    Yameen USA

  • Ch. Shahbaz on February 18, 2007, 21:58 GMT

    Absolutely Impossible to believe that Bob would have said anything like that. Seems to be another Shoaib Mis-Adventure.

    Shahbaz.

  • omar on February 18, 2007, 21:22 GMT

    Things have not been that bad! We are 3rd in both the ODI and test rankings. If we had a fully fit squad who knows where we would be.

    Inzamam and Woolmer have done well considering the circumstances.

    I hope we go with a fully fit squad to the world cup (including shoaib) to win the world cup!!

  • KS on February 18, 2007, 20:11 GMT

    All right.... I do not for a second believe that Bob called Shoaib a "blackie" but I do see how our megapotato captain Inzamam could be the instigator behind a Bob-Shoaib skirmish... why does Inzi expect Shoaib to act like a MULLAH? If the guy hits some nightclubs after the game, so what!! As long as the guy is giving you his 100% why the hell should his religious commitment matter to Inzi... and do we really think that Shoaib is making up the hamstring issue... here is where I think Bob is being influenced by Inzi...anybody who has ever lifted the kind of weights Shoaib does his squats with, or the length and speed of his runups will understand the amount of stress this guy puts on his body...even superfit US NFL players get hamstring injuries,sometimes right before superbowl!! And I will only call the team a Pakistan XI if I get to see players included from outside our grand province of PUNJAAABB!!! How else do you explain Rana Naveed ul Hasan!! Of Naseem Ashraf, the less said the better...

  • Saj Shah on February 18, 2007, 19:20 GMT

    Another Story Blow out of Proportion. I expect nothing else when it invloved Pakistani Cricket. Why on earth would bob make a racist remark towards Shoahib? Please someone let's just concentrate on Winning the World Cup? In which ever way we can.

  • ASIM on February 18, 2007, 17:09 GMT

    If you look at the character of the people involved, it doesnt take a rocket scientist to work out who the black sheep out of the three is. For those that still cant work it out i think Shoaib. The guy may have pace but that is it. Yea he is a match winner occasionally - well probably once a year when he can be bothered to get himself in shape.Injuries are in most cases caused by a reason. If you dont look after your body well then you get a turnip like shoaib breaking down after bowling a few overs. Then all the haters saying about inzi bringing religion into it. What is the problem? religion comes first, second and third. What so no one says anything about god when they are playing we are not supposed to either?? You guys have just clouded minds and i pray the fog clears from the space between your ears. Who else would you suggest as captain - younis khan the big girls blouse...? he needs to concentrate on his erratic batting first as he isnt true "world" class. I dont see any other leadership material anywhere and the clown who suggested Afridi earlier on? erm some one give the bro some brain juice? Everyone has their suggestions for the team but now its chosen you should get behind them for that is what real fans do for the greater good even if that means cheering Rana the joker, and kamran the "opener" and razaq "look at my hair" "i used to be able to bowl". Good luck pakis.. you will need more than that!

  • Adeel on February 18, 2007, 16:44 GMT

    Its for sure A GENTLEMAN like BOB would never racially abuse anyone, and the newspaper should have given many second thoughts before publishing this story.Both BOB & INZI worked very hard to bring PAKISTAN cricket to new level. Ever since our legends were kicked out of the team ,both BOB and INZI gave a huge support to the team. But i guess its the same old story, everyone knows that BOB will be leaving after worldcup, so why don't give him a shameful GOODBYEE!!!!!!!!!. And i m sure if we don't play well in WORLDCUP,than INZI would be facing the same crises as well.

  • syed ahmed on February 18, 2007, 16:00 GMT

    Bob Woolmer is not a racist, if he was he would not be coaching the pakistan Cricket team. But he is doing exactly what the English are good at, divide and rule. He has slowly but surely destroyed the Pakistan team. Shoaib should realize that no one is in-dispensable. Imran won the world cup without Waqar Younus who was at his peak in 1992. Shoaib is suspect for fitness, he also has been tested positive for banned substance nad moreover he is very controvertial. Pakistan needs someone like Kardar or Air Marshal Noor Khan and the only person who can control things is Imran Khan given absolute powers till the world cup. Pakistan is the only country who sends its officials, chairman, director operation and chief selector to every overseas tour.

  • Swami on February 18, 2007, 15:02 GMT

    While Cricket dressing rooms are not exactly military barracks neither are they finishing schools for ladies. Strong words will be exchanged in tense battle situations. Ahktar was bailing out at the most inopportune time and had a history of tantrums and mis-behaviours including allegedly getting physical with the coach. What can a 50 plus man do against a rampant indisciplined super star? The sledges blackie and whitey were used quite often during Woolmer's playing days - not condoning it but it used to go on, and now is intollerable in current pc conditions. Feel that Woolmer is unfairly being painted 'black'.

  • Tif on February 18, 2007, 14:36 GMT

    Its a terrible shame to see the depths to which Pakistan cricket has sunk. But what is truly unforgivable is this attempt to tar Bob Woolmer. He and the team he has assembled have rendered great service to Pakistan cricket and they don't deserve to be treated like this at all. Why aren't the PCB coming out in public support for him? The whole structure of Pakistani cricket needs to be washed out - Dr. Ashraf is just a strawman planted on top of a pile of refuse - the whole lot need to be dumped. After the world cup, I feel most of the current team should be dumped as well - permanently as well, not merely for one series to be brought back again two series down the line.

  • Tabraiz Khan on February 18, 2007, 14:34 GMT

    Lot of things to say about Pakistan Cricket . everyone is critisizing team , cricket board , captain, coach and specially shoaib. First of all , we are wrong than anyone else.We are just cashing ourselves with such comments.It`s time to support team.This is the team which performed very well in last two years except SA tour.In my opinion, Pakistan played well even in SA except four days(in 20twenty,1st ,4th & 5th ODIs).In test series ,Pakistan played very well.It was only bad luck that Pakistan lost test series due to umpiring, absence of key players, many young players ,etc.Now with only one bad performace, we start to critize team. Beleive me that team will lose its concentration with our remarks . we are deviating their concentration on minor issues of Shoib-Woolmer dispute and team selection. We should support our team . We should not create pressure on them because WC itself has great pressure.How our team will perform in this immense pressur without our support.Shoiab is match winner. We should also support him.I know his behaviour is irritating but not upto that extent which we say.Everyone is saying Inzi and Bob are not happy with him but everytime i listened them to saying team needs Shoaib and we are missing him , I laugh on that people.Every man has his own chracter and if we need him we have to bear him , we have to come him on that optimum conditions where both can exist.We should try to understand him and try to convince him. We should look ourselves before making any remarks on anybody.

  • Rajan on February 18, 2007, 14:31 GMT

    Shoaib Akthar has to go. He is a millstone around Pakistani Cricket's neck. Too much hype and hot air and way too little substance from him. The so-called Rawalpindi Express has reached the end of the line, and is NOT going to take Pakistan cricket anywhere. Rajan

  • zain kazmi on February 18, 2007, 14:26 GMT

    no man i dont agree, i think its all a conspiracy to pakistan and bob woolmer he cant use this word im sure. its the source that make it delibrately. but all in all its the "last nail on pakistani cricket casket"

  • khansahab on February 18, 2007, 13:16 GMT

    Bob Woolmer is no racist. If he was, he would have left the Pakistan camp ages ago or more realistically, would have been sacked. Shoaib Akhtar deserves to be insulted and maligned. He feels he is Tom Cruise, he certainly isn’t. Yes, he certainly deserves to be in the team but his attitude is most unprofessional and revolting. Indeed, as someone once said, “Pakistan can’t do without Akhtar and Afridi, but can’t do with them either……..” The team is indeed in shambles. I daresay Inzi is wrong again is asserting that Pakistan can do well in the ‘Cup (as he always says). We have all expressed our disappointment about player selection and the unfair pre eminence of a certain province from which almost all players are selected. Just to add a bit of humour to my otherwise morose comment, two teams should play for Pakistan, a Punjab XI and a Rest of Pakistan XI. The latter team would have this lineup: Yasir Hameed, Rafatullah Mohmand (keeper), Younis Khan, Fawad Alam, Asim Kamal, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Sami, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria, Fazl-e-Akbar, Anwar Ali. This team can give our Punjab XI a run for their money I reckon! Why? Well, because all you have to do to get our “specialist openers” out (whether its Butt Saab, Farhat, Hafeez or Nazir) is bowl straight and have 2 slips and a gully. Mohd Yousuf will be the only undefeated batsman. Inzi will be run out because most of Rest of Pakistan XI are good fielders. Razzaq can’t bat anyway and tailenders will be smoked out by Gul and Sami. This is a time where everyone should be contributing 100% to what should be the strategy for winning. This is a time when common sense and reason should prevail, judicious assessments should outflank bias, favouritism, team politics and reactive, rather than proactive, captaincy and management. But alas! Inzamam said that the WC strategy is to instruct players, particularly the (stupid) openers, that their role carries responsibility. All I’m going to say is that (and Imran Khan also feels the same way) by using the same approach as before, two “specialist openers”, and then the big 3 middle order, we are not really importing a sense of responsibility in the openers. They need to be batted later down in the order so that they realise they must play sensibly, without the big 3 coming after them. Only then can we make them play with responsibility. Otherwise I’m afraid we’ll witness the same story.

  • taz on February 18, 2007, 13:14 GMT

    I do not believe for one minute that Bob Woolmer is a racist and believe this is just some media scam to create hatred against him so he leaves his post after the World Cup and a new coach is installed. I think Bob has brought a lot of good things to Pakistan Cricket Team, although at times when they do press the self destruct button it's down to the players not sticking to Bob's game plan and trying to take matters into their own hands.

    Pakistan Cricket need Bob Woolmer than he needs them. Bob know's very well that the England Job is there for his taking as and when he want's it. I think he'll leave Pakistan cricket and they'll go downhill from here on in.

  • John Abrahams on February 18, 2007, 12:39 GMT

    Bob Woolmer may be falsely accused of calling Shoaib a 'blackie' but this does not mean that Bob Woolmer is not a racist.

    Bob Woolmer was a member of Mike Gatting 'rebel team' to South Africa during the height of apartheid at the invitaion of Apartheid most notorious racist buthcher, P.W Botha. Woolmer was happy to receive large sums of 'blood money' to entertain white racists in South Africa.

    Woolmer than joined a whites only Natal team and then a whites only Western Province team. He played and enetertained 'whites only' specatators. Dignified players like Botham were not even prepared to go close to South Africa.

    Woolmer settled in South Africa against the will of the ICC. He had not dignity, no honour and he did not give a damn about the brutal apartheid atrocities that were being inflicted on South Africa's majority.

  • Najam on February 18, 2007, 12:33 GMT

    No way Kamran, I am 100% sure bob and inzi cant say that,,, its totally shoaibs drama which he used to.... please please fire shoaib he is not a match winner.. what a match winner he is that in 9 years he played less test match then kaneria becuase he is a great player.. and he will not play any match because he may injurred and we do not want to waste him so its better he not play cricket.. this is match winner (personaly i believe he is a match winner for oponent).. please either fire shoaib or dawn reporter should be heavy penalized.... if you fire shoaib then 90% controversies will come to end..

    Regards Najam

  • Athar Ali on February 18, 2007, 11:24 GMT

    The whole situation is an embarrassment to Pakistan. I always supported Inzi and Woolmer but they lost my trust of not handling the situation. In my opinion PCB has failed to handle Shoaib and for some reason Inzi has a grudge against him. Unfortunately we have not learned from our failures from the previous World Cup and the same nepotism and favoritism exists. Talent has no meaning, only who you know matters or where you are from. My biggest question to the PCB and the so called authorities is that why don't we have a single player from Karachi. Players from Karachi contributed in winning the previous 2 Under-19 World Cups and in domestic cricket teams from Karachi are always among the top teams. Pakistan cricket is in a sad state and I can just prey for its future.

  • alex on February 18, 2007, 9:01 GMT

    what complete nonsense. Educated individuals do not use words like 'blacky' . I've only heard this term once on British TV from the 1970s sitcom On the Buses.....or was that spelt Blakey?....

  • Saad from Lahore on February 18, 2007, 8:49 GMT

    blackie???

    sooner or later, pakistan cricket fans would be on anti-depressents ! Instead of being treated to a harmless game otherwise known as cricket....we have been subjected to fiascos like match fixing, betting, ball tampering, doping and racism. Okay! we look for some good entertainment when we turn on our TV's and tune in a sports channel showing the cricket.... but this.......this is soap opera stuff!!! the kind of thing that plays on your mind and at times make you feel like ripping your hair apart! (Thats actually good news for hair transplant clinics cuz they should expect an army of clients after the worldcup has ended)...... lets just see....how much more can we endure as a nation........or............maybe divert our attentions someplace else.......hmmmmm...... hey... the pakistan soccer team seems to be doing well these days.....

    DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!!!!

    adios!

  • DiZzy on February 18, 2007, 7:29 GMT

    Am really surprised that almost 99% comments have backed BOB without even knowing the truth ...

    It'd be wiser if we all wait for the truth.. the ACTUAL story .... cos the truth mite make a lot of us look/sound STOOOPID!!

  • Asad Khan on February 18, 2007, 6:46 GMT

    I can't remember Pakistani cricket at a lower point than now. Even the disappointment of 2003 world cup mars compared to this. Since that eventful afternoon at the oval, this whole thing has been a mess barring individual accomplishments of Yousuf and Asif. While captains have been controversial before, I think that the role of inzamam in getting us to this point has to be brought out. It will take nothing short of him leaving the scene for the rehabilitation to begin.

  • ahmed Siddiqui on February 18, 2007, 6:45 GMT

    Pakistan Cricket at its best......Bob Woolmer would never use derogatory language, let alone a rascist slur...that's not him...he wouldn't have coached Pakistan if he had such views. It's a shame that close to such a big event and after the rebuilding that we have witnessed over the last three years that we are back to the abyssimal pit that we were in 4 years ago. This goes on to prove the total lack of control that PCB has over its players. Instead of re-grouping and finding some semblence in the present situation; we are in total chaos.....but then again this has been the only consistency that PCB has been known for..... non-cohesiveness,disaray,disgrunted and always disgracing each other....it comes as no surprise that this outfit will not fair well.....but this is a shame considering that the country's hopes were with these selected players.....we just hope that they deliver better than what they have in tabloids and actions recently....and the fans should not be a catalyst to this rediculous nonsense...and let sanity prevail.

  • Sushobhan Chowdhury on February 18, 2007, 6:11 GMT

    I do not think a man who has seen the sub-continent and its hospitality for a while would make such a comment. Woolmer is a gentleman and he has been trying his best to win matches for Pakistan. Let us respect his coaching skill and allow him to live in peace.

  • Aditya Mookerjee on February 18, 2007, 5:49 GMT

    I hope the relationship between The Pakistan cricket establishment, and Mr Woolmer, is not strained, and the matter is settled amicably. Mr Woolmer has coached Pakistan admirably.

  • Shuja on February 18, 2007, 4:15 GMT

    Could this be another 'wag the dog'. Everyone knows the state of cricket affairs in Pakistan and of the team. Why not create something to put the viewers mind of cricket. Pakistan cricket is in such a messy state that you dont know what to believe and what not. Did Woolmer say it? Did Shaoib and Asif have a secret dope test?. Who is to blame for all this?? No accountability here?? We need a place where genuine cricket minds can be gathered and place their concerns otherwise Pakistan cricket will be like its parent country -All messed up !! cut that.. it already is !!! Zarak Khan.. I hear you man !! Your last entry of the Pakistani fan was too good.

  • ali on February 18, 2007, 3:27 GMT

    I'm not surprised that Bod is talking about his future after the world cup. You can't blame the old guy, he's seen enough of what I regard is a display of poor, shallow and most disorganized organizational structure in the history of Pakistan Cricket. But more importantly I want to discuss the future of pakistan, and unfortunately if we would like to bring back the memories of how it was under Imran Khan, we would have to make a few changes so listen up:

    1. Get rid of Shoaid Akhtar. He was never part of the Pakistan team, he does not represent the traditional pakistani icons that we are used to. Once he's out we could focus on things other than what drug he's consumed this time, whether or not he chuckles ( which we all know he does) or when will he break down again.

    2. Get rid of Inzamam as your captain. I truly like the guy, but please he's no Imran or Even Wasim. He's got no ruthless cornered tigers instincts. He's very very mellow, I would actually love seeming him more like an imam at a mosque doing a khutba after a friday prayers rather than a captain answering post match questions. He has to go as a captain.

    3. Make Younis Khan the captain. After a very very long time i'm seeing a player who really really enjoys his cricket, whether he's batting or fielding. We need a guy like him who's able to bring the entire team together. He has a great attitude about the sport and is a great people's person.

    If we decide to follow these instructions chances are we'd be a leading contender for the World cup (I meant the one following this cup). I have absolutely no hope that pakistan will even make it to the quarters. To all the cricket lovers who hate for me to say this but you can't win a world cup like this can we?

  • Tauhira ƒŕõm Ĵämãîċā on February 18, 2007, 2:13 GMT

    Ridiculous ... This is just ridiculous man. Even if Bob is guilty of saying such a word [which I'm not saying he is] about Shoaib, I can't understand why a newspaper company would want to publish something like that at a time like now, when the Pakistan team can't take any more dissappointment.

    Coming from such a loss, they [the newspaper co] should want to cover any and every fault at this point. Now a stirrup like this can only mean more negativity to the team on a whole. Focus is now placed on this stupid alleged statement rather than corrections to their game plan.

    -Peace!

  • haepreet bhinder on February 18, 2007, 1:45 GMT

    what is thid? When start pakistan to play cricket Javed vs Imran spend 20 Years Wasim vs Waqar Spend 10 years Sahoib vs Bob NOw wasting more time i want to say why not they are playing cricket i just saw the record only 16 one day Waqar play in world cup matches and Wasim play 33 Where is Raciasm Look when the Javed is coach what they get just match fixing stories with Azurodein What is this this is called modern not modern pakistani ceicket So what is the defination of pakistan cricket Apno se mil kar nahi khana or gore se bhi nahi bus mai ho wasim mai ho waqar or mai ho sahiob

  • mohammed imran yousuf on February 18, 2007, 1:26 GMT

    slam how low can pak cricket get if i was bob after the world cup i would resign and if any other palyers in the team have any respect for them selve then they should do the same. i fear that ower next coach won't be a good coach and we will have to do with some weak coach from home.

  • Flash Ash on February 18, 2007, 0:55 GMT

    Kamran

    Here's a thought!! Maybe Woolmer (in having to deal with the childishness of Shoaib!!) said Druggie!! instead of Blackie!! and Shoaib (because the steroids have affected his hearing!!) took offence, afterall he is a "Druggie" it's been proven, but due to mitigating circumstances he's been allowed to play.

    I agree with many previous posts that it's about time Pakistan gave up on him and concentrate on players who are more committed and less self centred!! It is an honour to represent one's country in any field of sport not a privilege.

    This comes from an England supporter who enjoys your Blog!!

    Well done Kamran, keep up the good work, I wish there was a Blog like this from an Australian perspective, it would make great reading right now!!

  • Avais Khalid on February 18, 2007, 0:01 GMT

    Regardless of whether there was racist remark it seems that the whole cricket setup has gone pear shaped... and that too at such a crucial time. The players should be concentrating and should be allowed to focus completely on their game and whatever is happening within the board and the media is having a crippling effect on the team. Ever since the Test Match saga PCB seem to have lost it completely. They are not only destroying their image but also causing one blow after another to the team. This is not what Pakistan need at this time. The board and the media need to demostrate a slight bit of maturity in handling these sensitive situations.

  • Zaraf on February 17, 2007, 23:21 GMT

    This kind of nonsense makes me wanna clean the whole cricket infrastructure and start from scratch. Make PCB a private company and put its shares on the Karachi Stock Exchange. Hire true professionals to run it initially and later on the stock holders can decide on their performance. I bet none of the current players - except perhaps MoYo - would ever make it through the ranks if a fair selection process. There is too much politics and blame game going on right now and you can sense it from the attitude of players, coaches and officials.

  • Whynot Whatif on February 17, 2007, 22:46 GMT

    Get rid of the following in order:

    1. Shoaib Akhtar 2. Dawn Editor 3. Nasim Ashraf 4. Kamran Abbasi

    WhyNot WhatIf

  • Ish Younis on February 17, 2007, 22:24 GMT

    Hmmm... lets see....

    a SA (White) man coaching a Pakistani team for several years to success - stud by the team and players through thick and thin - when things got really ugly - when everyone else lost hope - the only man to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Pakistani team through controversy - who's spends endless hours working with them to become the worlds number 1 - who virtually lives with them is a RACIST??????

    time for your medication DAWN! ps. whiles your at the GP's, make an appointment for the whole of PCB.

    Pps. My personal view on why they want Woolmer out is NOT because he’s not good at his job or as some people claim, a racist – its because he’s not corrupt! PCB have tried hard to get him to think like they do, but have failed! Obviously! They’ll know how good he is when he’s gone!

  • Aftab Qureshi on February 17, 2007, 22:16 GMT

    Kamran, I find it quite appaling that some people use this space to mindlessly criticize (God forbid) "Allah, namaz, roza, dua" and beard. A number of them have suggested that players should shave. Sheme on the guys who made these suggestions. If players find inspiration from prayer rituals, then who the hell are these paeople to criticize that. I wish you would have some sort of control over misuse of the public media space that your blog provides.

  • ALAM on February 17, 2007, 21:30 GMT

    Cricket is big business in Pakistan. Our board is run by people who know how to make money, no one cares about the game. At this time no one in Pakistan wants to talk about cricket because of the shameful performance in South Africa, this racist thing is a tabloid way of generating interst in something that the general public is losing interest in. I think thats the only good thing our board and government can do.

  • calgary highlander on February 17, 2007, 20:17 GMT

    LOL, he wants an apology. Well Shoaibi i want an apology too. I want an apology from you for bringing disgrace and bad publicity on my country.

  • Nadeem Shafi on February 17, 2007, 19:36 GMT

    Thanks Dawar for positng letter of Rashid Latif.

    Rashid Latif is the best choice for coach. We need a young talented coach who can talk with players in the language they can understand.

    Plus, no one can challenge Rashid Latif playing skills.

    By technique , He was one of the best wicket keeper Pakistan ever produced.

    Our future cricket captain Younis Khan & other players in the team respects him a lot. Speacillay our young force, future of our cricket. He is the best choice for this position. He is running his academy wonderfully.

    PCB should replace Bob Woolmer by him ASAP.

    Nadeem

  • Shams Ahsan on February 17, 2007, 19:23 GMT

    Shoib Akhtar apologize to Bob several times, why he will do that if he was called "blackie"?

  • Gulab Khan, Peshawer on February 17, 2007, 19:22 GMT

    I am totally agree with Ashaq above. Rashid Latif is the best choice for the Coach.

    Looks at his article, its showing great ability & strenght to do this work.

    He is the best choice for the coach position.

    Gulab Khan Peshawer

  • kingkhan on February 17, 2007, 19:14 GMT

    The vast majority of people on this forum are saying the same thing: it is extremely unlikely of Bob woolmer to have said what he is alledged to have said. Let's move on!!

    Furthermore, can we stop making comparison's with WC'92 please? The game has moved on so much since then and even if our team is better than the team of '92, it DOES NOT mean we are going to win as all the other teams have moved improved endlessly! These comparisons means NOTHING!! Also, people keep forgetting that whilst we lost waqar younis, we still had wasim akram, the greatest left-arm quick the game has ever seen who took important wickets at important times, we dont have anyone of that calibre anymore.

    I wish there was more clarity over our injured players, there is so much speculation in the newspapers and it's so annoying because everyone seems to be quoting nameless PCB officials, what is up with these idiots?

    We've been sliding downhill rapidly since the oval fiasco, i hope we never again have a captain that puts his pride and his temper before his duty to his country ever again, it has huge repercussions and we are still feeling them now.

  • mazhar on February 17, 2007, 18:58 GMT

    the thing about he has said it or not well i am not sure about that i was not there.

    also i want to mention here that he is absolutely capable of saying thing like that we can say anything in anger and he is not an angel like some of our fellows think.

    also i want to mention that the things were better before him . even after three years we are standing at the same place where we started. there is no stability in the team.the fielding is absolutely pathetic. there are no backups. the team seems to play matches without any strategy or planning which i think is the major work of the coach. it has lost all the tours against the strong team. what type of coaching is this.i want to know that after the 2003 world cup we were preparing for the west indies but as it is near we don't even have the 100% team ready.why?. i think that bob woolmer has been a big big disappointment.

    As far as world cup is concernened we can win it only by prayers.

  • Mustafa Moiz on February 17, 2007, 18:29 GMT

    I agree with Raja Shehzad Zaman. What was Inzamam's role in all this?

  • Khaqan Ashraf on February 17, 2007, 18:04 GMT

    The little baby needs attention and he is going to do what ever it takes to get it. I am talking about Shoaib Akhtar. This guys is mouth is bigger then the Grand Canyon. He is a little baby who is need of attention at all times either it is on field or off the field. Now he is demanding an apology from Inzimam and Woolmer.

    This idiot probably has not worked a day in his life and does not understand what an honor it is to play for Pakistan. There are hundred and thousands of kids that will play for Pakistan who might not have one tenth the talent this guy has but they make up for it with having a heart. They have heart to fight for there country and leave everything on the battle field.

    The one prime example I will give you is Rana, this guy will be going for 20 runs an over but he will lay it all out on the field. You will see him diving around trying to save a single run. I am not saying that he is better then Shoaib “The Baby” Akhtar, but it is people like him that succeed in life and in sports. People that know they have to work hard to succeed and not everything is handed to them on a silver plate.

  • Bkm from U.K. on February 17, 2007, 18:02 GMT

    I was always very optimistic of Pakistan winning the WC under the coaching of Bob Woolmer but then these illeterate,stupid and baseless individuals come up with something which can only hinder the coachs performance. Yesterday I was just walking back home from the university with my foreign friends and was so embarassed when one of them pointed out that only thing we observe in Pakistan cricket-A ban for an illegal balling action,Positive Dope tests results,ball tempering,spectaor hitting,slapping out at the seniour players or national coach and getting in and out of chairman of PCB.

    I plead to the authorities for improving our image then destroying it.PCB should take help from a marketing consultant firm for improving their brand image both inside and outside of Pakistan so as students like me dont feel insulted from other nationals.

  • Dhoosra on February 17, 2007, 17:52 GMT

    I would like to see some high quality cricket played by Pakistan, playing as a team, giving 100% commitment every time all the time.

    I would not like to see a freak circus which has been on display for the last year or so.

    1.Banned substances/drugs found in samples 2.Selecting unfit players for tours 3.Ugly scenes at the Oval test 4.Regular turnover at PCB - impacting on long term strategy plans for cricket development in Pakistan 5.Stupid racist stories in the press 6.No more immaturity and playing politics - eg Younis Khan resigning captaincy & then making U turn. 7.Players losing steam towards end of tours, lacking professional and sporting courage. eg England & South Africa tours

    The Pakistani team is one of most talented but consistent underachievers. Why? we need to fix this if the Pakistan cricket team are to achieve their true greatness.

  • Zain on February 17, 2007, 17:40 GMT

    When will it end... There is no ending to this non-sense..it's been continuing from the Oval fiasco..to drugs..to captaincy issues..to shoaib..to this to that and it will continue. Woolmer will be gone after the world cup wheather he doesn't get a new contract or doesn't want to stay himself..he is not going to be anywhere here.that is not good for Pakistan cricket because it will be left in shambles with no one educated in any kind of authority. Like him or hate him..under his coaching pakistan cricket did have a decent record..it would have been worse and after he leaves it will crumble to nothing. And as for the world cup..pakistan has no chance if shoaib or asif are not there(even if they are thier they need the hunger to win..probably wont win the WC itself but get to semis)...they are going to be the dissappointment of the WC.

    It is we who need Woolmer not the other way around..He has worked hard with the time he has spent with Pakistan and is an honest person..all the garbage with Shoaib is because he wanted Pakistan to win..but Shoaib wants to win before Pakistan..he wants to be remembered first before Pakistan is remembered for wins..Shoaib is a very ugly person! If only we would've sidelined him earlier and worked on others Pakistan would have been unstoppable..we have the talent just no thoughtful,smart,confident leader.(hint..hint..nudge..nudge..Imran Khan)

  • mat on February 17, 2007, 17:17 GMT

    Just came back to answer the proposals by MLA to bring amir sohail back. If that hapns hope naseem ashraf dont have any son otherwise he would be selected for the team (remember junaid zia, tauqir zia's son, he is an international now thanks to aamir sohail, what a joke). Just shut the pcb we are better off without having pakistan cricket team.

  • ST on February 17, 2007, 16:55 GMT

    it is eminent that bob is not going to come back pakistan after worldcup and pakistan cricket will be run by idiots forever and ever and this is shame and very much disgrace for pakistan cricket and body listening or watching it in whiole pakistan shame on tht idiot dr who is running the board bcz of a idiot rulerof pakistan may god save not only cricket of pakistan but i think i,m disoppionted as whole country is being run

  • Ashaq on February 17, 2007, 16:44 GMT

    Thanks Dawar for posting the article by Rashid Latif.

    How about making Rashid Latif National Coach after the World Cup. He seems to be the only former player who comes up with constructive criticism. He has Coaching credentials with his academy in Karachi.He is Tough character who will cope better with the Prima Donnas.

    Since I doubt any foreign coach will be foolish enough to take the job of Pakistan Coach I think its something to think about.

    Since we have already exhausted all other options Natiionally. Intikhab Alam, Mudassar Nazar, Mushtaq Mohammed, and Javed MIandad. Have all been tried with varying degrees of success.Its time we bought in a tough compromising coach. With a greater say in selection.

    AS for Naseem Ashraf since he took over the Pak team has gone from one disaster to another. THe guy has become the definition of the word incompetence. Deport him back to the states were he can go around showing how enlightened and westernised he is.

  • Nasir on February 17, 2007, 16:42 GMT

    Food for thought. Its a stupid game albeit an entertaining one, played by countries once British colonies and have liberal traditions and democracies barring a few exceptions. Racial tensions do exist but its balanced by respect and a deep rooted tradition for fair play.How does one cope with the race issue. Look within yourself and give an honest answer as to how we ourselves treat people like our servants and those we deem inferior. Secondly, a little sophistication sprinkled with a bit of humour and a sense of proportion won't hurt either.

  • Gugu on February 17, 2007, 16:40 GMT

    For once let us keep our selfishness a side of knowing importance of Shoaib in our World Cup chances. Instead, let's be the gentlemen, show the face up, have guts and pack Shoaib Akhtar home for once and all. I am not against him and would have never suggested such a thing had it not been the events of past one week. Enough is enough. Thank you.

  • Rauf on February 17, 2007, 16:32 GMT

    A sad state of affairs eminates from our tourists!Inzi has been second to none as a great batsman. My hero! But as a captain he never had it in him. Now as someone noted he has hijacked the team. Should he be demoted? I think he should say his goodbyes now. Time to go. And B. Woolmer. I always have doubted our needs for him as a coach. We have many able past cricketers in the country who will do a better job as they 'understand' us better. We have to have 'cricket team'!

  • Ali Imran on February 17, 2007, 16:20 GMT

    No, not at all. Bob Woolmer will not do that. He is not from Pakistan to do such a stupid thing. I am sure this story is cooked up by Shoaib & his well wishers to gain him Sympathy. One can expect anything from Shoaib Akhter. I won't be surprised if few weeks down the line we would come to know that Shoaib lied about this.

  • Zulifiqar Ali Bhutto, SINDH on February 17, 2007, 16:02 GMT

    I think name of the forum should be the Punjab Spin not the Pak Spin.

    PCB & Captain can not see the talent outside the PUNJAB.

    There are no international grounds available in Baluchistan, SINDH (Except Karachi)& NWFP (Only in Peshawer).

    Even we applied Quota system, population deference is not such big that SINDH will get only one international ground & Baluchistan will get nothing. And Punjab will get five international grounds. Same measurement is used in the selection process.

    Big shame on PCB.

    For the sake pf Pakistan move PCB headqurter to another province.

    Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto

  • TK on February 17, 2007, 15:55 GMT

    DAWN editors and management have made a blunder by publishing a report based on sources whose credibility may be questionable.

    When journalist start taking kick-backs in form of paid foreign travel trips they loose credibility big time!

    The days of excellence in journalism at DAWN are long gone. You do not have any more great editors like Ahmed Ali Khan or dedicated sports journalists like Ali Kabir. Mediocrity has creped into different departments of DAWN: from Book reviews to Sports. DAWN is loosing its credibility fast. You can not sell your paper on good marketing and looks alone!

    As far as PCB is concerned, the idiots at the top are ruining the world cup chances for Pakistan. Hello, there …! Any body home…? Who is at the switchboard?

  • Nadeem Shafi, Merit on February 17, 2007, 15:49 GMT

    Stop recuriting from one province. Pakistan team become puinjab eleven. In late 80's we did the same thing with our national game hockey and you can see the result.

    Karachi team is top in current quaide-e-azam trophy. Another Karachi team done a good job too. Lahore got last position in the points table but how many players are represented from Karachi.

    http://thenews.jang.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=43211

    Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Gold League Table

    Teams P W L D Pts NRR

    Karachi Urban 6 4 1 1 33 -0.001

    Sialkot 6 3 - 3 24 +0.341

    Rawalpindi 6 2 2 2 21 -0.097

    Peshawar 6 2 3 1 18 +0.380

    Faisalabad 6 2 3 1 18 +0.001

    Karachi Harbour 6 1 3 2 15 -0.207

    Lahore Shalimar 6 - 2 4 6 -0.356

    Merit, Merit, Merit

  • Fizaan Farooq on February 17, 2007, 15:31 GMT

    Bob Woolmer is not a racist and Shoaib is not a druggie. These are made up storys to fill up front page of newspapers.

  • Dawar, Heart Attack Cricket on February 17, 2007, 15:24 GMT

    Heart Attack Cricket By Rashid Latif (Ex Pakistan Captain & Wicket Keeper)

    ------------------------------------------------

    During the recent tour of South Africa , Pakistan team played heart attack cricket. There were moments, where the team and players did extraordinary feats, while in just another moment their performance would dip to the very lowest. If our performance graph goes high and low like this during World Cup 2007 (WC’07), may be several hospitals will have to issue alerts for heart doctors.

    Pakistan lost badly in South Africa : However the stages at which they won the games, they were under extreme pressure and their wins were very convincing. This is where I feel very confident that Pakistanis will perform well in WC’07.

    Usually when one looks for a yardstick, one looks at a positive scenario. For Pakistan that is World Cup 1992 (WC’92). Few observations from WC’92: We had just one Manager in Intikhab Alam and one Physiotherapist. Right now we have three Physios, but what is the result: Half the team is unfit. We saw so many players flying to South Africa and flying back to Pakistan that people started to joke the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) must be the happiest entity due to these otherwise disappointing injuries to national players.

    Now achieving improved performance of a team through quantity of people accompanying the team has in fact had adverse effects and it is more advisable to have one good Physiotherapist do the job and he can accomplish it more independently, effectively and efficiently. Fitness is the most important aspect of winning in any sports, especially in one day cricket, where a batsman can run himself out if not fit. Fielders can give away extra runs while fielding near the boundary line. Look how fielders of several countries slide, pick up and throw the ball back towards the wickets: They save crucial fifteen and sometime even twenty five runs and get important run-outs. We are lacking in that even though we have so many fitness staff members accompanying the team.

    One other thing from WC’92 was that the moment Imran started to bat at Number Three and Javed Miandad was already batting at Number Four, it meant that Pakistan mainly had two batsmen to rely upon during the tournament, while it was expected of others to take lead from their example. This gives me confidence to say that Pakistan can win WC’07, since here as well we have two top reliable batsmen in Younis Khan at Number Three and Mohammad Yousuf at Number Four to win it for us and inspire others around them. Then since Imran Khan was not fully fit and not all the bowlers were world-class, we can say Pakistanis had 3-&-A-Half Bowlers in WC’92, here in WC’07, we can better that: So I am again confident that we do have the bowlers, who can win it for us: We only will have to improve the fielding by few notches.

    We have a wicketkeeper batsman, who has an excellent record in the past, but who is struggling at present. Just a hint: Aussies have the same thing going on with Gilcrest: They have rested him for the Kiwis tour and for WC’07, they have selected Brad Haddin as the second wicketkeeper.

    There is too much talk going on about WC’07 anxiety. Pressure? What pressure? Pressure is on the poor people of the world trying to feed their families. There is no pressure in cricket. Yes: A victory in any big tournament is tremendously difficult to predict for any team or coach - Even for those considered favorites. But that is not pressure: That is reality.

    For this, I would like to quote from the famous Philosophy Book “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu: “If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles. If you do not know your enemies, but do know yourself, you will won one and lose one. If you do not know your enemies or do not know yourself, you will be imperiled in every battle.”

    The person, who needs to be most relaxed and confident at the moment, is Inzimam-ul-Haq. I have this to say to Inzi: Who were the greatest bowlers of all times from Pakistan – In that list, were not Wasim Akram and Waqar Younus present. Both were also Captains of Pakistan. Is the life moving on for the two great Ws? Yes: Indeed. So will your life Inzi. Remember the words captioned above from “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu and bring the mental state to that of WC’92: Don’t get bogged down by the fear of unknown or fear of loss: Understand your strengths and weaknesses and understand the same about your opponents: Give out united challenges to all XI players, be more attacking and employ positive approach: WC’07 is yours to win.

    During the next ten days, the best thing for Pakistani players is to rest and chill out as much as they can. They have suffered mental and physical injuries in South Africa , which need healing through relaxation. They need to start training in West Indies one week before the WC’07 and start of with physical, fielding and mental training.

    Future is as always bright for Pakistan cricket: Slight changes in mental attitude towards boldness, less emphasis on staffing the team with officials, youth development programs, emphasis on coherent and consistent performance, more attacking cricket on the field, positive approach and belief in the emerging talent: All these ingredients will go a long way in making Pakistani team the world-beaters.

    WC’07 is for Pakistan to win: They are indeed one of the favorites.

    Regards

    Rashid

  • Shakir Naved on February 17, 2007, 15:03 GMT

    Shoaib is going to let Pakistan down badly. With any or all 3 of the following issues: 1)He indeed will be found to be the source of this preposterous claim 2)If selected, he will be a huge flop at the WC because of his tantrums and unceasing injuries 3)He WILL fail the dope test. Let us stop pampering this fellow.....he does not deserve it and moreover has time and again proved to be a huge embarrasment for our country.

  • KJM on February 17, 2007, 14:53 GMT

    How can someone with such an authority tell that woolmer didn't say that word? I read almost all the comments here and everyone is backing Kamran up, even though no one was witness of the incident. Is Woolmer an angel? Keep in mind that he's SA'an. He could/would/should have said that. Let this matter be investigated by PCB. We cannot jump to the conclusion and cannot be Sherlock Holmes. I would give benefit of doubts to both party, or just put aside the differences till the world cup. We’ll have all the time in the world to set this matter afterwards. The more we dig into this dispute, more out of focus we will be in world cup preparation. New York

  • Sal on February 17, 2007, 14:48 GMT

    Alright, I met Bob in a flight from Dubai to Karachi. I praised him on the wonderful job he was doing but his response was dull. Am I? This tells me how frustrated he might be just being there but fulfilling his committment as a true professional. I agree with someone made a comment up about team doing so well after the last world cup but it's all coming down now. They exhausted Salman Butt, Imran Farhat and Yasir Hamid pretty much all of this period, claiming they were grooming 'em for the worldcup. When the time comes, fairly new Hafeez and Imran Nazir get the whole pot, Nazir who? Now, the comment on the "Blackie". It would be stupid of me to say anything about the newspapers credibility there.

  • Aditya on February 17, 2007, 14:46 GMT

    I saw the video of Shoaib pushing Woolmer on youtube. It is just indicative of Shoaib's penchant to consider himself above the team and the game. He does not take his fitness seriously (fast bowlers are supposed to be lean and mean, not huge and laidback), he is too obsessed with winning the fastest ball award rather than bowling decent balls and picking up wickets (I mean, why would he insist on running in 40 yards unless he wasn't obsessed with pace?) I don't think Bob Woolmer said any racist thing...he stuck up for his team at the Oval last year and at that time it felt as though he was Pakistani. He would never do that, and it's because of him that so many players have developed well, including Shahid Afridi and Younis Khan. I think Pakistani cricket fans must realize that this Shoiab is a highly dubious character who must not be allowed to play for his country unless he stops being so full of himself.

  • asad k on February 17, 2007, 14:18 GMT

    I am just tired of seeing 2 fat potatoes the coach and captain destroying Pakistan cricket.Woolmer and inzi both need to be kicked out of pakistan team ASAP.President musharaff to nasim ashraf they all have there part to bring Pakistan cricket to lower standards.The world ccup selection is the worst selection I have ever seen in my life. hafeez is selected to openn with 18 runs avg. kamran akmal zero performance and he is being selected. Kaneria who is not a one day bowler and he is also in the team.This is total mess up by inzi and woolmer. Why not Yasir Hameed who avg almost 40 runs with the best technique and is being ignored. I can see what is coming after the world cup, Atleast half of the team wont be there and pakistan will be coming back as a loosers. Can someone kidnap Inzi woolmer hafeez rana and kaneria till the world cup ends.

  • wasif m khan on February 17, 2007, 13:48 GMT

    Im no fan of Bob's coaching, but it appears highly unlikely that Bob would say anything like that. I think he might have said 'You are trying to blackmail me', something Mr Akhtar is an accomplished artist at! And 'blackmail me' is what the blackmailer extraordinaire twisted to 'blackie'.

  • Sajjadullah Baig on February 17, 2007, 13:26 GMT

    I don't think Bob Woolmer can say something like that but if he has so what? its not a racial comment any way, isn't it that all the Pakistanis are dark in features and in urdu called " sawnla". Don't u remember the song by Junaid Jamshaad " sawali saloni c mahbooba". Even if he has said that its does not qualify to be a racist statement.

  • Nirbhay Singh on February 17, 2007, 13:26 GMT

    Kamran,

    There are 2 issues here one is the obvious one whether this was said or not by Bob.

    But to me the other one is even more important: WHY was this published just weeks before the World Cup. What was the person incharge thinking? Anyone who has Pakistan's cricket in mind would have thought twice befoe making this public because I can assure you that now the dressing room is totally in shambles and I certainly hope not but could be divided in for or against parties with the public getting emotional to boot. What utter confusion!

    I am not for one moment saying that the right to information should be witheld from the public but this is more "masala" stuff than anything which is critical to the game ESPECIALLY before the World Cup! It is based on somebody's word and will clearly be against somebody elses! Is it 100% verifiable on the first instance? As it clearly isn't and has led to tremendous confusion wouldn't the country's cricket have been better served if it was discreetly brought to the notice of the PCB and left for them to investigate?

    We keep hearing how certain information is withheld in the interest of the country and this type of inflamatory- accusatory stuf involving two personalities could easily have been treated in a more mature manner as I have stated above.

    I clearly see the publication of this issue in the paper as not having the best interest of the country's cricket in mind: you now have a lot of angst and friction just before the premier cricketing event in the world between two and probably more very important members of the dressing room. Wow!

    What the paper could have done after mentioning it to the PCB mandarin's was to see how they investigated the issue and if they were not happy and felt a cover up job was going on, AFTER the World Cup they could have brought out this story.

    I would like to know how much has been gained and how much has actually been lost by the way this has gone to press at this time?

    Please make this the subject of your next blog!

    Nirbhay Singh

  • Robert on February 17, 2007, 12:44 GMT

    Why is it when there is a dispute between people of diffent colour it always becomes a race issue?

    The problem between Bob, Inzi and Shoaib was about fitness and loyalty. That can never have anything to do with race! 'Cept perhaps the fact that you won't be competing in one!

    I don't imagine Bob would have said such a thing. I believe that the editor has much to answer for.

  • Irfan Rizvi on February 17, 2007, 12:24 GMT

    Allegations on Bob woolmer are as true as the Karzai's on Pakistan. i.e. BASELESS, UNTRUE and PATHETIC.

  • WALEED on February 17, 2007, 11:41 GMT

    absolutely rubbishhhhhhh.........bob wouldnt call shoaib that ........we should sue the dawn newspaper for letting rumors like this spread out........well anyway 1 thing is clear that shoaib is no wonder good but not innocent either.......he is black wats wrong in that...LOL!!

  • billy on February 17, 2007, 11:37 GMT

    i dont think wolmer would ever say that..its just a cheap advertisement way for DAWN to get its paper sold...i am not reading this fake newspaper again as if i read in the first place but i thought for a long time that DAWN was the leading newspaper in pakistan...so much for that!!

  • S.Usman on February 17, 2007, 11:36 GMT

    I dont think so bob woolmer will be saying him blacky when he knew his importance to the team (Second test South Africa)... Moreover he is a professional, knows what he speaks...meantime Shoaib akhter deed has made him really "BLACKY" in my heart...he is such a disgrace to the pakistan cricket team..i would have loved that he is not announced in the current world cup players..it would have set the example...but aaaAAAHHH the announcer are also much like him...so they have to put them in the team...come on...team selectors why u so afraid of Shoaib Akhter..throw him out...Atleast it would have given some thing to us to cherish ......

  • mohidin gundroo on February 17, 2007, 11:24 GMT

    While rest of the world is focusing on preparing for worldcup thanks to our attention seeking cricketer we are in for yet another fiasco.i think we ALL had enough of it, why cannot we behave like true professionls and play cricket like every one else rather be involoved in one scandal.Accusing a real gentleman and a professional of racism will cost him and Dawn heavily.Time to say goodbye to shohaib once for all. I bet poor Bob had enough of it now .Does any body really believe that pakistan deserve to be the world champion, i dont.

  • SQUARE_CUT FROM TMS on February 17, 2007, 10:16 GMT

    So what if bob called shoaib blackieeeee....shoaib is not exactly white as milk is he....what a loads of crap this is...shoaib is a lil kid, its time he should leave all of us in peace...please ban him for taking ilegal drugs....

  • imran peshawari on February 17, 2007, 10:16 GMT

    i dont think that Bob say that.its just a joke of a news paper .there r many peoples that not like Bob.if he say that then shoaib like player can not accept that and will tell to every one on his clearance on South africa tour .there was another story during the champions trophy thats also belong to them .but both reject that .so i dont think that Bob say that.

  • Muhammad Ali Sajjad on February 17, 2007, 9:49 GMT

    Bob is a man obsessed with perfection , he will not accept a mistake, certainly not from himself. BELIVE ME! he would NEVER call shoaib "blackie"!

    Because shoaib is not black in colour but he is brownish! so if shoaib claimed he was called a "brownie" that would have made some sense! this shows shoaib is lying!

  • Khuram Ahmad on February 17, 2007, 9:45 GMT

    I just fail to understand the logic behind arguing over such petty issues. Let's face it. It can never be proven that Woolmer acutally said what he has been accused of and Shoaib wont give up his adventerous claims. Neither Shoaib, Nor Woolmer or for that matter DAWN have enough guts in them to back what they actually say. This is Pakistan!! Nothing will happen to anyone. Now the important part..What were our selectors thinking when they dropped Yasir Hameed? Have they lost their minds? Inzamam is just loosing all his credentials and pride by being the actual spoil sport..He favors certain players and that`s very obvious...Ofcourse Shoaib is a difficult guy to handle but we shouldnt forget that he is our MAIN bowler..if Shoaib is dispensible, then so is inzamam...We cannot expect to give a tough fight to other good international teams by having just 3 proper batsmen...INzamam, Younis and Yousuf..

  • Q Mulla on February 17, 2007, 9:17 GMT

    By the sounds of it the quality of Dawns sports pages has deteriorated rather drastically in recent months. This news item was bordering on being an item from the UK's 'pathetic' tabloid press.

    Why this story or non story(which ever way you see it) has an article based on it in cricinfo?

    The deterioartion is not just taking place in dawn but cricinfo too.

  • Muhammad Ali Sajjad on February 17, 2007, 9:15 GMT

    Bob has experience equaivalent to Shoaib's age! first shoaib should be reprimanded for making an internal dispute public. with world cup around the corner this is the best prep pakistan can get.

    Who ever wins in this battle between Bob and Shoaib, there will be one definate loser and that will be team Pakistan

  • Owais on February 17, 2007, 9:11 GMT

    After reading lots of comments on board, its clear, DAWN is the culprit. Mr. Dawn, kindly start writing positive stories and dont add "spice" in evening newpapers' fashion.

  • Mian Gul Muhammed on February 17, 2007, 9:09 GMT

    Here we go again, news revolving aroung so called the fastest bowler of all times. I personally think Shoiab is an idiot who has not given any thing to Pakistani cricket except bad name and bad influnce for youngesters. He thinks Pakistani cricket is bcaz of him whereas the truth is that "he is bcaz of Pakistani cricket". If i had some sort of any influence in the Pakistani cricket this chap would have either retired or sidelined by me. He has proved time and again he does not deserve to be a part of Pakistani team. Full stop we dont want to know any more. Pakistant have managed and won won mataches without him and inshallah will keep doing. I personally think Bob is a very sensible person and commited to his work, it is very unfortunate that we have not benefited from his exp and skills due to the superstar nature of our players. He will never make any such stupid comments specialy in front of Shoaib. I have been living abroad for the last 30 years now, i work and live among certain people and i have not heard, exp or even noted any racisism. Yes a few small things happen those can easily be ignored. I have said time and again in my comments on Kamrans' blogs and let me mention a few things here which will solve all problems in Pakistani cricket. 1) Sack all board members and engage professional managers from LUMS, they dont have to know any thing about cricket. Boards job is to manage things around not play cricket on the field.

    2) Sack all pakistani players who r not willing to play under captaincy of Shoiab Malik or any other junior player. 3) Get players from so called academies and make a paksiatni team. 4) make certain rules for these guys, do not let any one off under any circumstances who do not follow those rules, no exceptions even for Inzi, Youssaf or Younis etc. 5) Organise educational courses for our current as well as future players in our cricket academies.

    Pls pls pls do not let cricket become hockey. We ruled hockey and squash and where r we. And i can see cricket is also going in that direction.

    A meassage for Imran Khan

    I know Imran is a very loyal and sincere person, he has failed as a politician as Pakistan politics are for him, step into cricket this is where you belong, take over the board and put it in the right direction. I m quite sure you owe that to pakistan cricket.

  • MFK on February 17, 2007, 8:31 GMT

    Hey what is this hoopla all about? Shoaib is not a 'Blacky'? Except for Afridi(even he would be considered 'black' by Afridi standards) everyone else is...I have to increase the brightness level on my TV just to see their faces!!!! So stop this nonsense...black is black, period.

  • GUL HAMEED BHATTI on February 17, 2007, 8:16 GMT

    My God, what a large number of comments on this story! Well, I always thought that 'blackie' was a term of endearment. People are right when they say it is such a 'sub-continental' thing. Perhaps, if Woolmer had called Shoaib Akhtar a 'nigger' or a 'kaffir' -- having borrowed the term from his stint in South Africa -- that would have amounted to racism. I don't know how true the story is. If Shoaib has disclosed the contents of this conversation himself, it shows how naive he himself is. 'Blackie' might have been a reference to the colour of his skin, said in anger and nothing to do with his race and ethnic background. Too much is being made out of this anyway. Woolmer should by now have understood the Pakistani psyche where every mother wants her son and daughter to be 'gora' -- that's why the need for beauty soaps and Fair & Lovely Cream and every guy is looking for a white-skinned bride. Crappy, isn't it?

  • kaliem on February 17, 2007, 8:05 GMT

    I dont know why people bring Dr.Ashraf and Saleem Altaf in this thread, come on guys , We are discussing a supposedly true story , time might tell its baseless, Ashraf party dont deserve too much respect probably, but theres no point dragging them in Akhtar-Woolmer so called row.

    If this is true: Dawn said Akhtar plans to withdraw his name from WC if an apology is not made in public, well I say, You better stay away please!

  • Daaniyal Masum on February 17, 2007, 7:55 GMT

    My God..when will this low class drama end? When will the monumentally Stupid PCB just decide to STOP being an international disgrace to all and sundry... If I wasnt so angry at this latest episode then id surely be tempted to just sit down and cry at the state of pakistan cricket's current lowest of lows....and I hold the PCB durectly responsible.... and BOB WOOLMER IS INNOCENT.... this is just a stupid story concocted by Shoiab...that microcosm of all that wrong in general with our current national state in general... Shoiab....You are an effin disgrace...and really I havent even seen a septic tank as full of shit as shoaib....please go away...just ago away!! leave us alone......please will the PCB just pay him whatever he wants....and just get him out of our lives...the sooner we move past the disgrace that is Shoaib Akhtar the better.. and as a Pakistani im sorry Bob that at the fag end of your generally helpful stint with us you had to go through this... I repeat...anyone who believes for a second that Bob would have said that needs their bloody head checked... He SHOULS sue shoaib and Dawn...and I swear there is something VERY wrong with Dawn if they places their trust in Shoaibs word...they should know its not even worth soiled toilet paper... Dawn and the PCB owes Bob Woolmer an Apology....a good coach...and a good guy all round...

  • Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on February 17, 2007, 7:38 GMT

    Urgent action required by PCB:

    Dear Kamran:

    This latest episode within the realm of Pakistan Cricket has left many ardent lovers and supporters of the game in a state of shock and they rightly feel disgruntled and wondering where the team is headed to. The team appears to show clear signs of cracks and there is utter disunity.

    The team morale is on edge. Under these set of circumstances, how can you expect the team to perform. Team participation would be just rituals unless something is done pretty soon to cleanse this dirty act. The facts need to come out.

    It is strange that PCB is taking so long to initiate an enquiry and calm the situation.

    This is far from an ideal build up to the World Cup. The interim head of PCB, Dr. Nasim Ashraf has a bigger role to play here. He better take personal interest and help put this ugly matter to rest. The team needs to move on and not stutter going into the World Cup.

    The outcome of the inquiry be based solely upon facts and within one week or so, the air should be cleansed and purified. It's kind of getting suffocating here. Lets get out of the house of PCB, for the moment.

    Just one last comment for Dr. Nasim Ashraf. Please do not look towards and take directions from President Musharraf. He has enough political headaches of his own already. The ball is in your court to play. Take a swing and we pray that you be guided by your conscious. You do not have to take sides.

    Just take a broom and clean this dirty mess, please and in time. Otherwise, the damage would be permanent and scars would remain for years to come.

    Please take cricket lovers remarks with a big heart and do not take things on a personal note.

    After all, you are the designated head of PCB and you need to act as the situation demands. Remember the World Cup is just four weeks away.

    Please act fast and apply necessary filters to screen the dirt out of the system. Hope you understand well.

    Thanks!

    Mohsin Malik

  • Mehr on February 17, 2007, 7:14 GMT

    Its a pity that we have mismanagement in our Board. Dr. Nasim Ashraf should look in to the matter immediately but honestly I believe he is as lame as the previous PCB heads. In his brief period as Chairman PCB, he is failed miserably. I think he and Mr. Altaf should be thrown out immediately.

  • Nuruddin Lakhani on February 17, 2007, 7:02 GMT

    I believe that the word 'blackie' is not a racist word / remark, whether used or not.

    The word 'black' is used commonly in medical literature. Most USA based research include the data from African-Americans and statements like "hypertension is more common in blacks compared to whites" do not constitute a racial remark.

    Anyway, I do not Uncle Bob is so naive to use such word at a time when the racial issue is almost reaching a boiling point. Just compare the two - Shoaib and Bob, who do you think will think before speaking? I think Bob . . .

  • Saif Abbasi on February 17, 2007, 6:51 GMT

    Salam Mr Abbasi, Bob has been recognized the finest coach of this era, any cricket playing country would like to have him in his ranks. This means something,this speaks of his capabilities and skills. On personal front, he is cheerfull and quite lively. No one has ever reported him unprofessionalism in his personality and profession. Where as MR SHOAIB AKHTER(with due respect, he is from my city)has shown, rather proved so many times that morality and ethics are not the words of his dictionary. you might need another blog to count and describe the ocassions when he did his best to tarnish his own and countries image. What credibility he has..nothing. For the good of Pakistan cricket he should be kept millions miles away from cricket and the shame he has brought for his country demands that his passport should be confescated.It sounds quite unreasonable, but if not then we should be well prepared for another humilation becuase our star player knows no limit, who knows where he might land. May Allah bless him and Pakistan cricket.

  • Unanimous from Jordan on February 17, 2007, 6:49 GMT

    All we have to say is God knows best. What shoaib is doing by demanding for an apology from Inzi and Bob is CRAP!!! He shoudl not only be dropped from the squad but also be ex-communicated

  • Azhar on February 17, 2007, 6:41 GMT

    Well...Forget who is good or bad . We all know Shouaibz attitude in and off the fiels..Guys just imagine what is happening to Pakistans cricket..time to think and worry about it.

  • Anum on February 17, 2007, 6:21 GMT

    I dont believe Bob Woolmer would be stupid enough to make a racist remark. Its just a made up story that Dawn has published.

  • umar on February 17, 2007, 6:05 GMT

    just a short comment: 1 Dawn must name the sources for such an article 2 Dawn should have had the sense to not post such a disrupting article in such language that they used 3 even if woolmer called him a "Blackie", i would say, duh? blackie is not a racist word here! but this is my opinion. even then, racist or not, u shouldn't call names.

  • Arsalan Khan on February 17, 2007, 5:56 GMT

    Now I really am embarassed!

  • Raza Gillani on February 17, 2007, 5:56 GMT

    I won't be extremly surprised that after a terrible world cup, Pakistan, looses it's coach, captain and vice captain, same old repeat story of WC '03. Big Saf, new coach and Mr. Shoaib Actor capt. of Pakistan. Viola. What a fun ride prediction? From Inshallah , mashallah and thanks to Allah during match ceremonies, we go straight to Foster cans popping. Lets wait n see....

  • asim ghaffar on February 17, 2007, 5:55 GMT

    Does it matter if he said that or not. Sometimes people say something that they don't mean and sometime people are attributed with things that they have never said.

    To some it might be the biggets issue in the world but to me its non issue. And Dawn shouldn't have published this in any case as its not the right time.

    "The shambles in Pakistan cricket has become a national disgrace"???? Are u serious?

  • Daniyal on February 17, 2007, 5:54 GMT

    Dawn better appologise and fast. I think its high time the editors to the Dawn are made to answer for their follies in court infact having said that I'm surprised they weren't taken to court afer publishing hearsay about the team during the tour of England. Everyone remembers its pages carrying remarks from an observer who went to the Pakistani team hotel and some how managed to make his way into private rooms of the whole team and saw them smoking marijuana while trying to secure county deals.

    Dawn has once again shown that it is nothing but an amateur publication which has no sense of civic responsibility. It is unreliable journalism and should be exposed as such. They have time and time again published ludicurious articles based on a "source" which has later been denied or proven to be false.

    Its high time some one hold's the editors of the sport pages of Dawn responsible infact they deserve to be fired if Dawn claims to be a professional setup. This is not the first time in the last eight months or so that such a fluff piece has been published in its pages about team Pakistan and its about time the finger be pointed to the real culprits i.e. care free and irresponsible journalists who fabricate stories for money rather than spend a few hours investigating the merits of an issue.

  • Raza Gillani on February 17, 2007, 5:46 GMT

    I won't be extremly surprised that after a terrible world cup, Pakistan, looses it's coach, captain and vice captain, same old repeat story of WC '03. Big Saf, new coach and Mr. Shoaib Actor capt. of Pakistan. Viola. What a fun ride prediction? From Inshallah , mashallah and thanks to Allah during match ceremonies, we go straight to Foster cans popping. Lets wait n see....

  • Muhammad Rizwan on February 17, 2007, 5:31 GMT

    My first impression when i read the news in Dawn was that it is rubbish! look at the news it doesnot mention the name of writer nor does it mentions the source it is just an attempt by some one close to shoaib to justify his withdrawal from world cup, as he knows that he will test positive for dope test so the safe way out is to make allegation at the coach & captain and then withdraw in protest . I beleive pakistan cricket will be better without shoaib

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on February 17, 2007, 5:15 GMT

    Kamran Bhai, If you recall when Bob was installed as Coach of the Pakistani Team, the atmosphere of the dressing room was absolutely not up to the mark and that is why Pakistani Team was loosing the matches and getting success in patches. If I could say that the first thing he did as a Coach, improved the atmosphere in the dressing room and the team got results. There are some people who want to destroy this cordial relationship. I do not think such a profile coach could cast a racial remark. There is no place of racism in sports and Bob knows it very well.

    Kamran Bhai, you should also not raised this question in this blog as it simply not beneficial while the team would be preparing for the Mega Event like World Cup. There are bad elements who want to say something and want to sell their news. Shoaib Akhtar is one of the most controversial cricketer around the world and that is why the Newspaper wants to raise his name. Why can’t we have a round table conference and one to one chat with them to understand what transpired between the twos. The whole world is eager to know what is going wrong with them. On the one hand when Shoaib is not picked, it is believed that Inzi and Bob are behind the scene. But when he picked up, he developed injury. That is why it is said the Fitness is another thing and MATCH FIT is another thing. One could be fit but could not survive too long and will be injured and that is MATCH FIT is necessary. Bob and Inzi has been there for a long time now and they are not child and could understand who is match fit and who is fit. Let us pray to the ALMIGHTY for the sake of nation that this controversy does not get worst otherwise, it is for sure some head will roll and it is not CRICKET.

    Cricket is one of the popular game but for Pakistan Team, it is popular in another sense. If we want to be Champion, we have to respect the past cricketer as well the cricketer who is representing the country. Look at the irony of fat, Waqar has tendered his resignation and it was accepted in no time and Mustaq was sacked and reinstated. Do not think this is the biggest joke ?? What is Patron of Pakistan Team doing?? Sack this bunch of administrator who is making joke everyday. Whoever is representing for any team is an ambassador and we should give regard to them and it is therefore, there should not be petty politics. There is always controversy when the Pakistan Team goes to play for the WC. Look at the history and you will find it and I am afraid this will happen again.

    MAY GOD BLESS THEM!

  • Hasan on February 17, 2007, 5:10 GMT

    Nothing new. These issues will remain there whatsoever. Why do you expect Pakistan Cricket to be free from all controversies while the whole country is in a mess. Until we get a good government, these issues will remain there. So just close your eyes and wait till that time if you happen to be alive by that time!!!

  • Faridoon on February 17, 2007, 5:00 GMT

    So let me get this straight. If Inzi and Bob don't apologize to Shoaib, he'll pull out of the World Cup? If thats the case I hope Inzi and Bob don't apologize ever even if they are at fault for anything. No better opportunity to get rid of him. True he's an amazing bowler but how often does he perform. He has taken his place in the team for granted. He will get what he deserves.

    Mr. Abbasi, regarding your following comment: "The quality of Dawn's sports pages has improved no end over the last eight months or so." How long have you been writing for Dawn now? last eight months? ... just curious.

  • Danish Hasan on February 17, 2007, 4:53 GMT

    What ever might have happened...after all that its the national team thats suffering....what does shoaib akhter think of him self, he has a mind set that the team is incomplete without him, thats not true...theres a proved saying the Game is larger than the Player. he should realize that he is just a part of this national outfit like the others. Come back to sense's shoibee boy if you want your career to progress!!

    P.S. Best of luck to the Paki Tigers for the world cup. Fingers crossed for Asif that he recovers from whatever injury he has.

  • Saiful Ansari, Leesburg VA, USA on February 17, 2007, 4:49 GMT

    Another day and a new hot pepper of controversy to spice up Pakistan Cricket. It seems like a nice way to divert the attention of the fans from the teams below par performance in the recent series in South Africa.

    I agree with all of you, Bob Woolmer is a respected Coach and it may be a case of sensational reporting from Dawn to allege that Bob Woolmer made racial remarks against Shoaib Akhtar. Shoaib personally never mentioned it in any of his interviews to the press after his ugly episode of arguing with the Coach and Skipper during the second test match with South Africa.

    Even the best player in the team can never be above the team and has no right to raise his voice or hand against his Coach, Captain or the team management. The good thing is so far Shoaib has not come out with any statement in support of this rumour (news). I hope he can deny it and put it to rest for once and all.

    Shoaib Akhtar is an important cog in the Pakistan Cricket machine. The chances are that he is unfit and experts have implied that he could test positve again if drug tests are carried on Feb 17, leading up to a life ban. Reports are that Shoaib is still consulting his medical team in England and it does not appear that he will be in Pakistan on Feb 17 for drug tests to be conducted by PCB on all players of the team selected for World Cup. In view of these reasons Shoaib is not very likely to be a part of the actual Pakistan squad in the World Cup. So lets not speculate till we have the facts right.

    Until Shoaib personally confirms the rumour, he can't be blamed for the report printed in Dawn and unless it is proved, Bob Woolmer can't be called a racist.

    I like to thank Bob Woolmer for the tremendous efforts he has put to improve Pakistan Cricket, since he took over as the Coach and I hope he can put this controversy behind and focus on the immediate objective of coaching the team to perform admirably in the World Cup.

  • Haseeb Ahmed on February 17, 2007, 4:13 GMT

    Guys, Shoaib needs to be disciplined. Seriously. Think of all the disruptions caused by all this.

  • Shahid Faruqui, Detroit on February 17, 2007, 4:09 GMT

    I o not think Bob would have said such a thing. We all know what happened to Dean Jones when he made some stupid remarks against Amala. So even if, let us assume, Bob is racist, he would not do that ever for the sake of his career in cricket any where. Shoebi is a character but he ain't as bad as he is painted. So I do not know what the truth is. Inzy is towrads the end of his career, he wants to make as much money as possible before he retires. Given his education level, he does not have a career after this WC. So I suspect he has a hand in it as well.

  • Asif M on February 17, 2007, 3:57 GMT

    I don't believe Bob would say anything racist. I don't have even iota of trust in media. Just two days ago The News published without any basis that said Shoaib and Asif again tested positive in a secret dope test. Indian media picked it up and had a field day. Stupidity of Pakistan Cricket can only be matched by Pakistani media, specially the newspaper kind.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 17, 2007, 3:53 GMT

    This is how the row must have started:

    Shoaib: I am done, I can't play anymore, my groin is hurting! Woolmer: What??? You B***key, you feign your injury again??? You good for nothing trash bowler, you!!! Shoaib: Hey You call me B***key? You W****e Trash.......I am gonna punch you on your ........ Woolmer: W****e Trash? Calling me W****e Trash? I am gonna slap you on your face!

    They jump towards each other..................and Inzi stands up between them like a WALL......

    Inzi: Bismillah................ Fast of all Thanks to Allah that we are all here in dis 'dray-sing room' and talking injury prablemz and avry bady fighting hard to get injury, first it was Gul injury, then Malik injury, then we called you (shoaib) to come and help us more injuries, and I also try hard to my back for injury but, already not vary hardly hurting, so injury iz no problem for us, we are Pakistanis and we play for injuriy and iz part of game. If you fight like this iz make injury iz no good, then avry people say you fight and you injury and make bad name for all iz no good. So, play good game and working hardly and if injury then, iz fine. Bob, you coach you, not fight, only player fight and gate injuries! I am calling Bari, send Shabbir and Sami also to get injury, because iz better to play and injurys but not fight like this. Iz everyone agree me? But, pleez this talk mast no go out here becaz people talk and make fun espayshully Don and Jang reporters....evan on TV this moin akhtar and anwar maqsood they laff and make showz about us and injuries...so pleez be carefull.

    But, there must be an insider who must have sold this juicy story to Dawn newspaper and, there you go :-)

    My advise to everyone on this blog is to chill out and take a break and take it easy till the world cup. Most people will agree with me that Shoaib is full of arrogance and has attitude problems and he can throw tantrums and threat everyone, but he is good for nothing guy. He should be shown the way to Lahori gate and PCB must give him a one way ticket and dispose him off to his home town on his "Khatara, Rawalipindi Express."

  • Asif M on February 17, 2007, 3:51 GMT

    I don't believe Bob would say anything racist. I don't have even iota of trust in media. Just two days ago The News published without any basis that said Shoaib and Asif again tested positive in a secret dope test. Indian media picked it up and had a field day. Stupidity of Pakistan Cricket can only be matched by Pakistani media, specially the newspaper kind.

  • Salmon on February 17, 2007, 3:10 GMT

    ofcourse, Bob has been after Akhtar since the beginning , him and his side kick inzi , they practically ruined his career.

    best lesson for them would be to get embarrassed in the world cup.

    we all know they are going to lose to India(Pakistan have never won against india in any world cup match) srilanka(simply a better team), Australia, South Africa in the super eights

  • Martyn on February 17, 2007, 3:06 GMT

    Ordinarily I find the constant infighting in Pakistani cricket mildly amusing to say the least. It seems to be a constant power struggle, with the winner earning the chance of being criticised by Javed Miandad on a match-by-match basis until he quits, at which point the merry-go-round starts again. Everyone involved wants to see a successful Pakistani cricket team, but only if they are in charge. If someone else is the boss then these same people seem to hope that some cricketing disaster will befall the team so that they get the opportunity to step in. The result, the shambolic state of affairs that is the PCB - a pity really because, World Cricket would really benefit from a well organised, sporting and thoroughly professional Pakistan Cricket team.

    However, I find very little humour in this story. Professional reputations (how good you are at your job) matter very little when compared to personal reputations and Woolmer is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT to take legal action against the publication in question. Such a claim is extremely damaging to Woolmer and I think many Pakistan supporters would be able to forgive him if he considered fighting this allegation to be his priority, as opposed to preparing Pakistan for the World Cup.

  • Pasha on February 17, 2007, 3:00 GMT

    I think shoaib made this up.

  • FUO on February 17, 2007, 2:55 GMT

    Woolmer seems too sophisticated a man to have said such a thing, even when confronted with Shoaib's--quite frankly--juvenile behaviour and attitude. I'm going by Shoaib's record here obviously. Anyway, I am losing my patience with Pakistan cricket. We seem to be lurching from one headache to another and even if this one was made up by a newspaper, the sheer volume of controversies over the recent months points to something being integrally wrong with how Pakistan cricket is run. Now only a disaster of a World Cup, interrupted by one of two brilliant performances, and the rolling of heads in the team remains.

  • Raza on February 17, 2007, 2:24 GMT

    Abbasi sahib, you were my one true journalist I could trust and believe in! You have let me down with this column. Take a stand sir and it should be for Bob Chacha. He brought stability to the PCB but as usual they have done everything in their power to destroy the team right before the WORLD CUP. Musharaf calls himself a Cricket fan, he appointed these fools, Dr Ashraf and Salim Atlaf, who is a joke! (see you tube for waqar younis vs Salm Atlaf) Waqar almost murdered him on thr set but instead out debated him and poor Salim Atlaf was left looking like a clown. Abbasi sahib take a stand and give you followers an article they can be proud of. Pakistani fans keep the support for Bob Chacha, he has 4 weeks left on the job and then the World cup and then he will most definitly leave Team Pakistan for a more professional team. As much as it will sadden me to see Bob Chacha go, he doesn't deserve the Disrespect he has gotten from the media, PCB and Pakistani fans. He has cemented his legacy by making Pakistan cricket more modern but these clowns in the PCB have done a good job in destroying what he has accomplished thus far. Its time to dump akthar and ride with Asif, Gul and Sami to hopefully lifting the cup. Imran kahn where in the world are you!!!!!!!

  • Blue Devil on February 17, 2007, 2:07 GMT

    I don't believe Bob Woolmer would ever utter a racist remark. I think the news article is shameful, unsubtantiated, and using unreliable sources at best. Shoaib Akhtar needs to be kicked out of the team once and for all. He is an immature idiot who lacks commitment. I'd much rather see 11 above average players play as a unit than one selfish superstar, bowling once in every ten matches!

    However, the problem with pakistani cricket goes beyond Shoaib Akhtar and his antics. This culture of indiscipline and incompetence would never be tolerated in a professionally-run PCB. Where is the new PCB constitution?

    Another example of the dysfunction is the religious cult being promoted by Inzi and his tableeghi cronies. What the hell is the tableegi jammat doing in the pakistani dressing room?!! If Inzi wants to be a missionary, he should pack up his bags, and retire from the game. If these self-righteous idiots would play as a team, and work hard, instead of spending their time sermonising, trashing each other and eating halva, the team would be in much better shape.

    Musharraf needs to stop appointing ad-hoc political officials. Instead, he must bring in a professional group of people who will ensure PCB runs its affairs properly, and will hold the cricket team accountable for its performance both on and off the field.

    I'd like to see Imran Khan volunteer for the PCB Chairman role. He understands the problem really well, and could help the PCB and the cricket team get its act together. I'm tired of listening to him crib about the problems with the PCB. He needs to step up to the plate, and put his money where his mouth is.

  • Aamir Yunus on February 17, 2007, 2:04 GMT

    There are 8 other test playing nations. Why the heck do we have a new blog about Pakistan everyday?

  • FJ on February 17, 2007, 2:01 GMT

    Good lord, the shambolic circus that pakistan cricket has become continues. I will just say this:

    I am embarrassed...are you ?

  • saha on February 17, 2007, 1:59 GMT

    Woolmer is the most professional coach Pakistan ever had. Reading his articles it is stupid to think that he would to anything like that. Pakistan are lucky to have bob as coach. Without him they wouldn't have got the best of yousuf younis asif and malik. It's upto shoaib to come up in public and say what is right or wrong. Can you imagine the same ever happening to moody and chapell.

  • Andrew on February 17, 2007, 1:52 GMT

    Leave aside for the moment the fact that I've never heard any Westerner use the word "blackie" in my entire life. Fact is, the footage shows Inzi next to him during the fight, and the entire PAK team nearby. Inzi strikes me as the sort of bloke who would defend his side's honour being racially abused, even by the coach. And wouldn't the rest of the team jack up and refuse to play under such a man if he really said it?

    Let's face it, it didn't happen.

    On a related topic, why doesn't Shoaib do what Courtney Walsh did? He's obviously a skilful bowler - he doesn't need to try to bowl every ball at 160km/h if he keep hurting himself.

    Bowl at Glenn McGrath's pace, accurately with movement, and you'll be able to bowl till your late 30's with very few injuries. Anything has got to be better than his current output. Unless you want to pick him JUST in the WC Semi-final - presumably he wouldn't fake an injury after bowling 10 overs in THAT game.

  • faisal on February 17, 2007, 1:48 GMT

    I have seen most comments are anti-Shoaib and for good reason too. Shoaib hasnt ezactly been the "good boy" of Pakistan cricket so far.

    But we have to realize that for the captain and coach to repeatedly accuse a player of "faking" injury when each time it was proven otherwise, is an equally serious allegation.

    Even Imran Khan is known to have said that if Woolmer had said this to him he would have done much worse than what Shoaib did!

    I am pretty sure that Woolmer wouldnt have used the word "blacky", however its quite possible that a similar meaning word could have been used in the heat of events.

    So we shouldnt make such preconcieved notions without a proper investigation. And yes an investigation should be done and soon!

  • Aqif on February 17, 2007, 1:40 GMT

    Agree with your last point. This is such an embarrassment. Younis khan tantrum, Oval fiasco, banned substance issue, afridi issue, baggage loss. What on earth is going on? Its a bit illogical really, a forgein coach with the team for ages, on the field with the locals calling a local, blackie. How ridiculous can it get? Moreover, it doesnt take much for influential celebrities to get something like that into the newspapers in Pakistan. Shoaib should focus on fixing his broken body (and keeping it that way) rather than running around playing innocent.

  • Nasser Ahmad on February 17, 2007, 1:20 GMT

    Hard to believe that Woolmer would say something like that. Shoaib has to come out and clarify this situation. Remaining silent is not an option. He should make a public statement to deny or confirm the story. Woolmer has responded. Inzi should go on record as well.

    This incident further reflects on the poor state of Pakistan cricket. The decline is stunning and it seems to have started with the Oval test. However, these situations do not develop overnight (or in 3-4 months). The Oval test debacle was simply a symptom of the disease that infects our cricket system at the moment. Let's hope that we start making some real positive long term changes after the World Cup starting with an overhaul of the PCB, the adhoc committee, the selection committee, and the team management.

  • Kamer on February 17, 2007, 1:18 GMT

    Bobby was born in India. He knows how to act around desis. he wouldn't call him Shoaib a blackie, Shoaib can reply fatty,get the picture,meaningless. Bob is a gentleman.

  • Farukh on February 17, 2007, 1:00 GMT

    That is a shocking news and woolmer would never do that. And to mr YS, why shuold Mr imran khan take over now? Why should he shut up? Where were you all when he was ready to take over but coz of our damn politics and nakhre he couldnt and they rejected him>? And yea hes too busy to do that now. Hes doing something good infact better than someone else. So ithink either you or they should shut up.

  • immy786 on February 17, 2007, 0:31 GMT

    Can things get any more depressing than this? A newspaper to publish stories just BEFORE start of the biggest tournament for their own vendetta or whatever is ludicrous. Everyone from media men to board members to ex-players and current players are hell bent on destroying all the good work Bob / Inzy had done since 2003. They dont want a succesful Pak team - they cant handle anything good the cricket team can do ! Their own agenda / egos have driven not only pakistan's cricket but the whole country thru the gutter. Is there no end to their shameful and disgusting behaviour ? I recommend that all true pak supporter should send emails protesting to 1) Dawn for the rubbish they print (why couldnt they wait till after the world cup ?) 2) President Musharaf, as the Patron of the embarrasing PCB to dismiss them. 3) its time rawalpindi express is derailed (Just can bear him anymore - has their ever be a more selfish player in the history of the game - anyone who is prepared to ruin hopes of a nation for his own stupidity). Twelve months ago, after the Srilanka series, we were on the verge of something great but now its all depair and no hope. I will NEVER say I am ashamed to be a pakistani but the behavour of some these so called pakistani s makes you wonder if they are !! I am cancelling my subscription to Sky Sports tomorrow - I cant take / watch the forthcoming humiliation. Kamran please please start a petition for Musharaf - lets get rid of the donkeys running PCB and destroying our national sport.

  • Nabil on February 17, 2007, 0:25 GMT

    Just when I thought I'd seen it all... Pakistani cricket manages to surprise me with more stupidity than ever before! Why would a Coach make a racist comment against one of his players..no matter how much friction there may be between them...Furthermore, the word 'blackie' just sounds too asian to be true...but wait this is Pakistani Cricket...anything and everything is possible (would'nt be the first time)! Quick, get Naseem Ashraf, Saleem Altaf and all those other incompetent administrators out of there before Pakistani Cricket becomes comparable to Zimbabwe and Kenya!

  • david on February 17, 2007, 0:25 GMT

    Boy!!1Irfan Are you High? Such a big letter to bob, why dont u apply for PCB cricket advisor post....lol......u funny boy

  • Si Baker on February 17, 2007, 0:24 GMT

    As an Englishman who was born in Africa, lived both there and in Asia for many years & (I'm afraid to say)heard the occasional racist remark from time to time, I have to say that one racist term I have NEVER heard ANY Englishman utter ANYWHERE is 'Blackie'. Bob Woolmer may be many things (personally, I feel that his recent team selections have been bizarre at the very least), but one thing he's never been accused of by anybody is being a racist or a bigot.

    It's a shame that a cricketer of Shoaib's talent and ability to enthral seems to have the psycho-emotional makeup of an especially petulant six-year-old who demands adoring attention 24x7 &, when he doesn't receive it, feels the need to manufacture it - even if it's exceedingly negative attention.

    Best of luck for the World Cup, Pakistan! I'm hoping for an England/Pakistan final.

  • Danish Khan on February 17, 2007, 0:23 GMT

    The burden of proof here lies with the accuser who imputes such a claim. That is, Shoaib Akhtar and the Editor at Dawn. I don't know and find it hard to believe such a thing, but all I know is that this really wasn't needed.

  • Asad Bangash - Toronto on February 17, 2007, 0:21 GMT

    I think we shouldnt make any assumptions...Ass-u-me. I am not saying bob would have said it. But we should look into the evidence which dawn might provide us and vice verca from bob ( if they do ). And only after that we should come to a conclusion, as suppose to saying .." oh he couldnt have said it , i know him " or " South Africans dont use the word blacky " . Have some patience , time will tell us who the real crook is.

  • AR on February 17, 2007, 0:20 GMT

    There is a very simple solution, Shoaib Akhtar has to say that this word was not said. That simple, come out and say that it didnt happen. The longer Shoaib Akhtar is silent the more suspect I become of the whole situation and the parties involved.

  • Syed Irteza on February 17, 2007, 0:06 GMT

    One thing for sure, that if Inzi and Woolmer blamed Shoaib for feigning his injury, they both owe Shoaib a big apology, since it was verified through medical tests that indeed Shoaib had an hamstring injury as claimed. Those allegations if indeed made by Inzi and Woolmer, are like attacking the intergrity of Shoaib. So, very rightly Shoaib is disturbed by the captain and the coach baseless allegations on his injury. Shoaib is a genuine match winner for the team. Time and again he has proven his committment to the cause of his team. In the past also he was critisized by the duo for lack committment through feigning injuries, which ofcourse always were rebutted by the medical exams which always confirmed the injuries of the express bowler. It is deeply sadening that PCB investigated and fines Shoaib for his reaction but did nothing to Inzi and Woolmer, who are, in my opinion, charged for malacious character abuse on Shoaib...

  • calgary highlander on February 16, 2007, 23:52 GMT

    Woolmer good coach? meh. Woolmer racist? Absolutley not.

  • Ozzie on February 16, 2007, 23:50 GMT

    I am not a SA but I really do not think that he said that for the simple reason that "Blacky" is not a term used in SA. If you wish to make a bad remark against a black person then the word is "Kaffir". Please do not take this wrong because I personally think this is a very ugly word and a word that SA rarely use anymore.

  • alexbutt on February 16, 2007, 23:33 GMT

    I personaly dont think he would say suchkind of thing. but this is pakistani cricket ..always full of surprises. so anything can happen regardless of the fact that he racially abused shoaib akhtar or not the important thing here is another crisis in an already colourful pakistani cricket. They couldn't really have wished for worse. Even if this matter is solved before the WC at the cost of either shoaib or woolmer, there is another bomb ready to explode before the WC. I hope youallknow what I am talking about. Yes, Doping tests just before WCwith shoaib and Asif very likely to be the victims again. If this happened at all, then those who thought the team hit the rock bottom in SA might have to rethink during the WC. Anyways thats life for u countrymen. Just chill

  • M. Pasha on February 16, 2007, 23:22 GMT

    Like every other Pakistani fan i've been on the edge of despair for some time now. I'm tired of our team being described as monstrously talented but unpredictable. It acts i suspect for many people as a soothing balm, much as it did for me. There was comfort in the knowledge that despite the regular defeats (some in humiliating fashion) our team was 'capable' of destroying the best 'on their day.' Excuse me for saying so but that is all a crock of s***t. Unfulfilled potential is probably the worst form of vice and our team is guilty as hell. Now this issue with Bob Woolmer has surfaced at such a great time. It symbolizes perfectly what Pakistan cricket is about, the ship is sinking and we're talking about the weather. Heads will roll once again until the next crisis where there will be yet another clean up. Senior players will be dropped and we will go back to getting all out for 53 (remember Sharjah against Australia?) The process of rebuilding wouldn't be as painful if we knew that it wouldnt have to be repeated within a year or two.

    I want to know why after persisting with Shoaib Malik at the top of the order for so long he has been dropped down the line up? Have we found batsmen that are capable of doing a better job than him? Forgive me for saying this but the performances of Hafeez, Farhat and all the others could have been done by any other domestic circuit batsmen. When was the last time we found a batsmen we knew would be in the team for the next decade? There was all this talk about Faisal Iqbal being Inzi's replacement after he retired, but I dont think i've seen that kid around for months. Yasir Hameed plays well, gets out to an irresponsible shot and isnt heard for a year. Imran Nazir plays one good innings and now hes in the world cup squad. Our pace attack for the World Cup consists of three injured bowlers. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!?!?!

    Perhaps this rant is futile, perhaps Pakistan will win the world cup, and our administrators and players will be showered with gulab jamins. The way I see it the more things change the more they seem the same. I remember the humiliation of 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and now 2007 quite clearly. When are we gonna shed this tag of underachievers? Perhaps never, perhaps that is the destiny of our cricket team and our country. I for one can no longer bear to watich it.

  • EAMIRAN on February 16, 2007, 23:19 GMT

    Did Woolmer abuse Shoaib? Probably not; however in the heat of the moment anything could have been said. Shoaib the innocent angel could also have said something that prompted a comment from Woolmer, which may then have been taken out of context.

    Ashraf is too slick and oily for his own good has got to go, along with the brown-sahib wannabe Saleem Altaf.

    While we are at it lets get rid of our weak willed rubber stamping office clerk Wasim Bari.

    Let us also say a fateha for Pakistan cricket, because it is now truly dead and has to be buried with whatever dignity it has left.

    Seriously, I would like to wish the team lots of luck on their WC sojourn. God knows they need copious amounts of it to make it past the qualifying rounds.

    Finally, Rana Naveed --- be a sport, take one for the country, and break a leg ---

    or two.

    and Razzak ---

  • NASIR on February 16, 2007, 23:14 GMT

    You are right; the truth like always lies somewhere in the middle. Probably the racist slur was not used although a seemingly innocous remark said with jest and sarcasmm in a British sort of way could have been made and the perspective got lost in translation. Why would Shoab keep quiet for two weeks is beyond comprehension.

  • Rehan Qureshi on February 16, 2007, 23:12 GMT

    I agree to the part that the only people seen using that word are from South Asia. I think somebody made some money by giving such an information to DAWN. It can not be ruled out that Shoib Akhtar is trying to capture some attention from press to depict him as a victim. Why does he always make headlines with off feild activities and seldom with on field performance? He does not like people questioning his comittement. I have not seen comittment from him except in late 2005, so like it or not I am going to question his comittement and his larger than life attitude towards everything.

  • a on February 16, 2007, 23:02 GMT

    I think,hope & pray that the recent performances were all FAKES from the pakistan team. They are just trying to make everyone else believe in the fact that they are not a threat to any other team. This is all a game. When the WC begins, the REAL players will show up!!!!!! How I wish this was/is true. I hope it is.....I am so scared of watching the WC. In anycase, no matter what, at the end of the day, I always have and will be standing by the Pakistan Team......life is not fair most of the time.....cant do much or anything it either. May the best team win the WC (and I hope its the Pakistan Team).

  • Seemab on February 16, 2007, 22:52 GMT

    I agree with your point # 5 in particular. The shambles in Pakistan cricket has become a matter of disgrace for all of us. But anybody in the board seems less interested in taking any responsibility. I guess these high profile and highly paid positions in Pakistan cricket board needs some kind of accountibility, regardless of who they are connected with and who knows who.

  • i hate to say this on February 16, 2007, 22:33 GMT

    i don't know what has gone on, and although i doubt Shoiab akhtars behaviour and commitment to team unity, I hate to say PAKISTAN NEED HIM FOR THE WC

  • ReverseSwing on February 16, 2007, 22:27 GMT

    Audience..welcome to the latest episode of the soap opera called.."Paki Cricket". This reality show promises more drama, twists, turns, and suspense than a Bollywood flick. Don't forget to bring in your popcorn !!

  • Asim on February 16, 2007, 22:24 GMT

    Typical PCB fashion. Just when questions should have been asked a controversy pops up to deflect attention from the real issues. Tsk tsk tsk tsk. Another disappointment coming our way. Go Pakistan.

  • fahad ghous on February 16, 2007, 22:24 GMT

    there is a simple solution to all this. kick SHOIB AKHTER out of the squad for good .one man who is always the centre of attention most times than often is shoib .he is always the centre of controversy even though he hardly plays for the team because most times he has an injury excuse.being incredibly gifted does not at all give you the right to do what ever you want to do. playing for pakistan should be a privlege for you mr shoib, but if you dont realize that then i think its about time that somebody should make you realize that. i hope you read this and also the pakistan team management officials. its high time the pakistan management take control of this out of control player .fahad ghous

  • Usama Haque on February 16, 2007, 22:23 GMT

    I feel really sorry abt tht poor coach. no matter wht he does or he doesnt. someone thing awful comes out of it. i truly believe his misery sure be ended after world cup he's a good coach and if he want to keep coaching he can enjoy it somewhere else. its our stupidness we cant appreciate anyone whether its javed miandad or waqar. if circket is anywhere close to a professional level like nba nfl shoaib akhter should be aplying england nationalty to carry on his career. he's shame as media is pakistan never been a best team surely australia westindies or england were at there times plz treat us like 5-6 ranked team and everyone will be happy we r still on third.

  • Syed Irfan Ahmed on February 16, 2007, 22:22 GMT

    I was really surprised when I could'nt find a single entry about the racial comment issue. Where as I thought it to be a juicy subject and that every body with any kind of brush with it will try and jump onboard With a comment. Did'nt happen!!

    Where Kamran was a little tactfull in addressing the issue, I say why bother? I, who have been out of the country for 18 long years, been to a few places, have concluded that we are no less racist and abusers if more compared to some of the places and races that are famous for it. A fact about racism; a lot of people have only heard about it and never had a brush with it. Not every white man is a racist, in some cases black or brown people are found to be more racist then your rhetorical white man. I honestly dont think that Bob would have called Shoaib a 'blackie'. Although I have no love lost for Shoaib however he is on record saying that when the truth came out in the scans(about his injury) Bob came to him and apologized. But since this incident points at the time that was prior to this incident I think it is safe to assume that the argument/debate that got caught on TV was about Shoaib's commitment and may not have involved his color of skin or his nationality or any other subject of possible racial abuse.

    As every body knows that Shoaib's dossier may have some side bars that talk about a few past incident with questionable behaviour in terms of commitment. I dont think that even he will stoop so low as to do this kind of mudslingin and that somebody is deliberatley trying to malign the dressing room and poison the camradarie that was achieved by both Inzi and Bob after a long labour. Dawn should look twice and think twice before going ahead with this story which to both the participants is a thing of the past.

  • Whitey on February 16, 2007, 22:20 GMT

    WHy would a racist take on the job of managing a bunch of pakistanio players? Must be one sadistic fella, if Bob is a racist, which i doubt he is.

    I believe all this is an unnecessary distraction from from what really matters, and thats the preparation of the team before the cup. Once again this non sense takes centre stage over cricket, and once again its that idiot Shoaib at the centre of it. Why dont we just get rid of him once and for all, see if anyone really cares! Mohd Asif Zaindabad!

  • Sajid on February 16, 2007, 22:17 GMT

    You are right Kamran, as usual. Just when you feel that the Pak team can't go much lower they leave you stunned by pushing the barrier. I feel that Shoaib's position in the team, whilst Inzi and Bob are in charge, has now become untenable. It's a big big shame since he is the one that has given the Pak team a real edge over the last couple of years. Now, I can't see them kissing and making up after this one. I feel it is probably time for Bob and Inzi to step down and let somebody else take over. I think this is the only way that the team can move forward. Shame really.

  • Arsalan Butt on February 16, 2007, 22:12 GMT

    You never know what rage can do to your rationality. You blurt out things that you never meant to. That being said, Woolmer doesn't strike me as a racist. Like majority, I have seen Bob Woolmer in interviews or other TV footages only. But from multiple first hand experiences of racism and discrimination, Woolmer doesn't seem like a racist character at all!

  • Ahmed Dilawer on February 16, 2007, 22:05 GMT

    It's hard to say what happened something might have been said in the heat of moment, but I dont think Bob Woolmer is the type of person who would say something like that. I dont like the fact that shoaib is bringing up this issue just before the world cup last thing we need is another controversy, we gotta world cup to win.

  • Azam Malik on February 16, 2007, 22:04 GMT

    A blackie? I wasnt aware that an archaic words such as that was still in circulation in the 21st century.

    They say there is no smoke without fire but why is that the smoke ALWAYS emanates from Shoaib Akhtar.

    This is becoming very tedious and boring Shoaib - Put up or shut up.

  • rohail on February 16, 2007, 21:56 GMT

    The situation keeps on getting worse. It is almost as if there is no concept of professionalism or even common sense. Every month some new drama emerges that makes you wonder why is it that these people can't seem to get along?

    Other teams have super stars with egos bigger than China as well but at least they don't dish it out in public. There are some underlying reasons that I am unable to comprehend. Do the players and everyone else involved need to be educated a bit more? Perhaps a class or two on manners and how to conduct yourself in public? Or is just the desi melodrama mentality to blame? Whatever the case, I'm embarrassed.

  • Owais on February 16, 2007, 21:41 GMT

    I dont think Bob has said that. I do feel Bob could have said something nasty but do you think he be responding to Shoaib Akhter's reciting some zikr from tasbeeh ???? ofcourse we saw what Shoaib is capable of saying and doing and only picking on Bob only highlights that fact that our sports correspondents feel Shoaib is extremely important for the team given the poor fitness of all our leading fast bowlers. Another point is that unfortunately most of our correspondents would write a bad report if you do not give them the "respect" they deserve. In a way blackmailing. Regarding the quality of Dawn, its basics PIPO "pessimism in pessimism out" kind of a newspaper, in a way reflecting our national past time of talking negative.

    Why dont people agree that PCB's stance about Shoaib was vindicated when he broke down after 11 overs in second test match. PCB was saying all along that he was not match fit. He was sent under extreme pressure from critics.

    Having said that, I am at loss how Rana and Akmal could make it to the final fifteen. Kaneria will be useless if Akmal is the keeper, maybe this indicates that poor chap Kaneria will mostly be at the sidelines through the world cup. Have Moin and/or Latif in the team. Zulqarnain needs time. Akmal needs a kick (you know where).

    Finally I belive Shahrayar Khan was the right man to lead PCB. Nasim Ashraf seems to be a jerk at best. He takes control of PCB and next day reinstates our impetuous vice captain (then captain) younis khan who should actually have been punished. We can see that impetuousness in Younis Khan's batting as well, when he is well set and then chases a wide delivery to give away his wicket to opposition in a platter. After Champion's trophy debacle, he gives enough reason to Waqar Younis to leave the setup, one badly handled telephone call did the trick. His blunt and arrogant stance has been his hallmark.

  • Mohammad Athar Hameed on February 16, 2007, 21:41 GMT

    I have met Bob, when he was in Australia. He is very nice man. I refuse to believe that he is racist. He should take legal action against the newspaper. But I would advise BOB to wait till end of the World Cup.

  • Usman bajwa, Islamabad on February 16, 2007, 21:38 GMT

    This is the last thing Pakistan cricket needed. Alas, such a sorry tale is what we all have to

  • Pappu Baten on February 16, 2007, 21:35 GMT

    Kamran Bhai,

    I think the only way we can fix the performance mediocrity and this constant stupidity in the Pakistan Cricket team is through educating our cricketer's the value of how to be a professional cricketer. Those who knows how to carry oneself on and off the field and one who takes pride in representing it's country. We should also introduce an accountability based pay and performance system as the current system pays you whether you fail or succeed in any given game. For example if they play a 5 match one day series and end up losing 3 or 4 games then the board should cut their match fee by 25% for each loss. This way they will take a hit in their pocket and wil get their lazy ass to work each and every game.This will also prevent them from taking their place in the team for granted and will enable talented youngsters to compete for a place in the national team.

    Thanks,

    Pappu Baten

  • MLA on February 16, 2007, 21:34 GMT

    You are absolutely correct Mr. Abbasi. Some heads should roll. My wishlist, and I know it can only be a wish list is as follows: 1. Bring in Imran Khan as the head of PCB. He commands power and respect in the cricketing world and is politically astute enough to know what to say if anything has to be said and when to keep his mouth shut 2. Reduce Inzi to the great batsman that he is. He is not a captain and not in crisis at all. 3. Yousus Khan should become the captain. Because he knows when to put pressure on the opposition and how to uplift the spirits of his team in a game and other tricks in a captain's bag. 4. Bring in Aamir Sohail as the cheif selector. Because he knows when to axe and when to axe. Remember the axing of all the senior players when they stopped performing which was a good omen to bring in youngsters like Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal and Dansh Kaneria. 5. Finally - a warning to all players especially Shoaib to adhere to strict discipline or face exit from the team period. We can do without a "Shoaib" but we can not do with indiscipline. After all great players have been replaced by other great players in the past.

  • aamer on February 16, 2007, 21:31 GMT

    i dont think Bob would say such words to one of his players but i do think there is some friction in the camp regarding Shoieb and Inzy. when someone has too much power they can abuse it Has power corrupted Inzy? i hope not, if he is messing about with Shoieb then he is hurting Pakistan cricket. i hope we see some changes after the world cup. If the friction is regarding Shoieb's private life then its nothing to do with Inzy. its good that everyones praying togather(its better then drinking togther) which has probably helped the team but if someone chose not to then its their problem not Inzys, i hope the friction is not regarding religion because its not upto inzy to judge, thats upto Allah. he should stick to cricket because thats what he's paied for. only thing iam concerned about is whats best for Pakistan cricket not Shoibe's private life. i pray all the players are fit and bring home the world cup Insallah.

    aamer

  • Maj.Shujaat Awan on February 16, 2007, 21:30 GMT

    Tell u wat,this character,we know as SHOAIB AKHTAR,is a BLOODY INSULT to all nation.He is crickter and I wish he would have dilivered as much in cricket field as has he delivered in sparking CONTOVERSIES.Every time Pakistan needed his services in the field, where he is OVER PAYED,every time he RAN AWAY on one pretext or the other.I dont know Mr.Shoaib weather Bob Woolmer has made those remarks about u or not but wat i do know is that unlike u,HE HAS REMAINED SOLELY ATTATCHED WITH OUR CRICKET DESPITE UNABATTED"LEG PULLING" BY THOUSNADS LIKE U.Here few people can say that Wolmer didnt do us any favor,He was being paid for it,true,he surely has been paid but then paid was SHOAIB AKHTAR too,y he didnt do the job he was"over" paid for?I could have understood if BOB WOLMER had adopted the attitude shoaib is adopting for Wolmer is an English but what excuse can we have for Shoaib,who claims to be DIE HEARTD PAKISTANI?Is this what a Pakistani should do when the MOST PRESTIGIOUS EVENT of the game is around the cornor?Shoaib,is this the reward u r giving to this nation who has broken their hands for clapping for u?Is this ur PAY BACK to this nation which has spent AN UNBELIEVEABLE amount of EFFORTS AND MONEY on ur treatment and to get u clear of suspect bowling action?Let me remind u Shoaib that PAKISTAN CRICKET is not because of u,instead,its u who is because of the PAKISTAN CRICKET,but imagine what have u given us on the eve of WORLD CUP,INSULT,WORRIES and UNREST.We,as a nation,have taken enough of ur NONSENSE AND UNPATRIOTIC ACTS,We can take them no more.I know neither DR.ASHRAF nor MR SALEEM ILTAF has the courage to lay their hands on u for they too r SAFARSHI and UNDESERVING like u,but I,as a soldier,GIVE MY WORD OF HONOR to u that even if the whole world relly behind u against WOLMER,I will do all it takes to FIGHT and FIGHT HARD TO A BITTER END to get WOLMER's shoulder rid of the monkey,we know as SHOAIB.In the end,i would like to request Mr.Kamran Abbasi that if he has contact number of WOLMER,he may plz mail it to me on my mailing address.I will be realy obliged.

  • Ahsun Qureshi on February 16, 2007, 21:30 GMT

    Embarassed for sure.. Sitting in Canada and reading stuff on Pakistan cricket day after day after day is taking away from love of the game.. Now Mr Woolmer has been brought into the mix. I highly doubt he would say such a thing. The service he has done Pakistan Cricket during his time with the team has just been brought to naught by the media no less. What is more, Pakistan Cricket is becoming...no has become, the laughing stock of the game. As for Shoaib, well hero at one turn, villian at another. I hope he gets his act together before it is really too late for him. whatever happened to the new look Shoaib of 2005?

  • aamer on February 16, 2007, 21:26 GMT

    i dont think Bob would say such words to one of his players but i do think there is some friction in the camp regarding Shoieb and Inzy. when someone has too much power they can abuse it Has power corrupted Inzy? i hope not, if he is messing about with Shoieb then he is hurting Pakistan cricket. i hope we see some changes after the world cup. If the friction is regarding Shoieb's private life then its nothing to do with Inzy. its good that everyones praying togather(its better then drinking togther) which has probably helped the team but if someone chose not to then its their problem not Inzys, i hope the friction is not regarding religion because its not upto inzy to judge, thats upto Allah. he should stick to cricket because thats what he's paied for. only thing iam concerned about is whats best for Pakistan cricket not Shoibe's private life. i pray all the players are fit and bring home the world cup Insallah.

    aamer

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 16, 2007, 21:25 GMT

    ME too, when I read that news in DAWN, I was shocked about Woolmer, Shoaib, the level of journalism and also whether anyone from PCB would be taking the responsibility (to cut the crap)?

    I don't know anyone of them personally, but Woolmer appears from his interviews on TV is a cool headed person, whereas Shoaib appears aggressive and wayword, just like his bowling and also very deceptive and ambitious, and for him his pride and vanity is everything. Earlier there was a report about them fighting in India in a coach (bus) and then it was revealed that the security guard cooked up the whole story or fabricated it and blown it out of proportion. I don't know if Dawn newspaper can publish such a story without any sufficient back up, proof and evidence, they may do so, if Shoaib or any of his close buddies have passed on that information to them. I would have straight away rejected the whole story if it was coming from their sports writer Mr. R.S. or it was Jung's Mr. I. L. Both of them especially the later has a tendency of adding, fabricating, distorting and big mouthing and to substantiate their comments and statements they can stoop low and write anything.

    Anyways, it is indeed really sad that Pakistan team cannot focus on the game and always are in some kinda mess and instead of their game being talked about the question of morality and ethics is being questioned. I would like to take a break from reading such reports till the WC. Good luck and best wishes to you ALL.

  • ahsan chaudhry on February 16, 2007, 21:25 GMT

    I believe that bob would have never made such a comment. He is a nice guy and i admire his ethical values on and off the field. And i can never trust any newspaper whatsoever. They are all about making money and selling their product with some masala.

  • Mat on February 16, 2007, 21:13 GMT

    Oh dear here we go again. Is shoab akhtar playing race card to discradit Bob? its very easy to have your own people to act as sources to put some story to the papers. Here is a pakistan TEAM PLAYER asking for captain and couch to apologise or face the liable. Ban him for life for GOD sake. Release him to spend more time clubbing, drinking and going after girls. I am sure Bob cant wait to the end of world cup to get out of this mess. As a Uk resident I do pretty well know how our people play race card to hide their shortcomings. Can, we paying public sue shoab for not playing well in many matches or faking injury (isn't this cheating us). I would never expect bob woolmer to be racist, he has done so much coaching in black areas in south africa. If he was racist, why would he accept Pakistan coaching job. He wasn't jobless at tht time. Being white doesn't mean you are automatically racist. If we look into ourselves we are more racist to Bob for blaming him for everything Pakistan tean does because he is a foreigner.No one is bigger then the team and thats what Bob tried to tell pakistani players and players like Shoab find it hard to swallow. Ban him for life please he is more embarassement then pakistan's performance in the one day series.

  • Raafay Zakaullah on February 16, 2007, 21:03 GMT

    Bob woolmer would never say such thing, i think Dawn should rethink on their "blackie" post amd eventually apologize to Bob ..... big time.

  • guymed from NYC on February 16, 2007, 21:00 GMT

    Well its He said, She said thing. Its ones word against the other, I dont know who to believe.

  • Zafar on February 16, 2007, 20:56 GMT

    Simple solution. Get rid of Shoaib. It's time to play real CRICKET. It's time that we bring forth our young talent and give them a chance. Get rid of this cancer.

  • Omer Admani on February 16, 2007, 20:55 GMT

    Shoaib Akhter supposedly is going to take legal action against Inzamam and Woolmer unless they apologize. Apparently Inzamam-and-Woolmer's behavior toward Shoaib isn't described in detail, though I remember the spat during the second test. For all I thought, then, Akhter was acting in the most indecent way. Can someone substantiate on Shoaib's claim that he wasn't treated all that well by Woolmer and Inzamam? This is really unwanted at this point in time. The only time Pakistani team doesn't bicker is when they are actually doing something; too much inaction stifles reason and results in cricket Pakistan.

  • Shoaib K Malik on February 16, 2007, 20:53 GMT

    You are being way too diplomatic on this Kamran. You have to take a stand either Bob's a racist or he is not. If he is not, all well and fine, but you cant be saying that you cant take a stand just because you happen to know Bob and Dawn personally. Hey, this is a blog for christ sake, it is meant to have spicy rumours to keep us entertained. Now tell me, do you think Bob is racist? I know what my stand is on this whole thing! do you know what yours is : )

  • Awais on February 16, 2007, 20:47 GMT

    Yeah I agree, Pakistan cricket has been in a proper turmoil since Dr Ashraf took over. I don't know what this man is upto but the sooner he leaves the better for Pakistan cricket!

  • Rizwan on February 16, 2007, 20:45 GMT

    This is not what Pakistan need right now. At the time when the coach should be spending time with players and making them mentally strong(they desperatly need to be) for the world cup.

    we find our selves in a middle of another controversy.

    the focus of the players keeps shifting because of events off the field.

    I don't know bob personally, but i am a big fan of him and read his articles and i find it hard to believe that he would us a racist remark against some one.

  • Saad Khan on February 16, 2007, 20:36 GMT

    Dont we have enough problems with our team already. How can a coach concentrate on preparing his team for the biggest tournament in cricket while he is thinking about his legal options for being called a "racist" by the most respectable newspaper in Pakistan. Did Woolmer really said it or was it a deliberate attempt by some anti-Woolmer elements in our team to disrepute him at this time, we probably will never know. All I want to ask is when will this downward spiral that our team is going through gonna end. Enough is enough.

  • cb fry on February 16, 2007, 20:34 GMT

    this whole thing is so ridiculous. of course woolmer is not racist.

    the sports editor of the dawn should lose his job for this. his "source" either has a vested interest, or is simply a loony. if shoaib akhtar or inzy heard this alleged comment, then i'm sure they would come out and say.

    stupid journalism from what is supposed to be a serious paper. embarrassing. God help us.

  • Imran Tahir - Toronto on February 16, 2007, 20:31 GMT

    If the journalistic ethics and norms allow the newspaper, DAWN, I believe it should come out clean by naming the source of this information and let PCB deal with the issue. This is putting an esteemed newspaper of our country in a bad repute here and an action should be taken at once to rectify the matter before this gets any uglier.

  • fayZuNn on February 16, 2007, 20:22 GMT

    well........i certainly do not agree with u that the sports editor of "Dawn" would not have pblished something stupid like this without definite proof....and if he has done something like that then God help him for making such a useless racket.....

  • Asad H on February 16, 2007, 20:20 GMT

    Bob is an outstanding coach and a fantastic guy. He is extremely popular with the Pakistani public and even the fickle Pakistani cricket fans talk about Bob with unanimous respect. England can really be proud of him as he is a great ambassador for his country of origin.

    Somebody at Dawn should lose their job for publishing this unfounded rumour. Dawn needs to publish an apology ASAP. I'm sure Bob will take it in his stride as he has dealt with enough palace intrigues already with the Pakistani team.

    You rock Bob! Everybody is on your side on this one.

  • Fawad on February 16, 2007, 20:20 GMT

    Personally, I believe this is bunch of baloney and noting more then to disgrace national coach. It may be Shoaib or someone who's left off the world cup squad. It's such a shame that Pakistan Cricket is suffering from continous scandals and nobody is ready to take responsiblity. I persoanlly suggest. Mr. Ashraf to return to New York and stick with watching Yankees, as he has no clue whatsoever about the dilemma Pakistan Cricket is facing at the moment.

  • saba on February 16, 2007, 20:20 GMT

    i dont read Dawn and i dont know about the authencity of any such racist comments.....all i know is that racism in a sport that i love, really hurts..

    if Dawn's true about the racist comments,well..!!! i dont even wanna say a word about it csz i,ve had enough of controversies of pak-crik.....C'mon sombody put a stopper!!!

  • anwar ,los angeles on February 16, 2007, 20:19 GMT

    kamran bhai, i doubt it, but any thing can happen in the heat of a moment,we all know that shoaib and woolmer have their differences,since woolmer demanded shoaib to cut down his run up....they been an odd couple.....bob woolmers job was to destroy shoaib's career as a fastest bowler in the world, and he been very succesful in that so far.GORAA's are very happy with him getting "rid "of shoaib before "world cup" as a threat to their batsmen, as everyone knows that a fit shoaib can rout any cricket team in a matter of few overs....and if bob woolmer did try to provoke shoaib by calling him " names".i can under stand it...lets hope it is not true.

  • george on February 16, 2007, 20:17 GMT

    World cup preperations, Pakistan style.Take a politically appointed board add a bunch of "injured" unfit players,a constantly changing line up,poorly motivated demoralized "team", with possible doping charges against players,highly disruptive "stars" like Shoab Akhtar,mix and shake and throw them onto a cricket field and pray that they exit early,first or second round to avoid any build up of exprctations!Incidentally Shoab Akhtar,s place in Pakistan cricket with his nack for disruption and dissention has to be unique even in this dissension prone bunch.

  • Hasan Jafar on February 16, 2007, 20:13 GMT

    My gut feeling is Bob Woolmer would not say something so racist and stupid. Having said that, I wonder why can't Shoaib Akhtar coroborate or deny Dawn's report about the racist comments and the reported piece that he will sue both Bob and Inzi if they don't apologize?

  • Asif Saeed on February 16, 2007, 20:11 GMT

    I think our cricket team is quite capable of creating contoversy. I don't think a paper needs to contribute anymore. When you think that we have slumped low enough that there is no way but up...something else pops up. Will somebody please knock some sense into PCB and Pakistanis in general. We have less then a month left in WC. Get your SHIT together.

  • A Z Khan on February 16, 2007, 20:07 GMT

    Another well written and insightful piece, and point NO.5 is think is the most, well, poigniant. What is it about well respected, honest and decent people, such as the current and past two PCB chairmen, that makes them turn into incompitent, rude, immature gits when they take over the top spot? I've drank the water and had the tea at Gaddafi Stadium on numerous occaisions, and I haven't changed, so we can discount that old theory. But seriuosly, if anyone wants to lose all self respect, apply for the post of PCB Chairman.

  • Ash Zed on February 16, 2007, 20:01 GMT

    I don’t know if Bob said something or not but I know one thing for sure that Shoaib does deserve any statement similar to that. Ever since he got into Pak team, his non-cricketing ‘’achievements’’ have always been more prominent than his on the field achievements.

    However, I would still not blame him. The truth is he has not been handled in the right manner by the captain. When he was under Wasim, Shoiab always delivered but Inzi failed to get any thing positive out of Shoaib.

    Coming to Woolmer-Shoaib episode, I think Woolmer has one of the toughest jobs on this planet. Coaching the bunch fanatics who are hardly interested to learn anything from BW is certainly very difficult. So if BW says something, it should not be taken in any negative manner.

    Secondly, we all know BW assignment with Pak team would be over just after WC 2007. Lets say goodbye to him in a graceful manner. Although Pakistani nation does not give any respect to any outgoing officials (no mater if it is cricket or politics or any other walk of life………….please take note that except the founder of our nation, Mr. Jinnah, ALL other head of the government since 1948 have been kicked out with all possible disrespect)

    Lets break this tradition and DO NOT start any debate on BW. He has done too much for us and we should always be grateful to him.

  • Mohtashim Abbas on February 16, 2007, 19:58 GMT

    When Is It Enough? I agree with you, Pakistan Cricket's stupidity knows no bounds. It's clear to see that the wheels are coming off and so are the gloves. I am stunned to read day after day Pakistanis going after Bob. He might not be the best we ever had, but he is definitely better then the most we've had. We were no where in ICC rankings but now we have a respectable ranking. Inspite of the fact that none of our players ever reflect playing for the 3rd best team in the world. When will the selectors realise that Shoaib Akhtar is a PROBLEM. Always has been and will continue to be, for heaven's sake he must have played under 5 different captains in his career and if you asked each of them off-the-record they would confess that he is NOT a team player. Just drop him and be done with all his on and off the field nonsense. Inzimam might have a "calming" effect on his charges but since the England Tour he has failed continuously to Inspire. World Cup matches are more about unleashing on slaughts rather then soothing;cool;calmness. I am afraid his style of management is ill suited to a world cup campaign, but guess what? too late. We are as ill prepared for this world cup as any we have ever been. PCB heads use fancy words, take bizzare decisions in selections and always dig a hole for themself. I dont have any expectations from the World Cup :(

  • Issam Ahmed on February 16, 2007, 19:49 GMT

    The Dawn's had it in for Bob Woolmer for sometime. Something of a personal vendetta developed between him and one of their writers, which came up time and again in the Q&A section on his website. There is no way in hell Bob would ever say that if you look at his upbringing and history. He literally marvels at Pakistani culture, immerses himself totally in it and writes article after article praising its merits. This shows up the lack of media accountability and lack of libel laws in Pakistan. I hope there is a way for him to sue and to win. You say the Editor is your mate, Kamran - is this why you don't advocate the axe for him?

  • Javaid Abbasi on February 16, 2007, 19:49 GMT

    We really need to find out the truth. It is PCB's responsibility to do so and do so fast. It is a serious allegation and needs to be clarified. I would also take this opportunity to ask a question that has been in my mind for a long time: why do we pick coaches from foreign countries? Are our former cricketers not good enough? We have the likes of Javaid Miandad, Imran Khan, Asif Iqbal, the two W's, and many others to pick from. One other thing: if any of our cricketers cannot speak English why can't they do their interview in Urdu and an interpreter can then translate their responses into English. This way the cricketers would not be put in an uncomfortable position and they would be able to express all of their thoughts without any hinderance. As things stand right now, I find a lot of our cricketers struggling to answer questions posed to them, and, consequently unable to completely express all of their thoughts and I feel sorry for them. It is not a shame if you don't know English. Lastly, for Pakistan to have any chances of taking the World Cup, the following team will need to be picked - and all of the players will need to stay injury-free - with no inside fighting and back-stabbing.

  • Syed Danish on February 16, 2007, 19:47 GMT

    I don't know Bob Woolmer, but I don't think he's stupid enough to say such a thing. I think it's all nonsense and Dawn has made it a big issue. If any one should be any actions it should be against Dawn for their pitty thinking. World cup is not even a month away, and that's all Pakistani team and coach should worry about.

  • Tanveer Imam, from Pennsylvania, U.S.A. on February 16, 2007, 19:43 GMT

    Pakistani cricket has enough irregularity and one need not invoke racism. Bob woolmer is an experienced campaigner and coming out of South Africa I cannot imagine him using racist remarks. Racist or not, I am sure he is well aware of race relationships. Hence it is very difficult to believe that he used those words publically. Coming back to irregularities, the contradictions in the statements of Woolmer and South African authorities needs to be clarified. That by itself puts a heavy toll on Bob's credibility. His inabilty to find an opening pair for Pakistan, and after all the trials and errors, picking Imran Nazir for the world cup campaign makes me believe that he may not be a racist but sure has a bizarre way of thinking.

  • Wasiq on February 16, 2007, 19:43 GMT

    It's is never ending cycle with Pakistan cricket! I am tempted to follow Kabaddi more often than watching these monthly soap operas of Pakistan cricket. If i wasn't embarrassed the way Pakistan lost the series from SA then i am certainly feeling that way with such stories coming out of Pakistan.

    I would like to request Prez. Busharraf to simply ban this sport as we certainly don't deserve this beautiful game.

  • Arif Younus on February 16, 2007, 19:41 GMT

    In total agreement with you Sir once again . The only question I have as far as heads to be rolled is concerned :

    Q) How to approach this ISSUE if it is revealed that SHOAIB is actually claiming this ?

    He(shoaib),never had a HEAD (or anything close to it) . What will roll in this case ?? Its got to be this express which runs bi-annually .

  • Azim Khan on February 16, 2007, 19:40 GMT

    What a big joke. There is no way Bob Woolmer would have said "blackie". It makes no sense to say that. Somebody is cooking this up. If he had to say something he would have said: Paki or something like that.. saying blackie makes no sense.. as it is not a word that is used in south africa or england as far as i know.. so just the term "blackie" makes it unlikely that he said it.. moreover, he doesn't come across at all as somebody who could say something racist...

  • Abbas Reza on February 16, 2007, 19:39 GMT

    I could hear the collective groans of over 160 million people as the news spread. I could also hear the restrained mirth of the rest of the cricketing world. Here we go again. So utterly disgusted with how things are handled by this regime that we affectionately call the ad-hoc administration of Cricket Pakistan. Do we have to do our dirty laundry in public. They have the concept of transparency all wrong. The things that need to be transparent are all shrouded in mystery and the things that need to be quietly snuffed are all out in the open.

    I have no sympathy for Shoaib what so ever. If the PCB had spent a 5th of what they have spent on Shoaib so far on any other fast bowling talent, they would have had a world class bowler today who actually did represent the country and not himself. Its time they very unceremoniously did away with this enormous liability and spent their resources on grooming someone with less of an attitude and more talent.

  • Jibran Baig on February 16, 2007, 19:34 GMT

    well, no matter how much you know about the editors of Subcontinental Newspapers; there is no guarantee of what you read in there. Than again so far what ever news has risen from the Cricket in Pakistan has its angles. The only thing that is a fact is PCB has made a mess of it; there is no disciplane any where; no control; no accountability. It has been getting worse since the days of Tauqir Zia. It is time they incur some professionalism. Otherwise the cricket will always survive; but forget about being a world beater.

  • Tanweer Abbas on February 16, 2007, 19:31 GMT

    I also find it hard to believe that Bob would use such language but then, you sometimes say things you cant believe you did, when you are angry!!!

    If Dawn says, they will stand by the article than they must have an inside source to back up the claim. Shoaib unfortunately is less credible hence most people would like to believe the other party.

    Bob has been with the team for quite sometime now and players who were struggling to get into the side due to lack of technique are still struggling. I do not think we have one player who was struggling 3/4 years ago and now has a permanent spot in the side.

    On a different note, barring a miracle, a world cup disaster is on the cards and I hope we will see some changes in the team and administration structure soon, just like after the last world cup.

    I am a religious person myself but I have a feeling that too many decisions (selections) are being made on the basis of religion instead of performance. I think this situation is no different from the time when most of us suspected match fixing.

    The world cup cause is almost gone and I hope we fix our problems sooner rather than later.

    Tanweer from Toronto.

  • suleman on February 16, 2007, 19:27 GMT

    As if everything that went on before was not enough, now we have a team member threating to sue the coach and the captain! Where is Pakistan cricket going? That too just a month away from the World Cup. There is need, after the World Cup, for heads to roll. PCB, domestic cricket, selection committe and the team needs drastic changes. Find good, young cricketers, who have been away from the current muck, and groom them for the next world cup.

  • gl on February 16, 2007, 19:21 GMT

    Don't rule out the possiblilty that one of the players interpreted the conversation incorrectly and blurped it out to the newsmen. Since our players know no bounds to stupidity either on the field or off this is quite possible.

    Frankly Shoaib dosen't deserve to be in the team and given his past attitude can't really blame Woolmer for suspecting him.

    Pakistan is exactly where they were before the 2003 WC - disarray and on-field thrashings....I'll be surprised if they are in the hunt beyond the first week of April.

  • Mansoor on February 16, 2007, 19:20 GMT

    Apologies are not common in Pakistani papers. At best I hope that this dies down quickly before the World Cup. Otherwise Woolmer might be considering taking up 'offers' for coaching right afterwards. The last thing we need is for the coach of the currently distraut team to leave under these circumstances...

  • Talal Hasan on February 16, 2007, 19:20 GMT

    Oh please this is the most preposterous story I have heard. STOP MAKING BOB A PARIAH! I can't believe that Kamran has even contemplated that the DAWN of all newspapers may be right.

    SOME HOW I DOUBT IT!!!!!!!!

  • waj on February 16, 2007, 19:19 GMT

    its times like these which remind us why Pakistan is a third world country(everyone blaming and no one taking responsibility).

  • Sami Syed from Toronto on February 16, 2007, 19:18 GMT

    I would like to think that this is just someone trying to stir up, yet another contraversy.

    Obviously, I don't know the two people involved personally as Kamran Sahab does, however, I would like to point out that in that dressing room, besides the coach (woolmer) and maybe the fitness trainer, everyone else was mostly a Pakistani. And if Woolmer made such a comment it would hurt not just Akhter but every other Pakistani in there.

    Anyway, to make a long point short, I highly doubt WOOLMER made that statement. And if he was a racist then he wouldn't coach Pakistan. And for those who think that he is there because of money, well I highly doubt that as well, cause he could have got a job anywhere else, and next year is line for coaching the England team.

    A serious accusation in deed, but baseless, for god sakes the guy tries to learn Urdu so he can better coach the players.

    As far as the author is concerned from Dawn, well he may be a good guy but I guess he doesn't have a sound judgment of reliable sources.

    I will agree with you KAMRAN, that the whole of PCB should be overturned and it should start from scratch. Bunch of incompetent BAFOONS!!!

    Sami Syed

  • kulfi on February 16, 2007, 19:08 GMT

    i think it is really pathetic. why would he wana say that any way and hope shoib plays world cup his is a match winner we need him but i dont thin pak will win but they have got a chance and what is going wrong with the aussies

  • Usman on February 16, 2007, 18:57 GMT

    Even though i do not really think Bob should be Pakistan's coach, but i dont beleive that he said this. He is not that sort of a person and the accuser should have really thought before accusing him. I think Bob has every right to go to the court. What example are we setting as Pakistanis? I think the newspaper should apologize for that. Secondly if the player has a problem with the management, he should contact the board not the newspapers. Because at the end of the day, it is the country's image which is tarnished. If the players dont feel comfortable with the current board setup, then there is a problem with in the board. As said in my previous comment history is repeating itself. I can bet they wont find any other coach after the world cup than Javed Miandad, Intikhab Alam, Mushtaq Mohammad or Haroon Rashid. I will be surprised if they find someone else. And i wont be surpised either if they recall Moin Khan after the world cup and make him the captain to "rebuild the team". Like all other things in our country, cricket is the same. Everything goes around the circle and back to square one!!!!

  • Qasir Nasir khan on February 16, 2007, 18:57 GMT

    I believe that Bob would never say such a thing. Also I would never ever Trust Shoaib. This guy needs to learn some manners and then talk. Let the poor guy do his Job.

  • Karim on February 16, 2007, 18:56 GMT

    This whole mess is created by Inzi. Since he became the captain he has been against Shoaib. One thing Inzi is unaware of is that without shoaib we can't win against Australia, England, SAF and Kiwis. Inzi is really poor at man management skills. If I was the captain I would try and accomodate shoib in whatever way possible for national interest. Lets hope someone sits down with all 3 of them and sorts it out. We dont want any anamosity in the WC. We have enough problems as it is. PAKISTAN ZINDABAD !

  • Disgruntled Pakistani on February 16, 2007, 18:51 GMT

    I may not be a big fan of some of the decisions Woolmer (apparently) makes, but that guy is no racist. If he really was, he would have never lasted for so long.

  • Furhad Yaqubian on February 16, 2007, 18:50 GMT

    Shoaib Akhtar is at it again. A person known for his excess indiscretions in the past is just trying to conjure up sympathy amongst the very few supporters he has left. If Bob Woolmer had racist tendencies he would not have accepted the Pakistan coaching job - coaching a troubled team from a troubled nation - that has always been over rated but under achieved. Bob Woolmer did Pakistan a favour and this the payback he receives from Shoaib Akhtar? Woolmer is an excellent coach but unfortunately his advice has fallen on a bunch of characters who either do not understand plain English, or too stupid to listen and learn. Maybe the PCB should have also recruited an English to Punjabi translator so that Woolmer's message got across loud and clear. I am willing to bet Woolmer must now be counting the days for his coaching contract with Pakistan to come to an end.

    This current team under Inzamam's captaincy is going nowhere. It may even be wise to stay at home and donate the cost of going to the World Cup in the Caribbean to the Kashmir Earthquake Relief Fund - where it will perhaps receive more value for money.

    This team is a disgrace to the traditions of Pakistan cricket, which at one time was held in high esteem throughout the World. The current team of scruffy looking characters (Afridi, Mo Yo, Shabbir) led by the Caliph Inzi has disgraced Pakistan by the way they played first in England, the Champions Trophy in India (Inzi did not play) and in South Africa. Inzi's regular rants during post match conferences have become the butt of jokes throughout the cricketing world. The current one circulating is " Bismillah Rahman - e - Rahim, thanks to Allah we do NOT know how to play cricket". Why has this idiot brought religion into cricket? Is he trying to portray that ONLY Pakistan cricketers follow God and Islam. If that is the case, then even God seems to be pissed off with this bunch of losers as well? The Wahabism that has crept into the team is very evident by the way they carry themselves, their uncouth demeanour and above all trying to seek divine blessing for their inadequate performances. Rana Naveed as a bowler is a joke and yet he is picked for the World Cup? How do Hafeez, Razzak and Imran Nazir justify selection for this all-important tournament? Something is wrong and I sure would like to know what is?

    Other teams have progressed, but Pakistan has progressively regressed. There seems to be no accountability or responsibility for bad performance except the word " Inshalla, by the Grace of Allah we will perform better next time”. Inzi got Mustaq Ahmed another Taliban type - the bowling coach job and the results are fairly evident for all to see. When will Pakistan ever learn? The field placing is so bad that they leak singles and boundaries with regular repetition match after match. It is time to boot Inzi out, get the team to shave, play and act like cricketers who go all out to win and do Pakistan proud. This Allah, namaz, Hajj, doa, roza and the rest will NOT do - but playing with a straight bat, intelligent bowling, proper team selection and smart field placing will.

    It is very frustrating to all who support Pakistan to watch its cricket team in total disarray. I firmly believe it is still NOT too late to get the boys motivated and surprise a lot of people who have written Pakistan off. If no action is taken immediately then the matches with Ireland and Zimbabwe will be interesting to watch.

    Furhad Yaqubian Toronto, Canada.

  • Qasim Zaidi on February 16, 2007, 18:49 GMT

    now thats risible or laudable...or i dono wat to call it...it came at the time when pakistan team needed support from the country's media, instead the leading newspaper has turned into a paparazzi tabloid & is publishing rigmarole stories just to earn some coppers or perhaps the lost loyalty of its readers.

    if shoaib really seeks apology NOW (after a month this whole drama) then it means just one thing...he doesnt want to participate in the world cup & wants out of it in any way...perhaps hes afraid of the drug test that will be done in a couple of days....or perhaps like always he wants to live in the news not becuz of his performance on the field but for his controversies off the field....after all according to Eric Bishoff "controversy creates cash".

    i have always been shoaib's fan but watever has come to pass lately...im just getting sick & tired of all this specially when inzi is there to frustrate the whole nation with his antics & lack of wisdom.

    timing of this episode of PCB ever-going controversies is very damaging for the already down-crested pakistan team. if dawn cant improve the quality of its news anymore then they shud atleast try not to become a sub-standard paparazzi tabloid.

  • Zeeshan Khamisani on February 16, 2007, 18:46 GMT

    I find it very hard to swallow the presumption that Bob Woolmer is a racist. This man has been associated with (excuse my verbiage) a “brown” team for the last few years. His behavior, as seen in the video footage during games, practice sessions and press conferences is very decent and warm towards his (excuse my verbiage again) “brown” team. He has been a part of a cricket set up that is most volatile, unreliable and temperamental. Nevertheless, he has stuck to his job and over the years, has managed to understand and absorb the complexities of the Pakistan team. He appears to have actually become almost like family to the team.

    On the other hand, we have Shoaib. No doubt in my mind I think he is a great cricketer and absolutely vital to the success of the team. Even so, he has maintained his reputation as being volatile, impulsive and moody. So much so that even his genuine injuries (which have become more and more frequent) are now being translated into disobedience and are thus a destructive influence on the team’s chemistry. For his sake, all I can hope is that this reputation that has been built around him changes by a collective effort. Otherwise, I fear that he will be dispensed with,

    Lastly, Dawn, our most reliable newspaper. I don’t reside in Pakistan anymore but I still browse through Dawn.com every morning. I can only hope that the sports editor revalidate his source and actually play the role of a mediator and calm the situation. A complete and united Pakistan team (inclusive of Shoaib and Woolmer) is more important than any source, allegation or for that matter, an unnecessary out burst.

    My brain agrees with you Kamran, “heads will roll”, but my heart wants this Pakistan outfit to put aside these ridiculous obstacles and focus on the big picture. Bring the Cup Home !!!

  • sharoz on February 16, 2007, 18:46 GMT

    hell no!no way woolmer cud say tht!i mean hes south african and stuff u knw give me a break! i feel sry for the coach.and ur right no ones gonna take the blame..i dont thnk i like this guy naseeem ashraf

  • Shawkat Shareef on February 16, 2007, 18:42 GMT

    The whole Pakistan cricket has become big "joke" in front of the rest of the world. Shoib-Woolmer-Inzamam chapters have gone beyond any normality and hence, doesn't even deserve to be debated.

  • Rauf on February 16, 2007, 18:41 GMT

    I don't know Bob personally so I cannot say with confidence he did or did not use these remarks. I don't read Dawn on regular basis so I don't know how credable they are.

    I know for sure that Pak cricket is currently a mess. Fire all of them "IMMEDIATELY" from PCB chairman down to the least involved guy in the team except a handfull of the players from the current squad who are hard working, proud to play for their country and are willing to win. Fill the gaps with all fresh faces.

    Forget about the WC, we got bigger issues to worry about in the team.

  • Ahmed on February 16, 2007, 18:41 GMT

    I wont be surprised if it turns out true. There has been some history between Shoaib and Woolmer and no matter how much they try to nullify the impression that something's wrong, cricket followers know that its not true. Maybe Indirectly but leg-pulling has been a part of their relationship since forever...

  • Jawad Mahmood on February 16, 2007, 18:38 GMT

    Bob is not racist but he had no right to challenge Shoaib's injury. It was the second time when shoaib was called a faker, against india in 2004 being the first time. Both times he proved to have had injuries. Weak leadership and personal grudges from Inzamam and no management from PCB has caused this another disaster in pakistan cricket. It is time for Imran Khan to take a break for politics and take over coaching job for WorldCup. i know it is crazy and so is the moment.

  • Rashid Anwar on February 16, 2007, 18:37 GMT

    It's sorta true that south asians are more racist then other people, but nobody notices it when they say 'kalea'. To them 'kalia' are so inferior that even 'kalea' boys and their parents themselves are often looking around the whole country to find a 'gori bribe'.So before we start accusing other people of racism we should look at our own society and realize how low we'v sunk. I bet inzamam from time to time wud say "in kalia ko jaldi out kirro..mujha bhuk lug rahi hai" (refering to the west indian players)

  • Naveed Arif from Lahore on February 16, 2007, 18:35 GMT

    On another note, Australia have now lost three games in a row. Should Australians be embarassed on their team? I don't think any Australian would say that unlike hundredes of guys who were after Pakistan lost the ODI series against SA.

  • Muhammad Usman Aslam (Melbourne) on February 16, 2007, 18:35 GMT

    If such blogs are to ascertain the sway of fan's expressions over this new development, then HELL YES.. i'm being forced to throw my views here too.

    Looking back all those years, when Shoaib came and performed so well firstly against the SA in 97 taking a five-for and then steam rolling the then happless indians.. WE all thought perhaps the next Imran Khan of our part of the world has just been given an entry and a token to perform.. The turning point to me seems the WC 99 where he went berserk vid his speed and style and won over alot of hearts predominantly female. This is where he lost it. A spoiled brat who craves for attention and coverage, this guy has never had any smooth relationship with any of the captains to follow. not least vid Inzi, who is even though a pious man but cant take a joy ride over the whims n shennanigans of this playmaker , so called should i say.

    He had enormous talent but he's been wasting it like hell... and this recent racial episode is pretty much another indication of the level of craziness he can attain while trying to hurt somebody who didnt cave in to his star status.

    There is no way in the world, BOB would hve said that... IRRESPECTIVE of the result charts, PAKISTAN has since Woolmer took over, it goes without saying that he's a thorough professional ad a gentleman who has been unnecessarily dragged into the dirty mud i.e Pakistan Cricket..

    and at the epicenter of this mud is a cricet board whose employees are given a thumbs up by the Presidents house.. how ironic...!!

    This is what makes it painful and laughable at the same time.... Accountability .. we miss it... though never had it... Who's responsible for letting Mr salim altaf know that he's not wanted anymore with his tactical blunders and heavy headed attitude ...

    As for Shoaib... I've lost all possible acclaimation i ever had for this guy.... He's just a poor showman who thought he was the next big thing in Pakistan cricket... Sorry Shoaib But U never that material... our cricket is much better without U.. So take a hike.

  • H malik on February 16, 2007, 18:24 GMT

    I am not sure BOB would utter such words BUT perhaps he "Could Have said !" some thing like this " Come On Shoaib do not act like a balck sheep for the team !!" , there is a hell of difference between " Blackie " and a a "black sheep" , while the forst one is quite racist remark , the later one fits 100% to describe Shoaib or his behaviour , I have read that , he is even comtemplating to pull himself out of the world cup if there is no appology forth comming from BOB & Inzi . Now I think it is high time that this primadoona is put to his rightfull place and destined to the dust bin for ever . If Pakistan could win 1992 without a Bowler of Waqar's calibre , if the team could sweet out the SA in the test series without the services of such primadonna , it is worth and time to get this spoiled child of Gen TZ and company , out for once and for all . He does not bring any value to the team but to himself a real black sheep of the team . Enough is Enough , he should be given what is now due to him ,,,, show him the gate and let him face the WADA tribunal court and thats is .

  • kamran on February 16, 2007, 18:19 GMT

    perhaps bob didnt know what bhangi or charsi means and just stopped short by saying blakie!!!!! even if he did shoaib has ruined his image in the world of cricket too along with other walks of life

  • Masaood Yunus from Minnaepolis, MN on February 16, 2007, 18:19 GMT

    Here is the piece of news that everyone is talkign about >> http://www.dawn.com/2007/02/16/spt3.htm

    From a personal view, I usually don't read DAWNs sports coverage anymore since its typical masala news. If anyone go through the whole news item at DAWNs site, "a source close to Shoaib" fed all the info. I wonder if that source understands the consequences of "Shoaib planning to pull out of the worldcup squad" at this time. As it stands, Shoaib probably wont make it to the World Cup. He is also expecting an apology from Inzi and Bob ? I think he owe an apology to the whole nation about regularly bragging about his fitness and then breaking down !

    I highly doubt the "source" claiming all this understands the consequences of feeding this info to dawn now. It is indeed a BIG allegation against a star coach.

    After being a Pak Coach for many years, Bob suddenly is being labelled "probable racist". C'mon guys, give me a break. DAWN is the same newspaper who aggressively criticized Bob all these years. Unfortunately, Shoaib hasn't done much good to himself all these years and his own credibility has a big question mark !

    For me its time to "move on". There are more important things to worry about with the WorldCup just a few weeks away.

  • Aman Siddiqui on February 16, 2007, 18:15 GMT

    It all started when Javed Miandad was sacked as coach, and was replaced by Bob Woolmer.

    My first reaction... THe idiots have done it again.

    But, my reaction was proved wrong once the team started performing. Our 2005 season was just amazing, and it was all due to Bob.

    2006 was mediocre, and yes the boys didn't seem like giving a fight in the last 2 ODIs in SA, but they did play their hearts out in the Test matches.

    What I am trying to say is that us Pakistan Cricket fanatics need to give Bob a lot more credit than what he is receiving.

    And I do not believe one bit that he spoke that racial slur.

  • Asad Bangash- Toronto on February 16, 2007, 18:14 GMT

    Pakistani Cricket is like indian soap-opera " Kyunke Saas bhi kabhi bahou thi..." ..everyday there is a new climax

    P.S Kamran bhai this couldnt have worked out worse for you. Knowing both parties: i guess one has to be diplomatic

  • Osman Ali Khairi on February 16, 2007, 18:10 GMT

    Man. Like I said in one of my previous posts, I wish none of these people were affiliated with 'Pakistan'. I can't deal with all this hogwash! I hope and I pray people like Shoaib strip 'Pakistan' off their shirts and then continue to do whatever the hell they want to. As for Bob and his alleged racist remarks, I doubt if he would do that. And even if he did say something along those lines, I’m pretty sure Shoaib must have thrown some repulsive provocative stuff at him. Bob might be defensive and definitely not our knight in shining armor but he certainly isn't a racist. Also, with regards to the reports, claiming that Shoaib is threatening to sue both Inzi and Woolmer, that is just downright ludicrous. Inzi is apathetic and lethargic. He is uninspiring and listless. But through all these years, Inzi has fought his heart out and given his best for Pakistan. Shoaib meanwhile, has voiced derogatory and condescending remarks against two champion bowlers, been accused of rape when on tour in Australia, led down Pakistan in crucial moments by getting injured, been found guilty of ball tampering, been accused of feigning injury and my favorite, set a brilliant precedent for all the players knocking on the fringes of national selection by taking performance enhancing drugs. In retrospect, Shoaib has only proven to be extremely deleterious to Pakistan’s image and cause, in almost every capacity he has been involved with. So I say, screw Shoaib and all these players who think they are above the country. The point is Shoaib needs to look at himself hard in the mirror before even contemplating throwing bricks at a person of Inzi’s stature and record. Finally, knowing the capricious and dodgy nature of Pakistan cricket, this issue won’t just explode in our face but thanks to people like Nasim Ashraf, will only exacerbate our reputation and our never ending problems. And I thought our performance in the last couple of ODIs in South Africa was the low point.

  • Naveed Arif from Lahore on February 16, 2007, 18:08 GMT

    I think these reports would not be true. This is just what the media tries to do. Ceate sensationalism about nothing. If Shoiab was abused and that too in front of the whole team managment, we would have seen some reaction a long time ago. Shoiab is not the kind of character that would sit low and bide his time. Also he is fit enough kick Bob's behind anytime he likes. Bob would have to be insanely brave to try to slap Shoiab. All this pack of lies just to sell some newspapers.

  • Shiz on February 16, 2007, 18:03 GMT

    I like many others have just about had enough of this. I don't think it's Bob Woolmer, it's the newspaper that is making these pathetic stories to obviously sell it's rubbish paper. we know our cricket team is in shambles at the moment and thought the worse was over, but this, i mean these are damaging allegation being made at Bob. No question about it Mr Woolmer will go anyway after the world cup, he's probably thinking these pakistani's are never gonna learn anything, and how right he is. Bottom line - i don't think Bob is racist, he's a very honest decent man and has done a good job for our cricket team since taking over and i would love it if he stays after the world cup, but it ain't gonna happen. get rid of Shoaib, and we got rid of the root to the problem.

    end of

  • Bohurupi Boadder on February 16, 2007, 18:01 GMT

    This means that either Shoaib or Bob is going to the WC.It's highly unlikely that both of them will be representing the same team. Either way, this will be a shattering blow to Pkaistan!

  • Ahsan on February 16, 2007, 18:00 GMT

    I doubt bob will stay after his contract expires. Do you really think that a white coach who has given his 100% to coach a non-white team would be racist? Our team is horrible, not because of the coach, but partly because of players like Shoaib who bring the morale of the our team down. We don't need player who plays for 1-2 matches and then sit out injured, and who fail drug tests to taint our national image.

  • Amyn Habib on February 16, 2007, 17:54 GMT

    People should be allowed to swear and curse at each other when angry. And such outbursts, could on occasion contain a racially charged word. The use of the word “Blackie” even if it was used, does not make Bob a racist. Now, whether he has been a good coach is another question. As for the rolling of heads, the biggest and the fattest head that should roll first is that of Wasim Bari who over the years has populated the team with mediocre players and really presided over a major decline in Pakistan Cricket. But may be we should just wait until after the World Cup for a massive purge—like the one after 2003. At this point, I should mention that Aamir Sohail when he was selector was just as bad. For example, the premature forcing out of Saeed Anwar and Waqar Younis created massive problems that linger to this day.

  • qaisar sheikh on February 16, 2007, 17:52 GMT

    no way kamran sir. i can't believe it. its a usual newspaper stunt. Bob can never say so.NOT AT ALL. HE is a real gentleman. ITS NOT TRUE.

  • Aftab Qureshi on February 16, 2007, 17:49 GMT

    Thank you for writing this, Kamran. I am ashamed and angered in equal part to be one who sympathizes with Cricket Pakistan whose actors are shameless in behavior and suicidal in actions. My take on this issue is in three parts: fact, assupmtion and conjecture.

    Fact: It is established beyond doubt that the spat between Akhtar and Bob did take place; cameras caught it "red-handed". It is also well known that the ill will between Akhar and his coach and captain is long-lasting, albiet puntuated with a middle period of rapproachment of some kind.

    Assumption: Dawn did have a basis for its story; the reporter neither dreamed it up nor concocted it deliberately. Since concurrently Akhtar has also demanded a public appology from Bob and Inzi, I assume that he is also the one who has fed the story to Dawn.

    Conjecture: Both Inzi and bob come across as reasonable persons, and that includes some amount of pragmatism, even if they are committed to their own styles of managing the potentially most lethal bowling resource called Shoaib Akhtar. The one who is uncompromising, rude, insolent and callous about requirements of law and discipline is Akhtar. But, as I remarked on an earlier occasion, he comes in as a package--take it or leave it.

    People who pay and/or pray for Pakistan cricket deserve to be told the whole truth, unadultrated, whatever it may be. Keep the issue alive, Kamran, until we know the truth.

    One final thought: there will be plenty of people demanding that heads must roll. But the problem is, as Kamran points out, that the heads that must roll first are those of the PCB bosses. It would be meaningless to find scapegoats in Bob, Inzi and Akhtar if the Big-Wigs go unpunished. But who will punish them, and who will fire the Patron-in-Chief, who is ultimately responsible for having PCB run unconstitutionally and autocratically? So, to me, the situation is as hopeless as it can be! In this poisonous environment, only a fool would expect the team to make it to the last four in the World Cup. I am not willing to be that fool but it will not stop me from wishing the team well and praying for a miracle.

  • Kamran on February 16, 2007, 17:43 GMT

    Pakistan Cricket team has and in the past been had players that has racist attitude .. For recent look at the way players from Karachi gets treated. Lets for example take Sami's inclusion in this matter.. Does he really deserved to be out of the team and both Rana and Rao are that good really ?

  • Euceph Ahmed on February 16, 2007, 17:43 GMT

    It's a useless thing to get into this whole who-said-what debate. And to nitpick whether it was racist or not would be digressing even further from the real deal.

    The fact of the matter is that one lowly character, Shoaib Akhtar, slithered into the team for one day and poisoned everything. Now that his blackmailing arsonist mind tells him that he doesn't stand much of a chance to play in the World Cup he pulls the dirtiest of his ghastly tricks to light a new fire and watch it burn. "hum tu doobay hain, tum ko bhi lay doobain gay sanam."

    It's pretty evident that Shoaib has Imran Khan's "asheerbad" in all of this. Imran has many a score to settle with his ex-susraal. It seems to me that he wants some inner satisfaction out of making Woolmer pay for Jemima's escapades. But Woolmer is one smart cookie too. It makes sense to withstand the whirlwind now, because it makes for so much more masala for his memoirs. If it wasn't for the lost laptop where he had everything so neatly recorded, he'd be getting a hefty advance from his publisher. The laptop you fools, where is it?

    Everything aside, the reality is that the team is in a shambles. While all of this is good news for the tabloids, it speaks highly of the ineptness of the management of which Inzi and Woolmer are a part. If the folks at PCB weren't so concerned with winning the next match and were instead focused on building a memorable team, they wouldn't let the dark shadow of a man like Akhtar fall within miles of the team.

  • Mutazalzaluzzaman Tarar on February 16, 2007, 17:37 GMT

    it's time for Akhtar to go. as a Pak fan, I've had enough of his shenanigans. he should take his wannabe gangsta act to Bollywood which is perhaps his true calling. once a drama queen, always a drama queen.

    in the meanwhile, I hope that Woolmer sues Akhtar and the Dawn. for Akhtar's sake, I hope he dissociates himself from this story. otherwise he will have some serious consequences to face.

  • Ashaq on February 16, 2007, 17:34 GMT

    Well Kamran dear uncle Bob may have many flaws but he is not racist.

    AS for the Editor of The Dawn having integrity, I am sorry since when has any media institution in Pakistan shown integrity. THe journalists in Pakistan are just behind the Politicians and the Police force in terms of being corrupt.

    This is just another case of a Newspaper besmirching the name of somebody to increase sales and distribution.

    Why would Bob have chosen to become the Pakistan coach if he indeed is a racist. It makes no common sense. This allegation makes no sense, It is just another public lynching off a public figure being carried out in the name off journalism.

    AS for your remarks about vile and vulgar language being used by sub-continentals.I would fully agree with that. One only needs to look at the Posters on your previous blogs. What I found even more shocking was the vile anti-Islamic rhetoric being projected by people claiming to be Muslim. It seems that people are so keen to be seen as Westernised that they feel ashamed about there own Islamic heritage.The majority of these muslim Islamaphobes seem to be posting from the U.S.A and Canada. I all i can say to them is get over your inferiority complex.

    Not also forgetting the regular racist remarks about GHoras (white People) being made by many posters.

    AS for Shoaib Akhtar Allegedly thinking off sueing Woolmer and Inzi and also considering pulling out of the squad.Well Akhtar needs to be sued for consistently disgracing his country and being involved in one controversy after another. Only thing that surprises is that people are still willing to support him despite his many misdemeanours.

  • T on February 16, 2007, 17:33 GMT

    I am sorry but I don’t believe this story a bit. Woolmer is a great coach and it is unfortunate that people are accusing him of being a racist. I am a huge Pakistan Cricket Team fan and I was happy that we got a high caliber coach. Only if we can get professional players instead of someone like Shoaib Akhtar.

  • Irfan on February 16, 2007, 17:28 GMT

    A Letter to Bob

    Dear Bob,

    I hope you and your family are all doing wonderfully well. I have been an avid reader of ur views and an ardent admirer of ur courage and ethics. Never before deemed necessary to write to u, but in regards to the recent ignominy we've suffered, I feel the need and the urge to write, and i sincerely do hope for a response.

    Firstly, can you please explicate the logic of not playing yasir hameed as a regular opener?? the guy has an average of almost 40, almost 10 runs better than any other opener we have tried, he does have a temperament problem and throw away his wicket quite regularly, but others can't even get on and score some, hafeez averages 19, nazir in 20s, ditto farhat; it has always been obvious that hafeez and farhat don't possess the required technique and skill to succeed at international level particularly against class bowling line ups on bouncy pitches. salman butt has a test hundred in australia and taufeeq umer in south africa, in fact umer has 4 test hundreds, he definitely has class and composure, he is not a odi player but more than suitable for test matches. im aware of ur view that they've lost confidence, but considering the scarcity of dependable openers in pakistan, don' t u think it would have been more feasible to give these 3 tested openers - hameed, umer, butt - a regular chance to settle in, gain confidence, and prove themself??

    Bob, if you've followed pakistan cricket in past few decades, u would realise pakitan's success in odis has always heavily depended on a successful opening stand or impact bowlers; every other team in odi has sucessfully employed one of their heavy weight middle order batsmen as an opener: tendulkar, lara, chanderpaul, sehwag, ganguli, gilchrist, mark waugh, and many others; and a class batsman will be successful at any position. i know u believe in players raising their hands up and accepting responsibilities, but sadly altruism has been a rare commodity in Pakistan cricket, and as a coach by now im sure u know that the buck will always stop at u, and a failure in world cup will result in some hideous vindiction against u, inzi will retire, but most other players will continue in the same vein. in almost all other countries coaches and captains apprise their players to play at different positions, as u have done with afridi and malik; and i believe its time u do the same in odis with younus and yousuf, one of these 2 has to open with hameed/nazir; malik at 3 or 4, and then the rest.

    and why this obsession with multi-skilled players?? i agree they are more than useful; but atleast if they are international class in any one of their multi-faceted skills; players like symonds, jayasuria, gayle, kallis, tendulkar, yuvraj are primarily fantastic batsmen and then useful bowlers; flintoff, vetorri, pollock, vaas, are wonderful bowlers in their own right; pakistan's quadra of allrounders afridi, malik, razzaq, hafeez; can hardly hold their own in any of their skills, apart from malik who has been utterly wasted recently at number 6 or 7; and razzaq has become a huge liability in fielding along with his pedestrian bowling. in the world cup we can only afford 2 of these, and on current form malik and afridi should get the nod.

    pakistan's bowling line up has to be: asif, akhter, gul, kaneria; i know that is a long tail but any one of these bowlers can win pakistan a match on their own; sure enough it all depends on their availability - fitness/drugs/attitude - but even at times when they all have been available for odis, u've only played 3 or 2 of them, ignored gull, and completely disregarded kaneria, which is a real pity. Pakistan's batting line up has always been fickle, and by making it deeper with a few allrounders will not help much, trust me on that, in fact u have experienced this disaster perennially during ur tenure, recent failures in south africa - with our batting line-up running up till 10 - are prime examples, but pakistani bowlers are a completely different breed, all through 80s and 90s pakistan were able to defend meagre totals of even less than 150 due to the class of imran, qadir, wasim, waqar, mushtaq, saqlain. we still have bowlers of such class but they "have" to be used collectively and judiciously, no more plethora of all-rounders please.

    an odi team line-up in respective batting order of: yousuf, hameed/nazir, younus, inzimam, malik, afridi, akmal, shoaib, kaneria, asif, gul; looks positive, shows intent, aggression, is abundant with real class, and is capable of beating any in the world, "consistently".

    Good luck in the world cup, u have served pakistan with utmost dignity, and we can never thank you enough. we welcomed u with great hope, at last an unbiased coach with no political agenda and tetchy bickerings, morally upright, positive, and strong in technical and mental aspects of the game; but lately the feeling of deja-vu has invaded pakistani fans along with the hopeless suspicion that u have become more like us: mentally defeated, maintaining personal preferences, and laying down on a low level of comfort.

    P.S: no matter what anyone claims i don't believe ur a racist; and im sure soon we'll be reading retractions from shoaib himself. u've lasted longer than most of our kingpin coaches, ignored our egomaniac shoaib, and ignored lucrative offers from other nations, im sure now u'ld want to leave a lasting legacy of success and a gratified pakistani nation, good luck.

  • Arun Khan on February 16, 2007, 17:28 GMT

    Kamran abbasi it seems that you are trying to destroy pakistan cricket with your comments. you are always against woolmer and pcb. i think your a rubbish writer and from now on will never read your blogs but watch paint dry which would be more entertaining than 1 of your articles.

  • Imran Iqbal on February 16, 2007, 17:27 GMT

    I can't believe he would say something like this but if he does that would mean Bob is mentally retired. But this incident confirms one thing Bob & Inzamam cannot tolerate Shoib for one reason or other. It's easy to leave best bowler(s) out for some excuse (injury / drug) and then blame losses for those reasons. However it does not make Shoib innocent as he is well known for his arrogance and stupidity. After this revelation, we can expect more rifts in Pak squad... One can only pray now!!!!!!!

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on February 16, 2007, 17:22 GMT

    Mr Abbassi! Temper temper! You seem like a very angry man! At least now we know the depth of the Woolmer/ Akhtar spat. If the allegations are true then why did the 15 or so players remained silent? If the allegations are false then why did Shoaib not raise the issue when he was fined?

    This whole episode seems like a media fabrication. I think Shoaib will come on public and claim these are false accusations and there is no love lost between him and Woolmer.

    Let forget about it and concentrate on the world cup. And for you Mr Abbasi..... please just relax... and enjoy a month where we will be unbeaten! That's a first for a very long time.

    Why don't you come over to sunny Scotland for a weekend to get away from it all! No newspapers, no cricinfo.. Just the remedy!

  • The View from Above on February 16, 2007, 17:18 GMT

    Who the hell cares if Bob called shoaib a blackie. why are us pakis so concerned about stuff like this.

    bob would call shoaib blackie, he wont call him reddy, bluey or pinky. the guy has very dark skin!!!!!!

    when u play "mohalla" cricket in the street, you end up calling each other all sorts of vulgar things which cant be mentioned on this blog. Why doesnt the Dawn write about those sort of things ??

  • Kiran Shah on February 16, 2007, 17:14 GMT

    Bob Woolmer would never say such a thing. Its typical of DAWN and their crappy reporting. Did you notice, how everything in that article was "sources said this" and "sources said that". For a long time, DAWN has gotten away with gutter reporting. Well - they`re not going to be that lucky this time. Bob Woolmer has said he will take them to court - and Woolmer isent a Pakistani who DAWN can make a deal with. They will pay and pay dearly in court, as they should. I hope Woolmer takes them to the cleaners.

  • sajidkhan on February 16, 2007, 17:13 GMT

    I am 99% sure that Bob would not have said these words. I think its a self made story of the news. Its also possible that Shoaib would have said these words to somebody to save his NOSE and then it become a scandel. But shoaib has to realize in that case that how much careful he should be saying anything. I think Bob Woolmer should not be treated this way, i think he is the Ambassador of two countries, and its not all about cricket. I would offer an appology being a Pakistani if it would help him.

  • Wasim Ghumro on February 16, 2007, 17:11 GMT

    Lets give Bob the benefit of the doubt - I cant imagine him being racist either - but in my opinion the fact that he wrongfully accused our best bowler of feigning an injury is good enough to fine or even sack him. Shoaib gets fined for being injured while both Bob and Inzi get away with their childish behavior.

  • James H on February 16, 2007, 17:10 GMT

    I think the point that 'blacky' is not a derogative term commonly used by Westerners is good and I'm glad you've made it, as it was the first thing that occurred to me upon reading this story. Of course, having spent some time with Pakistan Bob Woolmer is bound to have picked up some slang terms, but as you say it would appear out of character for him to employ that kind of language. I hope this story turns out to be untrue, Bob Woolmer has always seemed to me to conduct himself very well in often very difficult circumstances in possibly one of the most difficult jobs in world cricket.

  • Zubair on February 16, 2007, 17:07 GMT

    I personally think that Bob Woolmer being the coach and the elder of the two needed to behave more maturely. Shoaib is a young asset to the team and he needs to be handled with care. He needs to be treated differently. Reason being that he can single handedly win a match for Pakistan. No other player in the present team can do that. Hence doesnt matter if Shoaib fights with anyone or who's fault it is. He just needs to be in the team. One thing to note is that Shoaib has a temper just like Imran had. He is a fast bowler just like Imran was. He has good communication skills just like Imran had. He can lead from the front just like Imran. He has a personality which scares the opposition and sends out the positive signals. All of these qualities is what Imran had as well. If anyone from the PCB is reading this.Please sack bob woolmer and Inzamam. Make Shoaib Captain. You will see the results. Even if he plays one in 5 matches he is still better then any other player there right now.

  • Farhan on February 16, 2007, 17:04 GMT

    Absolute rubbish! The racist card is always used by desperados.

  • Qasim Raza on February 16, 2007, 17:03 GMT

    It's sorta true that south asians are more racist then other people, but nobody notices it when they say 'kalea'. To them 'kalia' are so inferior that even 'kalea' boys and their parents themselves are often looking around the whole country to find a 'gori bribe'.So before we start accusing other people of racism we should look at our own society and realize how low we'v sunk. I bet inzamam from time to time wud say "in kalia ko jaldi out kirro..mujha bhuk lug rahi hai" (refering to the west indian players)

  • Humza from Toronto on February 16, 2007, 17:03 GMT

    hello everybody

    just when we thought it couldnt get any worse, it keeps happening. pakistan cricket has begun to look like a deso soap opera, or some kind of reality tv show, where one after another events keep taking place, and the whole thing is just going down in a downwards spiral.

    Well as for our newest twist in the story, from what we've seen of Bob Woolmer, over the past half decade or so, i highly doubt that the man is a racist. This "blackie" comment, seems more like media propaganda, rather than a relevant locker room occurence. If it was true, and Shoiab Akhter was the victim of racism and other verbal abbuse performed by Bob, and Inzy, then i am sure that he would have been the first one to come out and spread the wor himself, rather than wait for weeks and let other local sources, come to the rescue.

    All in all, i would like to say that why dont we screw the page 3, news bulletins, and concentrate on how to improve our beloved pakistani cricket. The few weeks to come are going to be crucial for the men in green, and it is int this span of time that our side can fight like cornered tigers and make history, or they can just play like disable pussy cats, and become history.

    Anyways wish the men in green all te best of luck, and hope to see inzy lift the silver trophy.

    PAKIS RULE!

  • Syed on February 16, 2007, 17:02 GMT

    Dr Ashraf, would never takea responsiblity of 'any thing going on in Pak creckit becasue he is a good friend to the President of Pak, Dr Ashraf's job is secured for long time so he (Ashraf) donesn't care too much about the team.

  • Mashood yunus on February 16, 2007, 17:01 GMT

    With all due respect to everyone involved, the problem might be the source. if I understand it correctly from osman samiuddin's article at cricinfo (http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/rsavpak/content/current/story/280586.html), our potential source is Shoaib Akhtar. If that is the case, it is neither Dawn sports editor nor Bob, Shoaib might become the key. if matters are taken to court, that would be worst possible outcome. may be shoaib misunderstood in the heat of the "well-publicised-moments". I hope that it is not one of those give-me-attention tricks from shoaib. His timing is interesting as well. he discloses info about the abuse from inzimam and bob (if he indeed did) after emergence of his recent injury news and possibility of non-participation in worldcup. if shoaib indeed has done it, this is mother of all the "news" we have hearing about him for past many years.

  • Ahmed Nadeem on February 16, 2007, 16:56 GMT

    Hello, I am not really the kind who would respond to newspaper articles but this issue of racism has pushed me to express my thoughts. I think this is peace of rubbish what Dawn is feeding to general audience. How could someone claim something that could have such a big impact without any proof. What a timing! Quite honestly, we know how good Shoib is for our team and for our world cup chances. But brutely honestly, i seriously wish him not to be in our team. He is just a pain in the butt. How come other players don't go out push and shove like him? How can he ever forget he is dealing with a choach and an old man. I dont care what Woolmer said to him. If he was that upset, he should claimed a law suite or rough up PCB heirarchy. But to make a mockery of Pakistan cricket and its image, infront of millions is just plain arrogant and disrespectfull. It was disrespectful to every cricket fan in the country. Now on racism, can any one really prove that? No, may be not. But their got to be some history. Did Woolmer ever use foul language before? If yes, fire him on the spot but if not than i bet you know what i am thinking. Grab by the neck and show the door. We survived with Wasim, Waqar, Saeed, Ijaz, Malik and Saqlain. We will survive without whoever started this. Shoib is not indespensible. He is professional cricketer who is getting paid for his survices. In professional cricket, you have to be strong enough to handle pressure and criticism--- and Skepticism.

  • Syed on February 16, 2007, 16:56 GMT

    Dr Ashraf, would never takea responsiblity of 'any thing going on in Pak creckit becasue he is a good friend to the President of Pak, Dr Ashraf's job is secured for long time so he (Ashraf) donesn't care too much about the team.

  • amir on February 16, 2007, 16:52 GMT

    Its boring to even state that pak cricket management is rediculous. I doubt any foreign coach would want to join such a setup from here onwards.

    There are clearly problems. Its on the video how shoaib akhtar pushed Woolmer and he looked quite threatening.

    Only pak cricket can sweep so many controversies under the carpet. One wonders why can't they just be transparent. is there a mafia that doesn't allow any administration to work transparently?

  • zazz on February 16, 2007, 16:45 GMT

    Shoaib Akhtar and Bob woolmer are both fame-crazy. In reality, they concentrate less on game more on ways to gain fame. This is another episode of the same nature. I wonder some people suggesting shoaib to be captain. Yes, he can become captain if he ever becomes fit and can stay in ground for 10 overs maximum.

  • Ali from Brum on February 16, 2007, 16:44 GMT

    If Bob has really said what appeared on the media then it’s a very serious issue and should be condemned. As you rightly said Kamran, the onus is on the Dawn’s editor to back it up with some solid evidence! The bottom line is whatever happens, whether the Dawn’s editor apologies (which he wouldn’t even if proved wrong – typical Pakistani mentality which regards asking for an apology, if proved wrong, is like de-grading themselves! ) or Bob gets a sack if he’s proved guilty (which I’m sure he’s not), it’s another laughing stock for the rest of the world. World Cup is just around the corner; all the teams apart from us are in the process of developing strategies on how to win it and look at us, we don’t even know anything about our final squad forget the final eleven and still seemingly busy in this idiotic stuff!!! Having said all this, I wouldn’t be surprised if Pakistan wins the world cup after all of these mind boggling issues which have happened to them in the last 6 months or so, strange things and miracles have happened in the past! Let’s hope for another one!

  • abid umar on February 16, 2007, 16:43 GMT

    This guy shoaib Akhtar is not a hero, he is a disgrace for pakistan and its cricket, he is just avoiding to take a dope test and trying to outst himself from the world cup. He loves to create controvercies. He is abusive and disrespectful to everybody whether its team member or official. I am afraid he could end up in prison.

  • Sadiq Memon on February 16, 2007, 16:40 GMT

    Well, I have to not only agree with you Mr. Abbasi but go a little further. I think every one in this world is a little racist. As for us, we call the white guys "goras" or Chinese "chapta" or Africans "kaala" or "kalla" or Banladeshi's "bangali". Even refering to a person as "Mohajir" or "Sindhi" or "Pathan" or "Panjabi" does imply a little bit of racism as we tend to use these terms to stereotype the whole race. Are we being racist or is this just a manner of identifying the person we are speaking of? I think its a little of both and we all do it.

  • HardBall on February 16, 2007, 16:38 GMT

    Though I am not a Woomerite or Inzimamite at all, I really believe without any reservation whatsoever that Woolmer never ever said that. This Shoaib lobby has been gearing up on their own to do whatever they could. I mean what kind of performer is Shoaib? He is a fast bowler but not a sportsman at all. He has never been fit. How much cricket he plays in a year? And Mr. Kamran, you appear to be a very genuine guy with a very pragmatic approach but you know journalists in Pakistan are also chips of certain lobbies either directly or indirectly, no matter how pious they are. Giving credibility to Shoaib Akhtar is like pulling a hamstring of the whole team!!! Alas to Pakistan cricket! What a mess!

  • Shafi Muhammad Jatoi on February 16, 2007, 16:36 GMT

    Okay so here is how i think it will play....please note that there is still a month for the WC...and as always people need entertainment so therefore the drama.

    This debate will be the talk of the town for atleast two weeks (some may say 10 days max). Reputations will supposedly be tarnished with a few extra words added courtesy the thesaurus. A court case will begin with an expected starting date of August 30, 2025; this could be pushed back due to a backlog of cases. In the mean time, The PCB will look in the second drawer of their cabinet to find a template of a speech prepared for a day like this and then deal with the situation by making dim witted statements; the kind of rant Bush usually goes through.

    In the end Shoaib will be held accountable since this obviously orginates from him and this whole drama of pulling out of the squad with a decision on a serious knee injury still pending displays among other things the ability to improvise.

  • nomi from la on February 16, 2007, 16:36 GMT

    I am fed up with "the mysterious world of pakistan cricket." What the pakistani media has done is very upsetting and shameful. ACCUSING BOB OF BEING A RACIST?!? I wouldn’t be suprised if he left after the world cup. This is the same guy who helped pakistan win the india series in india. This is the same guy who didn’t quit after the oval fiasco. This is the same guy who was slapped by shoaib! Pakistan owes him. I’m sure he had enough of coaching pakistan. and shoaib.

    and I hope and pray that woolmer doesn’t apologize to shoaib.

  • Mahmood Khan on February 16, 2007, 16:34 GMT

    If the Pakistani law of defamation is anything like that in other Commonwealth jurisdictions then Dawn are about to finally be reprimanded for their incessanr incompetence. Unless, that is, they can prove that the statement published by them, and the inuendo therein, is in fact true! It would be almost impossible to prove that Bob Woolmer is racist and so the bloodbath begins! Kamran Abbasi is obviously privy to information which we are not but, objectively speaking, I must side with Bob on this one. And, by the way, yeh, there is a World Cup just around he corner and yeh Shoaib wont be playing and yeh Pakistan havent a hope of winning...

  • Arham Karim on February 16, 2007, 16:34 GMT

    Pakistan cricket has become shambolic- perhaps your column would be more suited to a womens soap opera magazine as calling the PCB a sports organisation is an insult to the game. There is mass corruption, from the top- Mr Ashraf, Saleem Altaf to the core of the side- Inzamam. I highly doubt that Woolmer made such a comment but he must have said something to cause such upset to Shoaib. I believe this has been incited by Inzamam, who holds a grudge with Shoaib . I think that -for the second time under Inzys captaincy- Shoaib has been falsely accused of faking an injury, and this allegation- in front of the rest of the team is much more than just a slap on the face. How would you like it if you were very ill and did not go to work and your workplace accused you of lying to them. I would consider this a blow to my commitment and integrity and , as Shoaib has suffered this for the second time in his career, I feel that Shoaib should take measures by either refusing to play under Inzamam or taking him to court. I feel that Bob Woolmer has his own frustrations , and has been persuaded to feel this way under the influence of Inzamam. This is a team who will be playing in the world cup, something that they were tipped to be favourites for 2 years ago after thrashing England, in just 3 weeks. I think the real question is not if Shoaib was called a blacky or not, but

    Can this team really play at the world cup and do their talent justic with this much infighting ? Can they work on their cricket when every person that matters in Pakistan cricket is thinking about a prospective lawsuit? Can the president - his highness Mr Musharraf really expect Pakistan cricket to win when he keeps on appointing family members in important positions? Why is money being thrown away on physios and trainers that have done absoloutely nothing to prevent the injuries-and were probably responsible for the drug use? What has been the role of mushtaq ahmed? Is he just another person helping Inzamam to more power? Can you expect to win the world cup with 3 proper solid batsmen in your entire squad? Where are Yasir Hameed and Salman Butt/ Bazid Khan Does Wasim Bari- a poor excuse of a selector- if you can call him that - actually watch domestic cricket or look at players- or does he just scribble names down from the scorecards published in the newspapers? i think the latter Where is Imran Khan? The one person who has always talked sense in the calamity that is Pak cricket. Does this team actually deserve a world cup? Does Inzamam deserve to go down in the list of names such as Imran Khan., Steve Waugh and Jayasuriya.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures, and I feel that Inzamam and Bob should both be disciplined,Mushtaq Ahmed should be sacked and Inzamam must be told in no uncertain ways that he is very much dispensable. Its about time that Saleem Altaf offered his resignation and the team MUST be chosen by a panel including the manager, Inzamam, YK and Woolmer as well as proper selectors- not BARI and Iqbal- as currently Pakistan XI is more of a Inzamams tableeghi friends cricket team.

    I keep on hearing the optimism of Pakistanis and other fans- we all know Pakistan does best when they are under extreme pressure and things arent going well for the team- but even this sixteen year old realises that Pakistan cricket needs a major overhaul - irrespective of what happens at the World Cup

  • Asim Shahzad on February 16, 2007, 16:32 GMT

    I can't believe Bob Woolmer can make such a stupid remark. I do not read sports pages of Dawn regularly now, but from my previous experience, I know a whole bunch of idiots used to report and write on those pages. Of course Kamran won't say anything against sports editor of Dawn because he himself is a contributor to these pages. Dawn is no more the newspaper it used to be. They better come up with any evidence they have got or face the consequences.

  • YS on February 16, 2007, 16:32 GMT

    Oh, I forgot to mention in my earlier post. Dr. Nasim Ashraf has been the worst ever in this post. It is time someone should realize this (MR. President, are you listening?) and get him out before Pakistan cricket is totally destroyed. We made so much progress in the three years after the last World Cup and then totally lost it in the last year. It seems like we are back to square one. Also, for all you Imran Khan supporters: If he wants to criticize the team and the captain and the coach, maybe he should take some responsibility and offer to be the PCB chairman to Musharraf. That way he can force changes through authority and actually be accountable. Oh, I forgot, that is the same Musharraf Imran likes to criticize whether there is a reason or not. But if Imran does not want to do anything in an official capacity for Pakistan cricket, he should just shut up and focus on his mulla-style politics that he is running. I can't believe the only people he socializes with is the MMA, just tells you a lot about how shallow he is.

  • RIZWAN YOUNUS on February 16, 2007, 16:31 GMT

    What a shambles. well no surprises there then. lets say for one minute that bob did actually say this did it have to be aired publicly?? did everybody have to know could it not have been done internally?? its amateurish at best. as for the board well none of them know nothing about cricket. doctors??? medically good cricketwise useless. face facts its just all over the place as is the squad. why hafeez?? hes opened 60 odd times and averages 18 with the bat??? afridi averages more and he is consudered wreckless so what is hafeez???? and the one quality player we did have in salman butt gets treated so badly its untrue. in order for our cricket to change our board has to. weneed explayers who know what they are doing eg imran, waqar wasim.

  • Faraz on February 16, 2007, 16:30 GMT

    I was truly surprised to read this article in dawn too and I am sure that Bob wouldn't do such a thing ... I sense someone else trying to make some bucks out of this news.

  • Anon. on February 16, 2007, 16:30 GMT

    WOOO! First comment... Bob woolmer seems to posh to be racist.

  • zohair on February 16, 2007, 16:30 GMT

    Kamran, head rolling might be a little premature right now. All of them will pretty much roll after the world cup. You just watch sir, and let us know when it happens.

  • Zarak Khan on February 16, 2007, 16:30 GMT

    Except for Mohammed Asif, Danish Kaeria, Younus Khan and M. Yousuf, the whole lot should be fired. Saw Saleem ALtaf on Geo TV recently with Waqar Younus. What a disgrace for Pakistan cricket. Nothing but a babu beauracrat. As for Naseem Ashraf - the less said the better. He will eventually turn out to be one of the biggest embarrassments and scandals of Mushraff's term in office.

  • Raja Shehzad Zaman on February 16, 2007, 16:30 GMT

    I don't know if Bob Woolmer called Shoaib a "blackie" or not, but i know that someone, i mean a third person, was there to act as a catalyst in this situation. It surprises me that inzimam, who is supposed to be a leader, guardian of the flock, would be unable to put his grudge aside for his country. I believe the whole incident has a background to it, with lots of twists and tales. I certainly don't think that Bob Woolmer would be stupid enough to make any recist remark. Pakistan cricket hasa rich history of captains destroying careers of talented players, just because of personal grudges. So why not one more!!! On the surface, it seems like Woolmer and Shoaib had an argument, but i have every reason to believe that there were other sources involved, atleast one. It is a shame to see Inzi keep such grudges and afloat an air of tension amongst the cmap when the WC is right around the corner. I wish Pakistan best of luck, but at the same time, i think that we need a failure, a kick at our rears, just to wake us all up, and start over again:). So maybe, a failure in this world cup might not be that bad of a thing in the long run. Thanks, Raja Shehzad Zaman (USA)

  • SarmadR on February 16, 2007, 16:26 GMT

    lolz!! my point exactly!! "BLACKY"?!!! hahaha, couldnt they come up with a better story? the word blacky is soooo sub-continental that the word itself renders the story baseless... I was thinkin it could've easily been Shoaib Akhtar venting his frustration to a friend or two who took his word for it and sold it to the press....i mean, not Shoaibs fault..in frustration everybody makes up some story...i hope Shoaib Akhtar clarifies and Dawn apologizes! i think what i'm sayin might be true..especially lookin at how shoaib akhtar's "friends" have posted private videos of him singing,etc on youtube!

  • YS on February 16, 2007, 16:23 GMT

    No matter whether you are for or against Bob as a coach, it is very hard to believe he said something like that specially when he has dealt with so many other Pakistani and Black South African players in the past. Kamran, as for the article on Dawn, it might be a reputed newspaper but if Shoaib or someone close to him told them about a conversation that only Shoaib and Woolmer know about, the newspaper can't do much more research on it. All they can do is trust the fact that they got it straight from Shoaib. However, I doubt their credibility since they did not question the accused before publishing it. Common sense journalism mandates that a chance be given to the accused to explain before they make any conclusions.

    On the other hand, Shoaib is known for his childish behavior and given the bad performance of the team on the recent trip, it seems like Shoaib is trying to hit the iron when its hot i.e. hit Inzi and Woolmer when people might be unhappy with them for the on-field performance. Shoaib is a match-winner when he has the right attitude but that kind of Shoaib has rarely showed up for Pakistan on the field. Time has come for us to swallow the pill and kick him out once and for all. Yes, we will loose a potential match winner but what good is the potential when it does not show up 90% of the time. Yes, Shoaib set us up in the second test in SA but it was the same Shoaib that forced Asif and Kaneria to bowl insane spells in the second inning because he kept insisting he was match fit. Look at Asif, this poor chap played the last one day with injections because his captain asked him to. If it was Shoaib in his place, we would have been hearing all about how good he was and he did not want to waste himself before the World Cup. From Asif, we did not hear a word, we just saw commitment.

    We are better off losing matches with committed players rather than winning 1 match out of 10 with these self-centered show pieces.

  • Shams on February 16, 2007, 16:16 GMT

    no way would bob say such a thing. the sports editor for dawn must get the boot.

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  • Shams on February 16, 2007, 16:16 GMT

    no way would bob say such a thing. the sports editor for dawn must get the boot.

  • YS on February 16, 2007, 16:23 GMT

    No matter whether you are for or against Bob as a coach, it is very hard to believe he said something like that specially when he has dealt with so many other Pakistani and Black South African players in the past. Kamran, as for the article on Dawn, it might be a reputed newspaper but if Shoaib or someone close to him told them about a conversation that only Shoaib and Woolmer know about, the newspaper can't do much more research on it. All they can do is trust the fact that they got it straight from Shoaib. However, I doubt their credibility since they did not question the accused before publishing it. Common sense journalism mandates that a chance be given to the accused to explain before they make any conclusions.

    On the other hand, Shoaib is known for his childish behavior and given the bad performance of the team on the recent trip, it seems like Shoaib is trying to hit the iron when its hot i.e. hit Inzi and Woolmer when people might be unhappy with them for the on-field performance. Shoaib is a match-winner when he has the right attitude but that kind of Shoaib has rarely showed up for Pakistan on the field. Time has come for us to swallow the pill and kick him out once and for all. Yes, we will loose a potential match winner but what good is the potential when it does not show up 90% of the time. Yes, Shoaib set us up in the second test in SA but it was the same Shoaib that forced Asif and Kaneria to bowl insane spells in the second inning because he kept insisting he was match fit. Look at Asif, this poor chap played the last one day with injections because his captain asked him to. If it was Shoaib in his place, we would have been hearing all about how good he was and he did not want to waste himself before the World Cup. From Asif, we did not hear a word, we just saw commitment.

    We are better off losing matches with committed players rather than winning 1 match out of 10 with these self-centered show pieces.

  • SarmadR on February 16, 2007, 16:26 GMT

    lolz!! my point exactly!! "BLACKY"?!!! hahaha, couldnt they come up with a better story? the word blacky is soooo sub-continental that the word itself renders the story baseless... I was thinkin it could've easily been Shoaib Akhtar venting his frustration to a friend or two who took his word for it and sold it to the press....i mean, not Shoaibs fault..in frustration everybody makes up some story...i hope Shoaib Akhtar clarifies and Dawn apologizes! i think what i'm sayin might be true..especially lookin at how shoaib akhtar's "friends" have posted private videos of him singing,etc on youtube!

  • Raja Shehzad Zaman on February 16, 2007, 16:30 GMT

    I don't know if Bob Woolmer called Shoaib a "blackie" or not, but i know that someone, i mean a third person, was there to act as a catalyst in this situation. It surprises me that inzimam, who is supposed to be a leader, guardian of the flock, would be unable to put his grudge aside for his country. I believe the whole incident has a background to it, with lots of twists and tales. I certainly don't think that Bob Woolmer would be stupid enough to make any recist remark. Pakistan cricket hasa rich history of captains destroying careers of talented players, just because of personal grudges. So why not one more!!! On the surface, it seems like Woolmer and Shoaib had an argument, but i have every reason to believe that there were other sources involved, atleast one. It is a shame to see Inzi keep such grudges and afloat an air of tension amongst the cmap when the WC is right around the corner. I wish Pakistan best of luck, but at the same time, i think that we need a failure, a kick at our rears, just to wake us all up, and start over again:). So maybe, a failure in this world cup might not be that bad of a thing in the long run. Thanks, Raja Shehzad Zaman (USA)

  • Zarak Khan on February 16, 2007, 16:30 GMT

    Except for Mohammed Asif, Danish Kaeria, Younus Khan and M. Yousuf, the whole lot should be fired. Saw Saleem ALtaf on Geo TV recently with Waqar Younus. What a disgrace for Pakistan cricket. Nothing but a babu beauracrat. As for Naseem Ashraf - the less said the better. He will eventually turn out to be one of the biggest embarrassments and scandals of Mushraff's term in office.

  • zohair on February 16, 2007, 16:30 GMT

    Kamran, head rolling might be a little premature right now. All of them will pretty much roll after the world cup. You just watch sir, and let us know when it happens.

  • Anon. on February 16, 2007, 16:30 GMT

    WOOO! First comment... Bob woolmer seems to posh to be racist.

  • Faraz on February 16, 2007, 16:30 GMT

    I was truly surprised to read this article in dawn too and I am sure that Bob wouldn't do such a thing ... I sense someone else trying to make some bucks out of this news.

  • RIZWAN YOUNUS on February 16, 2007, 16:31 GMT

    What a shambles. well no surprises there then. lets say for one minute that bob did actually say this did it have to be aired publicly?? did everybody have to know could it not have been done internally?? its amateurish at best. as for the board well none of them know nothing about cricket. doctors??? medically good cricketwise useless. face facts its just all over the place as is the squad. why hafeez?? hes opened 60 odd times and averages 18 with the bat??? afridi averages more and he is consudered wreckless so what is hafeez???? and the one quality player we did have in salman butt gets treated so badly its untrue. in order for our cricket to change our board has to. weneed explayers who know what they are doing eg imran, waqar wasim.

  • YS on February 16, 2007, 16:32 GMT

    Oh, I forgot to mention in my earlier post. Dr. Nasim Ashraf has been the worst ever in this post. It is time someone should realize this (MR. President, are you listening?) and get him out before Pakistan cricket is totally destroyed. We made so much progress in the three years after the last World Cup and then totally lost it in the last year. It seems like we are back to square one. Also, for all you Imran Khan supporters: If he wants to criticize the team and the captain and the coach, maybe he should take some responsibility and offer to be the PCB chairman to Musharraf. That way he can force changes through authority and actually be accountable. Oh, I forgot, that is the same Musharraf Imran likes to criticize whether there is a reason or not. But if Imran does not want to do anything in an official capacity for Pakistan cricket, he should just shut up and focus on his mulla-style politics that he is running. I can't believe the only people he socializes with is the MMA, just tells you a lot about how shallow he is.