The drugged cricketer February 20, 2007

What will Shoaib's drug test prove?

The fact that neither Shoaib nor Asif have yet taken the test seems incredible, and conspiracy theories were fuelled by Shoaib's outrageous behaviour last week
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Is it so hard to get a urine sample from Shoaib Akhtar? And when he finally deigns to offer up some bodily fluids what will the test prove? The same applies, of course, to Mohammad Asif.

Nandrolone is broken down reasonably quickly in the body but its metabolites can hang around for months. It is possible that metabolites might still be present in Shoaib's and Asif's urine samples. Provided those levels have dropped to near the threshold set by WADA--which is where you guess they might be if they had decreased in line with the decay curve of nandrolone metabolites--the conclusion is that Shoaib and Asif have been clean since their last test. Under those circumstances talk of life bans seems ridiculous.

On the other hand, two scenarios would cause them a problem. Firstly, if it turns out that the levels are higher than the last test. Secondly, if the result is lower but still high enough to be out of line with the decay curve of nandrolone metabolites. Under either of these scenarios their selection cannot be justified.

The decay curve, unfortunately, varies between individuals, which means that there might be a grey area.

The fact that neither of them has yet taken the test seems incredible, and conspiracy theories were fuelled by Shoaib's outrageous behaviour last week. The obvious concern is that Shoaib knows that the gig is up and is preparing his exit strategy.

But, like Inzamam, he is unlikely to play another World Cup. They have both tasted the bitter failure of 1999. This is no time for exits. It is a time for total commitment. Pakistan's focus must now be on pulling together as a team, putting past stupidity behind them, and ending this period of dispiriting, despicable, and relentless turmoil.

The first step, Mr Akhtar, is to stop taking the piss and start giving it.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Acai Berry on August 26, 2008, 1:56 GMT

    Nice bog you have here. I pretty much lurk the internet when I'm bored and read all I can about the organic lifestyle, but I really liked you view on things. I'll bookmark the site and subscribe to the feed!

  • nick mac on April 9, 2007, 6:40 GMT

    So much hate so little understanding.If these two players have taken this drug then ban ban ban. At this time of me writing i think it was ban. The thing is though that so many people claim ignorance to these steroids.A few years ago here in AUS. we had a few people testing positive to this same drug in R. League, where it came to light that those who were taking were said to trying to recover from injury. Funny isnt it that this same drug weakens ligaments and tissue(makes em brittle?) resulting in further injury, or more commonly becoming injured and then spending more time out of the game.To cap it all off, once off the drugs the player becomes less of an influence in the game.

  • Matt on March 1, 2007, 11:29 GMT

    So, now that Asif and Shoaib are "un-fit" and withdrawn from the WC they ahve saved their careers as they will not be tested for drugs.

    However, it is very suspicious, I wonder whether the ICC technical committee will allow these players to be replaced. As there is strong conjecture that they have only minor injuries, if sufficient proof of injuries is not available, the ICC may choose to not allow the players to be replaced.

    This is obviously highly suspicious that the two players that have tested positive for drugs are both injured, both in the UK and both not had the formal drug tests.

    How come Razzaq was able to withdraw after being injured without skipping the drug tests and not going to London?

  • Against drugs in sport on March 1, 2007, 7:17 GMT

    FINALLY!!!! The world cup is officially rid of drug cheats. Todays announcement that Shaoib and Asif will not participate in WC'07 might have halved, if not demolished Pakistans chances of winning but on the brighter side atleast they can, in some small way forget the embarrasment that the PCB had caused themselves after thier decision to overturn the bans. No matter what the excuses were for these two, the bottom line is that no player should be allowed to participate in any competitive sport (especially the world cup)if they are testing positive for steroids. its just not fair to all the other hardworking sportstars who get results with blood, sweat and tears. THIS IS A GREAT DAY IN WORLD SPORT!!! CONGRATULATIONS to WADA for keeping the heat on the Pakistani cricket board and forcing them to ommit the two from WC'07

    Also to those die hard Pakistani cricket fans who think that this is some sort of conspiracy against Pakistanis or that the testing procedures were inaccurate, i just have to mention one thing. why else would asif and shoaib be playing thier hide and seek game in England? they knew what they done wrong and it was too obvious that they were actively trying to dodge the dope tests. why would they be included in the team and risk a life ban??

  • ashzz on February 28, 2007, 22:03 GMT

    @MR.PAKISTAN CANNOT WIN THE WORLD CUP. sir wid all due respect u hav no right wht so eva to say dose things abt our players!!i am aure u arnt a pakistani fan!! @rest of u guys... look at us!!pakistan has lost an away series n wht do v do??instead of supporting dem all v can do is criticise!!how can a team do well if dere suppoters arnt bakin em!!how many teams has done well in s.africa let alone win a series??africa is in a gr8 form.every home team makes pitches tht suit dem.so it is very diff to beat a team on der home ground.take a recent example of india.dey lost by the same margain as pakistan in s.africa.but dere fans dnt start sayin such things...as for the bowlers.yes shoaib and asif r imp.but v did do well wid out em.omer gul n shahid nazir did a f9 job in the test matches.all 10x to waqar's coachin.the only mistake our board made was kikin out waqar.cux he improved pakistans bowling a lot. stop criticising ur team n start prayin n forgods sake do rite a few encouraging words 4 em!!10x.

  • Imran bhai what r u talking Dear sir? on February 28, 2007, 18:12 GMT

    Akhter bhai can u win the W cup for us?? I know u can do it alone. wel done slecters u have included shoaib akhter even he was half fit. Hell on the ppls who keep blaming the slecters. They slected a best team 4 the worldcup. I am happy with the slecters about Mohammed hafeez inclusion in the squads. He is a good spinner, Pak will use him as their 6th bowler in the match. As a good spinner if he score plus 20 runs, I think its enough for PaK. Imran khan is such a great player but I am surprised by the statement he made about yasir hameed. Imran bhai beleave me I never dare to call u an idiot or fool caz u r a very good person. Please dont rate yasir hameed as a specialist opener for the worldcup. This time u have a very poor judgements sir. U r keep supporting Yasir hameed because he is from peshawar. As u always supported younis khan in the past, Younis is also a pathan. U have the same feelings for Umer Gul. U r a great cricketer Please sir dont do that. Imran farhat is also not a good opener for the worldcup as a specialist batsman. He throw his wicket with the same way towards 2nd slip. But again some ppls r blaming slecters for Imran farhat. thr r always critics,, but,, So well done slecters. This is the best team picked by the slecters & they have very good options to pick thr openers from thr 15 men squads. Once Akhter and Asif clear thr tests. Pak will win it.

  • fahad,kmc,nepal on February 28, 2007, 5:38 GMT

    well what i think tat if shoaib akhtar is unfit for the world cup then obviously its a set back for the pakistan team tat doesnt mean tat they dont stand a chance at the world.now with razzaq injured and afridi banned for the 2 odis.its like adding salt to the injury.but i was quite impressed with rao iftikar anjum the way he bowled against the proteus in last odi.azhar mahmod is a good replacement for someone like razzaq.umer gul needs to bowl his heart out throughtout the series.but the shoaib the rawalipindi express is very very difficult to be replaced.......so its going to b tough for pak and we dont know either that asif will b playing or not!!! may they r tested negative and are fit for the opening encounter against the windies and may we seen a fully fit and strong pakistan team on march 13th .may palistan win the cup!!!

  • PAK HAS A ZERO% CHANCE TO LIFT THE TROPHY. on February 27, 2007, 15:10 GMT

    HOW CAN U WIN A WORLDCUP???????? 1- If Akhter and asif r not playing, Pak bowling depending on Rao, Rana & Azhar(for Razzaq), Malik, Hafeez. lol 2- Look to thr Wicketkeeper? No need to explain about his form. 3- What a fielders they got, lol... Rana, Inzi, Yousuf, etc etc. 4- What is the batting position of thr batsmen? No one of Pak players knows what is his batting position. lol 5- Inzi become more fat. He is only counting his days when Worldcup will end. He just hang on man. 6- What a chairman Pcb have at the stage of worldcup(naseem ashraf). He writes cricket '' crakit''. They beleave if u know u cannt win the WC then make some FUN man. So why not to make him chairman. lol 7- Pak coach was very good 4,5 montsh ago. But after so many above mantioned matters he is gone totally MAD. Pak team is going to make a ...... history in upcomming WC. lol ... I hope Pak will win in thr first round against Ireland and zimbabwe.....

  • Tom on February 27, 2007, 10:33 GMT

    There should be no doubt - The two failed a dope test for performance enhancing drugs. WADA code states unequivocally that the athlete is repsonsible for everything that goes into his body. ICC have signed up to the WADA code so they get a 2 year ban and this should be enforced by ICC if PCB do not do the right thing. NO debate!

  • S.Senthil kumar on February 27, 2007, 5:46 GMT

    friends,Cricket is gentlemen game.But PCB is a totally collapsed.They have not clear idea to take decision.If you see cricket board like india,australia is very strict to manage players.India banned azar,jadeja involving in match fixing.Talent is measued by performance of the team as well as individual players.Both these akthar and asif has taken some drugs.This was confirmed by PCB.But they are not having clear vision.They should neglected to these both players and Pakistan has lot of young and potential talented fast bowlers.But the PCB did big mistake of again selected two players.They may be selected some players and may be equiped two bowlers before this world cup.They entirly failed.I would like to conclude the pakistan cricket team will find the meaning of cricket in this world cup.Because fatique of some players,coach problem,PCB confusion,etc..,Anyway pakistan cricket team should have more awarness when play against inexperienced cricket teams.They may give some shock treatment.

  • Acai Berry on August 26, 2008, 1:56 GMT

    Nice bog you have here. I pretty much lurk the internet when I'm bored and read all I can about the organic lifestyle, but I really liked you view on things. I'll bookmark the site and subscribe to the feed!

  • nick mac on April 9, 2007, 6:40 GMT

    So much hate so little understanding.If these two players have taken this drug then ban ban ban. At this time of me writing i think it was ban. The thing is though that so many people claim ignorance to these steroids.A few years ago here in AUS. we had a few people testing positive to this same drug in R. League, where it came to light that those who were taking were said to trying to recover from injury. Funny isnt it that this same drug weakens ligaments and tissue(makes em brittle?) resulting in further injury, or more commonly becoming injured and then spending more time out of the game.To cap it all off, once off the drugs the player becomes less of an influence in the game.

  • Matt on March 1, 2007, 11:29 GMT

    So, now that Asif and Shoaib are "un-fit" and withdrawn from the WC they ahve saved their careers as they will not be tested for drugs.

    However, it is very suspicious, I wonder whether the ICC technical committee will allow these players to be replaced. As there is strong conjecture that they have only minor injuries, if sufficient proof of injuries is not available, the ICC may choose to not allow the players to be replaced.

    This is obviously highly suspicious that the two players that have tested positive for drugs are both injured, both in the UK and both not had the formal drug tests.

    How come Razzaq was able to withdraw after being injured without skipping the drug tests and not going to London?

  • Against drugs in sport on March 1, 2007, 7:17 GMT

    FINALLY!!!! The world cup is officially rid of drug cheats. Todays announcement that Shaoib and Asif will not participate in WC'07 might have halved, if not demolished Pakistans chances of winning but on the brighter side atleast they can, in some small way forget the embarrasment that the PCB had caused themselves after thier decision to overturn the bans. No matter what the excuses were for these two, the bottom line is that no player should be allowed to participate in any competitive sport (especially the world cup)if they are testing positive for steroids. its just not fair to all the other hardworking sportstars who get results with blood, sweat and tears. THIS IS A GREAT DAY IN WORLD SPORT!!! CONGRATULATIONS to WADA for keeping the heat on the Pakistani cricket board and forcing them to ommit the two from WC'07

    Also to those die hard Pakistani cricket fans who think that this is some sort of conspiracy against Pakistanis or that the testing procedures were inaccurate, i just have to mention one thing. why else would asif and shoaib be playing thier hide and seek game in England? they knew what they done wrong and it was too obvious that they were actively trying to dodge the dope tests. why would they be included in the team and risk a life ban??

  • ashzz on February 28, 2007, 22:03 GMT

    @MR.PAKISTAN CANNOT WIN THE WORLD CUP. sir wid all due respect u hav no right wht so eva to say dose things abt our players!!i am aure u arnt a pakistani fan!! @rest of u guys... look at us!!pakistan has lost an away series n wht do v do??instead of supporting dem all v can do is criticise!!how can a team do well if dere suppoters arnt bakin em!!how many teams has done well in s.africa let alone win a series??africa is in a gr8 form.every home team makes pitches tht suit dem.so it is very diff to beat a team on der home ground.take a recent example of india.dey lost by the same margain as pakistan in s.africa.but dere fans dnt start sayin such things...as for the bowlers.yes shoaib and asif r imp.but v did do well wid out em.omer gul n shahid nazir did a f9 job in the test matches.all 10x to waqar's coachin.the only mistake our board made was kikin out waqar.cux he improved pakistans bowling a lot. stop criticising ur team n start prayin n forgods sake do rite a few encouraging words 4 em!!10x.

  • Imran bhai what r u talking Dear sir? on February 28, 2007, 18:12 GMT

    Akhter bhai can u win the W cup for us?? I know u can do it alone. wel done slecters u have included shoaib akhter even he was half fit. Hell on the ppls who keep blaming the slecters. They slected a best team 4 the worldcup. I am happy with the slecters about Mohammed hafeez inclusion in the squads. He is a good spinner, Pak will use him as their 6th bowler in the match. As a good spinner if he score plus 20 runs, I think its enough for PaK. Imran khan is such a great player but I am surprised by the statement he made about yasir hameed. Imran bhai beleave me I never dare to call u an idiot or fool caz u r a very good person. Please dont rate yasir hameed as a specialist opener for the worldcup. This time u have a very poor judgements sir. U r keep supporting Yasir hameed because he is from peshawar. As u always supported younis khan in the past, Younis is also a pathan. U have the same feelings for Umer Gul. U r a great cricketer Please sir dont do that. Imran farhat is also not a good opener for the worldcup as a specialist batsman. He throw his wicket with the same way towards 2nd slip. But again some ppls r blaming slecters for Imran farhat. thr r always critics,, but,, So well done slecters. This is the best team picked by the slecters & they have very good options to pick thr openers from thr 15 men squads. Once Akhter and Asif clear thr tests. Pak will win it.

  • fahad,kmc,nepal on February 28, 2007, 5:38 GMT

    well what i think tat if shoaib akhtar is unfit for the world cup then obviously its a set back for the pakistan team tat doesnt mean tat they dont stand a chance at the world.now with razzaq injured and afridi banned for the 2 odis.its like adding salt to the injury.but i was quite impressed with rao iftikar anjum the way he bowled against the proteus in last odi.azhar mahmod is a good replacement for someone like razzaq.umer gul needs to bowl his heart out throughtout the series.but the shoaib the rawalipindi express is very very difficult to be replaced.......so its going to b tough for pak and we dont know either that asif will b playing or not!!! may they r tested negative and are fit for the opening encounter against the windies and may we seen a fully fit and strong pakistan team on march 13th .may palistan win the cup!!!

  • PAK HAS A ZERO% CHANCE TO LIFT THE TROPHY. on February 27, 2007, 15:10 GMT

    HOW CAN U WIN A WORLDCUP???????? 1- If Akhter and asif r not playing, Pak bowling depending on Rao, Rana & Azhar(for Razzaq), Malik, Hafeez. lol 2- Look to thr Wicketkeeper? No need to explain about his form. 3- What a fielders they got, lol... Rana, Inzi, Yousuf, etc etc. 4- What is the batting position of thr batsmen? No one of Pak players knows what is his batting position. lol 5- Inzi become more fat. He is only counting his days when Worldcup will end. He just hang on man. 6- What a chairman Pcb have at the stage of worldcup(naseem ashraf). He writes cricket '' crakit''. They beleave if u know u cannt win the WC then make some FUN man. So why not to make him chairman. lol 7- Pak coach was very good 4,5 montsh ago. But after so many above mantioned matters he is gone totally MAD. Pak team is going to make a ...... history in upcomming WC. lol ... I hope Pak will win in thr first round against Ireland and zimbabwe.....

  • Tom on February 27, 2007, 10:33 GMT

    There should be no doubt - The two failed a dope test for performance enhancing drugs. WADA code states unequivocally that the athlete is repsonsible for everything that goes into his body. ICC have signed up to the WADA code so they get a 2 year ban and this should be enforced by ICC if PCB do not do the right thing. NO debate!

  • S.Senthil kumar on February 27, 2007, 5:46 GMT

    friends,Cricket is gentlemen game.But PCB is a totally collapsed.They have not clear idea to take decision.If you see cricket board like india,australia is very strict to manage players.India banned azar,jadeja involving in match fixing.Talent is measued by performance of the team as well as individual players.Both these akthar and asif has taken some drugs.This was confirmed by PCB.But they are not having clear vision.They should neglected to these both players and Pakistan has lot of young and potential talented fast bowlers.But the PCB did big mistake of again selected two players.They may be selected some players and may be equiped two bowlers before this world cup.They entirly failed.I would like to conclude the pakistan cricket team will find the meaning of cricket in this world cup.Because fatique of some players,coach problem,PCB confusion,etc..,Anyway pakistan cricket team should have more awarness when play against inexperienced cricket teams.They may give some shock treatment.

  • Anwar on February 27, 2007, 5:26 GMT

    Aoa I think sohaib is a headache in any case either he is in the team or sitting outside, in both cases severe headache, pepole talk bout him goodness me match winner!! i cant understand he comes in the team he is 100% match fit, the play starts the next news comes oh! he is injured great match winner no doubt, well i dont think pakistan need a match winner of shoib's class.

  • mtahir on February 27, 2007, 3:35 GMT

    i know that shoaib and asif owe to pakistan cricket to play the world cup ,but lets not get too selfish and jeopardise their career;if they do test positive during the world cupit will be all over for them and for one of the finest pace combination after waqar/waseem , imran/sarfaraz period.i entirely agree with hassan's views that if anyone doesnot like them they dont know anything about cricket.I have been living in the state for almost 26 years and i had been completely cut off from cricket,and almost lost interest in it, untill I saw shoaib in action for the first time.It was one of the most electrifying moments of my life and believe me I have faced many in my life.I think we are very ungrateful and we have always been ungrateful; first with the likes of wasim akram who i think is probably the best leftarm seamer the world has known.Look at the treatment he got after the world cup.He was in great form even at that juncture.Same with Saeed Anwar who scored the most runsin the world cup.Now we are out to get shoaib. Seamers like shoaib are born once in a lifetime.They are exciting and good for the game of cricket and it's promotion.Have people forgotten the ball that floore the great Lara... and laras comments on shoaib that 'he's the most dangerous bowler he ever faced.Have we forgotten the ball that bashed the face of the prejudiced south african batsman on the most docile pitches in Pakistan. Have we forgotten that he almost finished Mathew Hayden's career on his last visit to Australia.... I can just go on and and on... lets not forget those kind of thrilling moments he has given us and in return just support him as much as we can, and support the youngster Asif who inshallah will be among the all time greats as well. Almost ten years ago I encountered the most tragic moments when I lost 2 of my family members.I thought I would never get out of the well of DEPRESSION .It was only after watching Shoaib in action that i learned to smile again. I for one , will tell you Shoaib Akhter ... I am very grateful to you for bringing that smile back on my face... I pray for you everyday.. May god give you all that your heart desires ... Aaameen.

  • M B Khan on February 26, 2007, 20:02 GMT

    well, todays Daily Jang has reported otherwise. It says the tests taken in UK have been positive.

  • naeem on February 26, 2007, 17:42 GMT

    I thunk Pakistan can win this match easily. There is Mohamed Yusuf,Yunis Khan and Inzemam-Ul-Haq who are experience players and can add the heat a notch more.In addition to that, besides West Indies team we have great support in the West Indies

  • hassaan on February 26, 2007, 14:39 GMT

    shoaib and asif are the diamonds of pakistan if any cricket fan doesn't like them then in my opinion they don't know anything about cricket.At this stage they need our support so please support your team. thanks

  • ashzz on February 26, 2007, 13:32 GMT

    i agree tht pcb shud not send players who dun pass the drugs test to w.indies.but if shoaib passes the drug test he shud b sent.fit or un fit.cux he is a match winner.he'll b unfit for a game but when he'll b fit again he'll win u matches.and i totally dis agree wid ppl who think tht shoaib's behaviour is unacceptable b'cux hes a star.and he wants ppl to respect him.not to accuse him of faking injury!!

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui, Jeddah - Saudi Arabia on February 26, 2007, 13:07 GMT

    I personally feel that things are not right as far as the dope test problems of Shoaib and Asif is concerned, that is why the hide and seek game is being played by PCB. In my openion Pakistan must not risk sending them to the World Cup for it will label us as cheats. Winning the World cup is important but not at the risk of putting Pakistans prestige at stake. It may be important for Inzamam and company, but definately not for the Pakistani nation. it is therefore imparative that PCB comes out in open and settle this issue so that the team and its players know about the armoury they have in their kitty.

    Kamran sahib I think that there are other issues as well apart from the Shoaib/Asif saga, so it is in the interest of the team that PCB must come out with facts and finalize the squad for the uncertainty must end now and the boys must get down to the job in hand. I personally feel that Pakistan will have to go without Shoaib and Asif and I am sure many will agree with me,if so than who should be the possible replacement for them, Will it be Sami and Shahid Nazeer, given that it will be them only then why did we not use them in South Africa perticularly when we knew that things may not be ok with Shoaib/Asif dope tests. Now this is what I call a mess up in planning, were the PCB not aware of this eventuality, or was is another hood winking act of theirs, perticularly in light of the fact that the PCB cheif, Salim Altaf and the chairman of the sellectors were all in South Africa. Why were they there, was it for a joy ride at the expanse of PCB. Was it not their job to make sure that we had a proper alternative for such a scenario specially when the chief sellector was summoned to South Africa to evaluate the fitness problems of the team. How long is Pakistan cricked board will be subjected to such things and is there no Power in Pakistan who can ask for explainations on such issues. Kamran sahib alongwith my dear friends who send in their comments must now realize that all trhis is an exercise in futility. We can go on sending our comments and thoughts here and also every where but things will not change in PCB. GEO television has recently started a programme "BOLAIN KIYA BAAT HAI" and the anchor of this show has been trying to contact Salim Altaf for over 2 weeks but he is no where to be found, Salim Altaf just does not answer his phone and it seems that he is least bothered even despite the fact that the show is live and the whole Pakistan is watching it. Such is the level of high handedness. they simply dont care all of them the Salim's, the Bari's, the every Toms, Dicks and Harrys at the PCB. So I have come to a conclusion that no power can mend the ways of these buggers.

  • MOHAMMAD NADEEM SARWAR on February 26, 2007, 5:51 GMT

    in my & my friends opinion that PCB should not send those players to West Indies to play wolrd cup who are tested positive already because WADA and the chairman of ICC mr. malcum speed (Aus) are waiting to bane them for life time they want to finish their cricket (reason for this yeh goron ki nasal parasti hai.)

  • SHAMI on February 26, 2007, 5:17 GMT

    Please Mr. Miandad go with the team, tell them the following: Guys you are the ones the whole world stays up all night to watch, you are the guys the whole world from Pakistan to England to US to Australia and beyond stratagizes for months, as a matter of fact for years for the world cup and Pakistani team. PLEASE, go out there and do the best you can. Win or Loose does not matter, Pakistan Loves you, every Pakistani all over the world Loves you. Oh Mr. Miandad for God sake tell Imran Nazir to hit straight, I do not care if you get out first ball, Just crush the off side ball to the off side like you used to do in Sharjah, and do use your feet to go down the wicket. Hafeez you will be an anchor stay there baby. Yousaf come 3, Inzi come 4 like the great Khan did in WC. Younis carry on @5 because we got Malik right behind you. If any one of you five do your part we have just set the stage for big thunder dome, you have the 3 aces to follow Akmal, Afradi,and Abdul, and you know if you have three aces in your hand the Bank will give you a loan. If you play your cards right the Pot of GOLD is yours. Inshallah, because I am not talking about Gambling or any card game, I am talking about the Pride of Pakistan. Umar Gull, and the king of spin D.K. Rana Jee. You have got heart. our prayers are with you all All the way. Play hard boys. "Himatay Mardaaun Madday Khuda" Sanu Wc laya kay vakha.

  • BlackStone on February 25, 2007, 22:41 GMT

    Now Come on, gimme a break.... Go back to the England series, Asif and Shoaib both were recalled in the middle of the series, Asif after the first 2 losses and Shoaib after the Oval episode.(if I remember correctly) And if I'm not wrong Asif had no chance of going to England due to injury scare. All of a sudden both of them combine together to impress in the 20-20 and the 1st three ODI, the first one being washed away due to rain. If we look back at it, were they under the influence of the same drugs while they were performing then? Was it the Board itself that had administered drugs to these players to extract some pride out of the series, no to be? And then out of nowhere, the Chairman resignation saga takes place after sheer misbehaviour of Younis Khan..... The time had come for the board to start acting as a board and then these two bowlers were victimised in an effort to put the entire team on their toes. Now it is the same board which is spending huge amount of money on hiring lawyers for the same players it had once admonished/banned from playing. And we are struck at none other than Shoaib. We have known for quite sometime now that he does'nt pull along very well with the Captain and Coach. Some talk of mishandling or mistreating him. I totally disagree. He is just not a sportsman. We don't require heroes playing cricket, we want consistency and he lacks it. Period. How many time does the nation want to get disappointed over his fitness? The only solution I can think of making him play is by making him a captain of the team. (Atleast experimenting is the only thing consistent in the PCB). And please start looking beyong World Cup 2007, Pakistan is not even likely to make the semis. (Unless, ofcourse, it happens, like it happened in 1992)

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 25, 2007, 19:33 GMT

    roger bond

    Now, after " ali a " has cornered you with some facts you are not only denying the facts but you are labeling and branding ALL Pakistani's with your typical stereotype comments that they are all " ill mannered and uneducated" etc., and trying to divert this issue towards mannerism, culture and comparing it with Indians and Sri Lankans to create another debate? What a shame bond!

    Pls. note that b4 you throw the dirt on others remember that its gonna splatter on you as well. First of all Adam Parore's comments came after 15 years, was he slumbering before that or was he so intoxicated with the effects of the drugs that it took him so long to realize this? He took the opportunity to criticize Pakistani bowlers when he saw he will get some readership to his article on the assumption, 'strike when the iron is hot' cheap tactics by Parore.

    And you Mr. Bond you do not have the license to kill 2 birds with one stone. Get your facts right and look into your backyard before you criticize others.

  • World cricket Lover on February 25, 2007, 18:16 GMT

    To Marty at February 21, 2007

    What a general racist remark you just made(Subcontinent......)!! In 1950/60's opposite things used to happen to subcontinent cricket... With your arguments about Ugly HAIR scandal blame Pakistan for cheating--- now you can't call the whole team a cheat for an individual player's conduct. Like blaming my family for my misbehavior. By the way, It was not Shane's fault but his MUMI's.

    For the world cup, hope for the best team to win.

    Cricket Lover

  • Bhatti Ishaq on February 25, 2007, 16:21 GMT

    I think cricket is well diciplined game and Sohaib is totally out of line no dout he was a good player and he has never proved that he is part of the team you can see his previou records in my opnion he should be totally out of the game and out of talk he will learn his lesson it is only mater of time and his time is up give some commer a chance how is willing to play.

  • Master on February 25, 2007, 13:15 GMT

    Man this ROGER BOND has now no reply to give. lol. Because he was talking to much. MAN, he was flying in the sky but now he is on the ground..........)(*&^%$#@. Its ok roger if u realize ur mistake. thnx.,,. Shoaib was the quickest bowler and he is the quickest bowler in the world. oyy dont compare this brett lee srett lee with our shoaib. Shoaib is a quicker and pacy then brett lee.

  • Qasim Saeed on February 25, 2007, 11:21 GMT

    I agree with the post by Shabir (February 24, 2007) and also believe that both Asif and Shoaib should be banned for one year as much as it saddens me to say it for Asif especially who could have been one of the most exciting bowlers in the world cup.

    The truth of the matter is that tests were conducted and these two players were found guilty of using a banned substance. Intentionally or unintentionally, the guilty must be punished. Otherwise what was the purpose of having the tests in the first place? The overtunring of the bans was yet another downright ridiculous act by the PCB especially since the players were found guilty of the use.

    So what if Pakistan doesn’t win the world cup. We have not done it in 7 of the 8 competitions and at times with great/much better teams. Lets not also forget that 15 teams will not win the world cup this time around.

    The inclusion of these two players would definitely bolster the attack but in no way will it guarantee a win. The important thing is to do the right thing and set a precedent.

    Say what you may about the Pakistan line up but the current lineup is not as bad as most comments suggest it. The 1992 Newzealand team was in no way better than the current Pakistan team but they were on course for a world cup win until Inzamam came and ruined their party so lets not lose heart yet.

    As for somebodys post on Adam Parore, the least said about it the better. Priceless!!!

  • shehzad on February 25, 2007, 7:16 GMT

    'ali a' very very good comments posted by u. thnx. these ppls r never happy with pak gr8 bowlers. Pak bowlers swing and reverse the ball with mastery. so these ppls will always blame u with ball tempering, cheating etc.heh. Why should they stop blaming now after Shoaib and Asif drug scandal? Now they have said every Pak gr8 have used the drugs in thr past. lolzz. I have a question to mister adam. Adam when shoaib akhter has bowled 15 overs in a row? His speed remains the same when he started his career. Ur comments showing itself, how great these pak bowlers are.

  • roger bond on February 25, 2007, 2:16 GMT

    Mr ali As expected your answers are ill mannered , judgmental and a sign of what your education level and manners preselects. And your illogical statements just prove that.You probably are blinded by patriotism that you refuse to call a spade a spade. No point in talking to you. At least the other Asians , the Indians and Sri lankans know their manners. So long.....

  • Dr m Ali on February 24, 2007, 23:10 GMT

    Well done KIWIS and will be WORLD champions soon. M Yousaf is a genius and gifted crickter like Bradman, Gavaskar, Zaheer, Ricky, Vivian, and Tendulkar. We love you all and please teach some respect to worthless shoaib

  • ali a on February 24, 2007, 22:24 GMT

    To Mr. Roger Bond:

    I believe this is what you mentioned in your originally that prompted me to reply:

    "What will the dope test reveal? Answer: As Adam paroroe pointed out that they smelt somethnig fishy long back when the the paki bowlers bowled 20 overs at stretch in hot weather and still managed to get speed. This is not humanely possible no matter what your diet is. The only answer is steroids. Everyone knows akthar and other paki bowlers were on steroids for long long time ... Hope all dopers are banned for life."

    First of all, Pakistan comes under Asia so I mentioned this and also coz Com Hodgson (I believe) the other over ambitious writer accused Sub-continent of cheating...

    Now you interestingly mentioned in your latest opinion "Same way I never preached life bad for your players but one year ban. "

    If I read your above two statements I cannot make out if you're preaching life bans or 1 year - get it straight. Interestingly you mentioned Shane Warne banned for 1 year - you made a statement above that all dopers be banned for life - so this does not apply for Warnie I believe (because he's Aussie, right). Lets ask your Adam on this...

    Please also tell us who is Adam Parore who happens to be so expert on Pakistani bowlers. As far as using his logic of bowling 20 overs straight means person is taking steroids. I believe Lillee, Holdinig and Marshall and other fast bowlers had bowled many overs straight numerous time, not to mention Warnie bowling those in recent Ashes series at age of 37. So with this logic I believe everyone must be taking steroids. Marshall was a medium fast bowler when he started, but was a very fast bowler when he ended - must be taking steroids according to your logic.

    If you read the comments on this blog everyone is agreeing that Shoaib and Asif were tested positive for doping and they may do now. But your statement above suggest that every Pakistani player is or has taken steroids. What a ridiculous piece of sh*t coming from you or Mr Adam (the so called authority on Pakistani cricket).

    I am not being overemotional - its you and Mr Adam who are loonies and must be on drugs yourself that think every player in Pakistan is on drugs.

    And lastly for your bouncer rule, it was not Asians that came up with this - it was your pathetic Aussie, New Zealand and English who came up with this against the mighty West Indies - since they were shitting in their pants when facing them in late 70's and 80's. and that's why they came up with this rule.

    Get your facts straight man, you and your Mr Adam can do a lot of damage with your words. The whole world or Pakistanis are not on drugs. Stop illusionating..

  • Sajid Hassan, New Delhi on February 24, 2007, 21:24 GMT

    This is what happens when the Cricket Boards are run by fools. Compared to Pakistan, we in India have a relative dearth of fast bowlers, but a consistent policy has made sure that Indian team is doing fine with whatever we have at our disposal. Sreesanth and Agarkar may not possess even 50% of talent that Umar Gul or Mohammad Sami have but with Board's backing they have done fine. Especially Ajit Agarkar, this lad never gave less than 8 an over in his first 50 matches but due to long stint he was given he has become good now. In Pakistan you have a Mohammad Sami who bowls at 150 KMPH and is a great prospects but see what these fools in the PCB have made out of him. Fast bowlers need to be backed more than anybody else in cricket. All the mess that is there in Pakistan Cricket started with the knee-jerk reaction of board after 2003 WC performance. I believe, Pakistan was unlucky in the 2003 WC as can happen with any team. Sometimes you as team are just out of sorts and that was what happened with Pakistan. And this gave fools in PCB who I sometime think are just a jealous bunch of non-achievers in their lives. They conveniently cut the careers of Waqar, Wasim and Saeed (Thank Lord we could see the big Inzy again). This made sure that the bowlers like Shoaib and Sami were stripped of the luxury of playing with greats like Waqar and Wasim. The reason Waqar and Wasim groomed into greats was that they played with great Imran. This could not happen with Akhtar and Sami. Akhtar with his speed, now most senior bowler in the team, and with his attitude and arrogance could not handle it and squandered it all to become the demon that he is now. Had the greats like Wasim and Waqar been around for a longer stint, Akhtar would have become an all-time great by now as his speed, energy and attitude would have come out in a controlled and guided way. I have never been a great fan of Pakistani batting but one player that I would rate as the single most dangerous batsman I have seen it is Saeed Anwar. And see what these fools in Pakistan Board did to him. For sure PCB does not know how to honour its greats. Shoaib Akhtar is a great bowler but has been mishandled by PCB till now, he has gone unpunished when he should have been punished and on the other hand on occasions when he single-handed won series after series and games after games for Pakistan, his services were not appreciated by these jealous non-achievers in PCB. No doubt Pakistan has its bag full of talents but can not manage a team of good 15 players. I feel sorry for Mohammad Sami and Salman Butt.

  • Shabir on February 24, 2007, 19:26 GMT

    I think Kamran Sahib, the facts that are staring in the face should not be ignored. Shoaib and Asif took banned substances. That they were cleared subsequently is nothing short of scandalous. Any Pakistani vicotory with these two involved will be tainted by NANDROLONE. Better for Pakistan to recogninse this fact and sideline these two. Cheating is OUT, and taking steroids is just that. There will be many world cups in the future, but not many opportunities like this, when a stand against drugs needs to be made, and dignity of the nation upheld (even if it will inevitably cost Pakistan the world cup).

  • Banner on February 24, 2007, 16:10 GMT

    Lets hope they Ban Akhtar and Asif for Life. thats the only way that CANCER inzi and the PCB will learn, they could care less about Akhtar i bet but when WADA Bans Asif, haha that will be pure classic. Frankly at that point, inzimam should just give up his post as Captain.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 24, 2007, 14:46 GMT

    ARUN from Bangalore

    apart from the captain, the ICC officials also need some steroids for their BRAINS to work, so they must also take some to think about entertainment for viewers and spectators instead of ICC making millions of dollars for doing nothing!

  • ARUN, BANGALORE on February 24, 2007, 7:57 GMT

    First of all decide what levels of nandrolone or whatever the drug is, helps in improving the performance on that day. There is no point in just banning players because they may have taken steroids knowingly or unknowingly. If the levels a re not infuencing the level of their game, why should you think of banning them and rob the game of some of the stars. World Cup wouldn't be the same without these stars. We should also see the entertainment level what Shoaib Akhthar brings to the game , however comical. And poor Asif, what he took may have been due to peer pressure. Now this step would give all those INJURED players to come out clean and play in the World Cup, if the levels are defined, which may be very low as of now. These levels may have been decided for all games which are of very short duratioin nature and hence steroid may help there. CRICKET is played more with brains than brawn . I doubt these steroid have much of an effect on the performance. Long duration games of one whole day need steroid for the BRAINs more and more importantly for the captain. All The injured players of all the teams should come out and play this World Cup and make it a better tournament. Lets Play now

  • shehzad on February 24, 2007, 6:10 GMT

    What happend to miandad. he is not ready to go to the training camp because it is too late now. very funny yaar. He beleaves Pak cannt win this worldCup. I am sure Pak players will come back very strongly in the WC & they will win it. Please tell me Sir Miandad, where will u hide then? I am sure u will not find any place to hide. U still have a time to change ur statement sir. lolz

  • hmmm on February 23, 2007, 22:59 GMT

    Is Lee really injured or ...? no no no i am not saying that he is a doper but is he really injured? well warnie did retire from oneday internationls after... ICC must start coducting dope test in test cricket also.

  • Ben on February 23, 2007, 18:55 GMT

    More important than Pak winning the WC is that they give it their very best shot while staying clear of any controversy.

    They've had enough !

  • Ghalib Taimur on February 23, 2007, 17:35 GMT

    To me Shoaib is very similar to Imran in terms of character-both had their ego issues and both have always been well respected in their teams eventho very few ppl liked them at tht point in their heart.But these are two guys who the team is scared of and if they say something the team will oblige and we yet again need a leader like this.I think put Shaoib in captaincy and i think the responsibility will do him and Pakistan gud.He is da best captain we never had....

  • Ali Shah (USA) on February 23, 2007, 17:03 GMT

    This place is more like freedom of speech. Most my borthers here are very emotional and sensitive over Shoiab Akhtar issue. Let him live his life and decide what he wants to do. Most of you might have no idea why are blaming shoiab for all issue? Okay fine if you say "ban substance" drugs not allowed in players body to stay fit.I agree with you 100% but why are you ppls saying so much shit about Shoiab. It seems like everybody worry about shoiab shoiab and shoiab. Leave him alone. Pakistan cricket team need your boost love and support to perform better in this mega event. Dont forget pakistani known to be unperdicatble please calm down turn on your TV and enjoy the game. Just like when you sitting in theater watching Hindi Movie. Pakistan still can be tough team to beat. They are carrying stars who can turn game around at any stage.

  • Neral on February 23, 2007, 13:33 GMT

    Drugs will not improve speed of a fast bowler, putting him at any significant advantage, and drugs should be allowed for medical usage after injury.

  • Zee on February 23, 2007, 13:31 GMT

    Shoaib as captain??

    Someone suggested & some others agreed that shoaib should be the captain of the team. Well! I would accept that with a fully fit Shoaib, not with an injury prone Shoaib. He can be an asset for the team if fully fit.

    However, I would like to suggest & prove something more practical and suitable for Pakistan team. My man for captaincy is SHAHID AFRIDI due to following reasons:

    1- He is an energietic and confident player. 2- He lacks sense of responsibility. By making him the captain, I think we can explore the best out of him both as a batsman & player. 3- He enjoys his game. It is very important for a captain & team to enjoy their game. This is something we are missing from pakistan team. 4- He has signs to be a good leader. 5- He can play cricket till next world cup & even if he fails as a captain for some matches, we can give him time as fleming & smith proved in their teams.

    Though Younis is also an option as he has also shown some of above mentioned qualities, my man for captaincy is AFRIDI.

    Hope most of you guys will agree..........

  • Disgruntled Pakistani. on February 23, 2007, 13:30 GMT

    Cricket is much bigger than any individual(S). That SHOULD be understood by us as Pakistani fans. If Shoaib is guilty, cut him off. If Asif is guilty, cut him off too. NO ONE should be above the law, in this and in any other case. Unless we learn to accept this as a nation, we are in deep. Asif is not mentioned in your blog which I found to be a tad bit curious. He is probably (and I’m ready to wager my house on this) the greatest bowler that we have ever had (given that he has the ambition to play out his career without such episodes in the future), however if he has cheated, he should be sacked. It’s painful even saying this but it HAS to be done (and before I lose my house). He is an inspiring individual. He can lead our youngsters into a new direction of controlled line and length bowling just as Imran did for our old greats. Instead he is quickly turning out to be setting the worst kind of example. This pains me as a cricket lover. Shoaib has become an enigma. I don’t give two Na Na’s about his personal life. As far as im concerned he can be the biggest player (off the field), smoke pot till his brain shrinks to the size of a walnut, or have venereal disease, I just don’t care. The guy should be picked for his game on the field, not off the field. That aside, and without passing a judgment on his current position of guilt, or otherwise, if he’s done it then he should be dropped. It’s more unethical keeping him in the team despite his guilt, than all the unethical things he does off the field put together (an act by an individual as compared to an act by a collective, PCB). Which brings me to an institution that’s a bigger enigma than Shoaib himself; the 'Righteous' PCB. If nothing else works, I would personally love to lead a group of people (of whom there are a dime a dozen) who feel as flummoxed by PCB as I am straight to the Qaddafi stadium. If there is any thing we as Pakistanis (especially the young generation) feel proud about as a nation, it’s our cricket team. Yet the organization that runs it is commonly considered by many as the most corrupt and ad hoc organization in world cricket. Who did this? Why are these people not answerable to anyone? Why have the generations that have come before us turned our institutions into bureaucratic, feudalistic establishments? What’s sadder is that all these fat cats have lulled us into a false sense of helplessness. We are not helpless; we just don’t try because we have been nurtured into pessimism. Its not important what other people think about us, but what we honestly think about ourselves. If we do think ‘nothing will change’, then truly nothing will change. Question once. If not answered, question again. If no answer is given, yell it out. If told to shut up and get lost, yell louder. If thrown out, bring the door down. Am I alone?

  • Roger Bond,Australia on February 23, 2007, 11:56 GMT

    Hello Mr Ali A

    1) You asked me to stop blaming asian cricketers. Well I think you are under the impression that Pakistan is Asia. I or for that matter even Adam Parore never mentioned Sri lankans or the Indians ,simply becasue they are clean from this dope mess. The very fact that these 2 countries have declared that their squad will not be tested for shows their confidence. Now comapre it to all palyers from pak bieng tested. Simply becos ICC is waiting to pounce on them and dope test.If you are so clean why are you afraid????? 2) Shane Warne was banned for a year moment he was caught. Same way I never preached life bad for your players but one year ban. The way Asif and akthar seem to suddenly have injuries when dope test is near is very cool indeed. Ok I understand your patriotism makes u overlook the obvious,so I cant blame you.

    3) The bouncer rule was put into effect becuase most of the Asian countries proposed it in first place. We still have fast bowlers who can bounce at enough fast pace and your tour to Australia was a exapmle where who needed bouncers to be banned was evident.

    Be practical, not emotional or overpatriotic as to justify anything. Whats is wrong is wrong and you definetly know what is wrong.

  • shehzadd on February 23, 2007, 11:50 GMT

    Adam parore is a fool, saying Pak bowlers were using drugs in the past. NZ batsmen r always afraid of Pak quick bowlers. They never have any answer against Pak quick reverse swingers. Adam is gone mad now because he has found atleast somthing to critisize Pak quick bowlers. Wasim akram, Waqar younis, Aqib javed, Sarfaraz nawaz,Imran khan they all were the great bowlers. have they used drugs in the past Adam? prove then please? no...? U r a laughing stuff Adam. hehe. Adam u must be a fool. Tell me wich great bowler comes from NZ?

  • Ali Bokhary on February 23, 2007, 11:20 GMT

    I agree with the argument that Shoaib is a disease, he is disastrous most of the times in the field but when he is successful he is even more disastrous for the team. The weak and spineless cricket management of PCB will never be able to manage someone like Shoaib Akhter. Could they manage Wasim Akram at the peak of his career. The guy destroyed Pakistan cricket in the late 90s and early 2000s with his match fixing and political intrigues. Its about time that the cricket management decides enough is enough and strictly enforce discipline regardless of individual talents. We do not need the likes of Shoaib and Wasim against a compromise over discipline and thats that.

    P.S To all Pakistanis, the insecurity of Inzimam ul Haq as a captain has taken Pakistan to an abyss. It will be good for all of you not to even think of Pakistan winning the tournament or you would end up hating the game of cricket by the time the tournament ends. Poor Bob Woolmer, surrouded between the PCB mismanagement and Inzimam the moron, the guy must be shedding tears of blood on his stupid mistake of accepting to coach Pakistan.

  • Shokaib on February 23, 2007, 10:14 GMT

    Firstly The Good News Gul's fitness on track for World Cup- Asif And Akhtar Have Returned To Pakistan And Have Joined Training Camp - AKhtar Says world cup chances are 50/50 he will be returning to london cos of his injury but forget him we want asif and gul dat is gr8 news for pakistan inshallah 2007 world cup is ours

  • INSAAF KA FARISHTA on February 23, 2007, 10:12 GMT

    He used the drug(nandrolone). Nandrolone is an extreemly effective drug, remains in ur body for atleast 18 months. Now before the worldcup Shoaib actor will face the life ban. But fortunatily PCB is looking to let him escape from his dope test. Shoaib let Asif use the same drug. Poor Asif thought Akhter is his very close friend. But Akhter thinks the other way. So unknowingly Asif used nandrolone. If Akhter was the only player, testing pocitive. Pcb would have banned him for life. Because of innocent Asif Pcb reduced thr bans. Poor Asif was weeping like a child because he was innocent. I hope things will get better very soon before the worldcup.

  • Valavan on February 23, 2007, 9:34 GMT

    Hello Mr Ali A.

    What u wanted to say? Warnie is a drugie. Yes he was and he was punished immediately without any further consideration by ACB. For Shoaib and Asif, first they punished then they withdrew. and now you blame PCB for it. What Shoaib can do? I imagine when waqar said speak less bowl more to shoaib. Its just Pakistan team losing its fame because of such guys like akhtar who do nothing

  • Roger Bond,Australia on February 23, 2007, 7:56 GMT

    NAvEED For your refernce http://www.nzherald.co.nz/author/story.cfm?a_id=216&ObjectID=10406914

  • Magi on February 23, 2007, 7:34 GMT

    Akhtar... Pakistan says they have hell a lot of bowlers but still they need him to win a match..... surprising. He has won matches when he was lucky. Never in the cricket history have we seen someone who has been called not fit so often... Good luck for your dreams about world cup rather cricket

  • adam the ozi on February 23, 2007, 7:19 GMT

    hi

    sorry to have to say this, pakistan has had some great players over the years but the rest of the cricket world has always been a bit suspicus. i dont know whether this is double standards or prejudice, but of late the team led by the pcb have been doing everything they can to support the claims of the most anit paki indian fans and westerners. i dont think it is just our prejudices because non of us have accuse mohamed yousef of cheating in his record breaking year.

    i hope someone can sort the mess out because there always seems to be entertaining talented players in your team.

    this latest drugs incedint has just proved all the knockers right.

  • Does It Matter on February 23, 2007, 7:17 GMT

    Well, I see sub-continent players/officials always been under the microscope and small mistakes get a lot of media scrutinity. But, I dont see anything for Australian or English teams. Australia is changing 15 mand squad given to ICC for world cup. May be they have some players injured but, I bet you if same thing might have happened to Indian team,there would be talk about cheating aspect. This is not the right post on this blog but I will add it anyway. I am not saying Australia shouldnt be allowed to change squad due to injuries but if this wastn happen to Australia and it did to India it would be big hype. ICC might have initially refused it to accept and India might have needed to make so many appeals etc. It is time now we play some politics too. Tit for Tat, may be. Lets just make big deal out of it.

  • haroon on February 23, 2007, 6:47 GMT

    shoaib and asif will definitely test positive. the entire cricket community is aware of this. However i would really like to see Shoaib at the World cup as we know he is electrifying. i rather see Shoaib bowling then see boring S.African bowlers. I will miss watching Brett Lee as well, as he is injured. cricket needs entertainers like shoaib and it is fantastic to see him bowl. If you want to ban him - do it after the world cup. ask any of the top batsmen if they would like to face shoaib or pollock. my guess is they would all rather face shoaib. i would really like one of the asian teams to win cricket world cup 2007.

  • Faisal Akhtar - Toronto on February 23, 2007, 6:42 GMT

    Reading todays paper, Bob Woolmer seems quite confident that Umar Gul is fit for the World Cup - and just by his comments alone (The News) - it is reassuring that Gul would be around, because with him in the attack, Pakistan will definately have a formidabble attack even without Mohd Asif. If Asif doesent play, Pakistan can go with this team: Nazir,Malik,Younis,Inzy,Yousef,Afridi,Akmal,Razzaq,Gul,Rao,Kaneria. If Asif is fit then he comes in place of Kaneria. Pakistan has won the majority of our matches since 1999 without that loser known as Shoaib Akhtar so his absence is nothing new and in fact, its welcomed because he's nothing but a paindu who is over-rated by a cricket crazy nation who are desperate for the next Wasim or Waqar. I think it was clear years ago that Akhtar will never be another Waqar. What he does have the potential to be though, is a Indian filmi hero - I'm sure Mahesh Bhatt will allow him to smoke whatever he wants when he's shooting for films, so I would suggest Shoaib heads to Bollywood once and for all, and leave the Pakistan team in peace. Anyway, coming back to the team - one of my friends in Lahore who has a bit of knowledge about the PCB (his dad works there) told me that the dope test is being delayed solely for Mohammad Asif because he injected a smaller doese of nandrolone and the PCB has been advised that its possible to have him tested and for the results to clear him, if the test is pushed back as late as possible. Thats why the PCB is messing around with the tests. As for Shoaib Akhtar, according to my friend he has already told Salim Altaf he wont do the dope test, which is expected because he's full of steroids and theres no way he can clear the test. So basically the delay is for Asif.

  • Sarah Khan on February 23, 2007, 6:27 GMT

    Dear Brian:

    Shoaib as Captain? Please pass me whatever it is you've been smoking!

  • ali a on February 23, 2007, 4:38 GMT

    To Mr Roger Bond of Australia and Cam Hodgson:

    Your comments are totally ridiculous. Mr Bond refering to some Adam Parore and mentioning that Pakistan had a long history of drug use in cricket. What a co..mania statement? What a piece of sh*t? Is Mr Adam some kind of authority on Pakistan? Please stick to facts and avoid these general statements as Pakistani bowlers had long history of drug use. If it was what was preventing the so called godfathers of cricket to catch Pakistan earlier? The only thing is that these godfathers of game cannot tolerate good cricketers from sub-continent and Sri Lanka.

    After Lillee, Thomson have they produced any genuine fast bowlers lately? Aren't they the one who used to bowl multiple bouncers in an over, but when their battery ran out, they started coming with bogus rules like one bouncer and over.

    Next time when you accuse asians cricketers of cheating, drug use first prove it with facts and don't forget to consider your own players. You talk about Shoaib and Asif to be banned for life, did Shane Warne get a life ban for his drug use? Oh lets see the rules don't apply there because he belong to cricket founding nations.

  • Zuhair-USA on February 23, 2007, 4:12 GMT

    Whatever, watch when and IF shoaib plays in the world cup and does perform at his usual exceptional quality and pace and no batsmen will have an answer for him and he'll play the major hand in getting pak to whatever position they get to, ALL these critics will be praising him and there will be no memory of drugs or injuries or fights or misconduct or attitude.

  • nasir on February 23, 2007, 4:05 GMT

    when do we as a nation make educated decisions. Once again the PCB has messed things up and shrouded the team in controversy. I am hoping Akhter is jettisoned for good and Asif given a severe reprimand as an example.

  • Faraz on February 23, 2007, 4:03 GMT

    shoaib should go to the world cup and play there. and i am sure he will be the first target to be tested by ICC and his test will be negative.....

  • Faizaan on February 23, 2007, 3:47 GMT

    Shoaib as captian is actually a brilliant idea. But considering whats happened to him i dont think Pakistan want that kind of person leading the country team

  • Hasan Raza on February 23, 2007, 3:37 GMT

    What about Aus players. Look at Hyden or Symond. Dont they take drug to keep them fit. Come on give me break they all take drug to stay fit. Shoiab is been target under huge amount of pressure. Shoiab Bahi dont take piss. Just spit and let them find out.

  • Kamal Khan (Lahore) on February 23, 2007, 3:33 GMT

    Pakistan cricket = Politics Shoiab Akthar = Hunter Shoiab Akthar = Match Winner Rao aftiqar =/ No Match with Sami Salman Butt i feel sorry for this young talent. Pakistan and bob didnt give him enough time to settled. Hafeez is good option but his batting avg below than salman Butt. Having left and right hand combination is one the biggest advantage. If you have afridi, razzaq and shoiab Malik in your team you need to open with Hafeez. Let Salman Butt and Imran Nazir open. Pakistan will perform better but winning world cup i dont have no clue. Pakistan is one of the most Unperdictable team in the world. I am still pakistani support and i hope team can repeat 1992 worldcup performance. Pakistan players need all of your support not complains. None of us have no clue about pressure cause its fun to turn your Tv On but imagine yourself being out there i bet you is nothing more than mouse trap. Heads off to pakistan. Have positive feeling and inshallah pakistan will kick off with beating WI and than who knows. They need to atleast qualify in Super Eight.

  • Faizan on February 23, 2007, 2:27 GMT

    First of all i dunt really care whut people say....shoiab and asif will be seeing in world cup....both of them are going to be the key bowlers for Pakistan....and PAKISTAN IS GOING TO WIN THIS WORLD CUP INSHALLAH........ANYBODY GOTTA SAY SOMETHING SAY IT NOW.

  • Gugu on February 23, 2007, 0:56 GMT

    Sorry forgot to add the silly humour I wanted to add with me serious comments. If Shoaib and Asif are banned or withdrawn then ask Wasim and Waqar to come out of retirement and play the world cup. I am sure their wicket taking ability with half-fit and old bodies will be better than Rana and Sami's.

  • Gugu on February 23, 2007, 0:52 GMT

    Asalam-o-Alekum Dr. Kamran: I am writing little later this time. I don't know if you read all of the comments so I hope you read this one. And, once again I request if you could get this to PCB. We don't know how much truth was in the news appearing in Dawn and cricinfo in which Shoaib was asking an apology from Inzi and Woolmer. Shoaib certainly is looking for escape and saving his face knowing the possibility of drug ban. I have a question and suggestion to make: When it was known the Nandrolone can last in body months after it is found, and bans were lifted then why was this fact also not considered? (technically if they are not guilty then they should not be banned again because it's the 'same' intake of substance which the committe has found accidental and they knew it will be in their body for some time). It does not really make sense to punish them on same intake for which they have already been cleared! Specially, when all drugs used for removing Nandrolone are also prohibited to take. Now suggestions: If we not be selfish and respect dignity then ask Shoaib to retire voluntarily or withdraw from world cup for him to have some respect left in his character. And if no, we can't win without them, and our only chance is by risking them then please take Shoaib on board and let Asif withdraw from world cup because anyways this is going to be last world cup for Shoaib and if he is banned it is his luck but Asif has a long way to go and it will be sad for game if he is banned at this age. No doubt, it will be regreting for Asif to not play world cup but then it will save his career. I also to certain degree agree that this is not the fairest of suggestion because it in a way is calling different treatment to two bowlers. But, I am convinced that only Shoaib can be risked as age is not on his side and he is not the long term future of the game. Thank you.

  • Asad on February 23, 2007, 0:41 GMT

    What can we say about this team, pakistani team is always surrounded with controversy. i just dont understand what were the selectors thinking before putting together the world cup team. let take our biggest problem (opening batsmen), i don't understand why they have mohammad Hafeez in the team. i think instead of hafeez they should have taken salman Butt or yasir hameed. why in the world would they take Naved ul hassan in the team. im sure there are far more better bowler in pakistan's domestic team who are eager to play for pakistan. kick naved ul hassan out of the team. we lost to south africa because of naved ul hassan.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 23, 2007, 0:33 GMT

    Posted by: Naveed at February 22, 2007 9:28 PM xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Naveed

    Roger Bond is referring to an article in NZ Herald dated Oct. 24, 2006 in which he accused Pakistani bowlers about taking drugs, I don't have that link, but you can google it and find out. But, here is a very interesting reply to that. Copy paste this link in your browser and read it.

    http://omarlovescricket.blogspot.com/search/label/Adam%20Parore

    And here is the extract of Adam Parore's comments which is nothing but BS:

    Quote: "I'm certain this has been going on for years with Pakistan's fast bowlers. We often looked sideways at what some of them were able to achieve. It's not normal to bowl 25 overs on a searing hot day and seem to get faster as the day wears on. I remember thinking more than once in the subcontinent, "somethings not right here". I prided myself on being pretty fit during my career. I'd look at some of these guys and think "you can't do that". Unquote.

    After reading that, I wrote a befitting reply to him in that newspaper.

  • ahmadshah mian on February 23, 2007, 0:27 GMT

    I agree with Brian,make Shoaib more responsible by giving him captaincy, and then things will get settled, they guy is very much suited to be captain.

  • sarin on February 23, 2007, 0:23 GMT

    There is one solution and that suits best for everyone, drop shoaib and everything will be fine with the team.He is the destroyer of all amity that exists.

  • Haider on February 23, 2007, 0:02 GMT

    Mr Bond, God knows for how long who else has been using dope ... including Aussie greats and present players ... there was no systemic testing hence the doubt and speculation can always exist. Just to state a suspicion is not enought to make anyone guilty. Its proven tests like those of Shane Warne that brought this disgrace to light in cricket. And he got away pretty much scott free with a slap on the wrist.

  • sajid on February 22, 2007, 22:48 GMT

    We need Yasir Hameed for the world cup. Why he is being ignored. also why the hell indians are worried about our cricket, Indians mind your own business, U can say cheat or steroids , just cause u r jealouse and u guys never ever produce any quality fast bowler.

  • Naveed on February 22, 2007, 21:28 GMT

    Mr Roger Bond,

    Could you please be a bit more specific about what Adam Parore said, which bowlers and which matches he was referring to?

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 22, 2007, 21:24 GMT

    This one is for "Shahid at February 22, 2007 6:20 PM"

    Shahid:

    Do you know the meaning of 'frustration'? People get frustrated by their own lives for whatever reasons they have and you say you are frustrated by Shoaib Akhtar! Is Shoaib your life? I don't like his personal behaviour and his attitude (I like his game when he is fully fit and on a song) but the kinda language that you have used in your post does not reflect any good about yourself.

  • legspin on February 22, 2007, 21:11 GMT

    Cricket is game of skill so drugs really dont play a big part as in baseball.So let him pee and not give it.

  • abbas 4rm middlesbrough on February 22, 2007, 20:55 GMT

    to b honest with ya i think that both shoaib an asif will test positive, hope im wrong but if u go by what the experts say then they will. anyway with shaoib an asif once thats out of the way they would have to prove their fitness and even then gone by shoaibs recent from he wolud last up 2 the third game of teh super 8 stage if v get that far! with them in the team i fink that pakistan may recah the semis but again without em i think v will be lookin at sri lanka to fly the aisna flag the highest

  • Jatt on February 22, 2007, 20:32 GMT

    PCB should avoid testing them. This move can destroy the career of Asif who has so much potential and can have a great career. Problem is both Inzi and Bob ji know that in order to save their faces, they need both Shoaib and asif, who may be able to take the team to the semis at least. The best option for both Shoaib and Asif was to accept one year international ban quietly. Now it seems that Inzi, Bob and PCB executives may be willing to gamble on their life ban, in order to mask their failure in developing any sort of team combination during past two years.

  • Brian on February 22, 2007, 19:51 GMT

    Hello Pakistani Cricket fans, Without repeating comments made by everyone, and some very good comments I might say, how about this one: assuming Shoaib is fit and drug free and allowed to play in the World Cup, and hearing everybody's complaint about Inzy's lack of leadership skill, wouldn't it be interesting if Shoaib was given the captaincy? At this stage we have nothing to lose. Shoaib would obviously curb his ego problems, and with the likes of Asif, Gul and himself in the bowling dept, and Inzy, relieved of the captains problems and thereby able to concentrate on his batting, Yousef, Younis and Afridi in the batting dept, Pakistan could still be a formidable force in this World Cup and may surprise everyone, instead of a team in LIMBO, Cheers, Brian from Toronto

  • ajaya on February 22, 2007, 19:48 GMT

    chuck the dope artist from cricket at the same speed that he chucks the cricket ball

  • Lahoriyah on February 22, 2007, 19:43 GMT

    All i want to say is that, Mr Kamran you have been very harsh on Shoaib Akhtar. Yes we all admit he has issues with few individuals, but have the board ever tried to find out what is that stop shoaib to settle down in the team. Is it disliking by the captains because of his super success, or players are completely jealous of him because they dont get the same amount fame and publicity as he does. I strongly feel there are alot individuals who are jealous of shoaib and that is how they trap him and set him for the escape goat. Well i hope shoaib akhtar attitude improves and he becomes a team player. Now coming to regarding his dope test, than i dont have any clue as to how this whole procedure works but i hope for the pakistan sake it works out well. I would like you to please try to understand the situation shaoib has been put into in the past, dont forget the inquiry about him faking an injury, now if i was in his position i would taken the captain,coach and the board to court.

  • Kabir D on February 22, 2007, 19:01 GMT

    first, Shoaib thinks he is bigger than the game. It seems to me that he always thought he is DIFFERENT but the reality is that he is a CHEAT. His constant injuries are the symptoms of steroids [setting aside his speed]. Inzi has done a good job by not giving him much weight to his antics! Shoaid is still not realizing that he is hurting the nation. He is so caught up in himself!! Remember! WASIM AKRAM, the great is a dibetic but sill showed what he is to the world! Learn from the greats Mr Steroids!! Although I am an indian, I always considered Mr Akram is from a different planet. Kick these cheats out from your team!

  • Ajay Aspathi on February 22, 2007, 18:58 GMT

    I think end is nearing for Shoaib Akthar.Remember his is not young anymore and he's not fit at all.It doesnot really matter Whether he passes the drug test or fitness test. Tell me when did Shoaib Akthar play full series without any injury.He is prone to injuries and moreover he is not good with his team members. Please donot compare him with the Pakistani greats like Wasim & Waqar or even Aquib Javed.

    He just makes fashion statement but doesnot prove them.

    I think he is a liability in Pakistan Team!!!!!

    -- Ajay Aspathi

  • wasim saqib (Detroit) on February 22, 2007, 18:55 GMT

    Well a lot has been said about PCB and Shoaib,what about ICC they have yet again announced a new stringent rule that they would conduct random dope tests in other words they will be targeted,why cant ICC take compulsory dope test for all the players so that every body is exposed,if somebody thinks that aussies dont take it or the proteas dont take it they need to wake up,the way ausie players have such prolonged careers its beyond comprehension, they are not superhuman they are managing the steroid use with diruetics and the recent departure of several old aussie players just before world cup was not understandable for any one i think the shoaib and Asif case is like a whistle blower. Kamran sahib why dont you write a Blog for a mandatory dope test for every player i can bet you a lot of other players will be exposed, I am not trying to defend shoaib or Asif but we should have an even playing field,if Ricky ponting can use a corked graphite bat,shane warne can use steroids,Then I am sure freaks like symonds, gilchrist ,and KP they are not super human they must also be exposed or at least checked before the cup. I would say it again winning or losing is not important and Asif and Shoaib whether they are cleared or not,we have to focus on the rest of the players we have won without them before and can do it again if their is proper planning. Also i request everybody to route for complusory dope testing for every player and not Targeted, We all know these Brits and Aussies are no angels they robbed us of two test in England this year, They will do every thing to give an easy pass to players from these countries to maintain their supermacy on the field of cricket.

  • Khanzada on February 22, 2007, 18:36 GMT

    “To pee or not to pee that’s the question!” Shoaib Akhter

    All jokes aside, I think PCB should test these guys and if the results at acceptable levels, send them for the WC. In case, the levels are lower than the time the players were banned but still above the acceptable levels then PCB can try convincing ICC that the players have not taken the steroids since they were found guilty and that the steroid is still in their system from that time. It may not be a convincing argument for the ICC but might worth a try unless PCB is pretty sure that ICC will not accept their request then it should be avoided. Either way, let the user the public know whether the players now have passed the tests or they failed as the steroid is still in the system and thus will not be allowed to play in the WC.

  • Faraz on February 22, 2007, 18:23 GMT

    Pakistan fans should be ashamed that their cricket board is even considering taking Shoaib to the world cup. He is a cheat; his defence was basically he was too stupid to know he was cheating. Ridiculous. To be honest, the same goes for Asif but most Pakistani fans won't admit this because Asif is more important to the team dynamic - slight double standards there!

  • Shahid on February 22, 2007, 18:20 GMT

    Kamran, i am so frustrated with this man. I am even more frustrated with people who have a hope of having Shoaib back just see him start limping after couple of overs in the world cup. What the heck man, our president (patron PCB) is powerful enough to bring down someone like Bugti but we cant handle this Shoaib. It would be good to read with this idiots parent think about their kids behaviour. Most of the times he acts as if he is the crickets MVP. He probably doesnt know that this game has a funny way of biting you up the ass and people as great as Wasim, Waqar have seen it all.

  • Saurav on February 22, 2007, 17:39 GMT

    What I do not see in the article or the comments is an appreciation of the fact that Shoaib and Asif have CHEATED; hence they deserve to be punished. What is the kind of message you will send to your youngsters by condoning this? What image of yourselves are you projecting to the world?

  • Haider - USA on February 22, 2007, 17:13 GMT

    Mr Kamran, Can you shed some light on the embarresment that we carry around in the name of a bolwing coach (Mushtaq) and why, when most of our strength lies in pace, we do not want to engage any worthy name from teh past as the coach. Waqar's short stint helped Umer Gul a lot, farq saaf zaahir hai. Rana, Shabbir, even Shoaib, Iftikhar, Sami, all need guidance and CONSTANT mentoring to perfect their raw talent.

  • Spaceman! on February 22, 2007, 16:56 GMT

    this shouldn't even be going to a second test thye first proved that they hav nandrelone in their systems. for that, the ban is 2 years. whether they took it willingly or not is not part of the charge. the charge is; did they have nandrelone in their systems? if the answer is 'yes', as it was, then the correct punishment must be handed out.

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

    The "De-Railed Express" is the least of our worries right now; positive or not, it is unlikely that he will be fit for the world cup (or at least most of it). More troubling is the exclusions of Yasir Hameed, the inclusion of Kamran Akmal, and the soap opera that goes on behind the scenes of the PCB. The Pakistan team cannot perform like professionals when they are hampered by incompetent people in the institutions who mismanage and ruin careers. What the deuce?

  • Faraz, California USA on February 22, 2007, 16:46 GMT

    jeez stop with the whining people...we all know that World Cup final will be between SA and Australia..why?..cause Australia is still a lifetime ahead of sub continent teams and SA is becoming an undestructible force in the cricket world.

    PCB morons should be shot for touring SA right before the WC..it was suicide and without Asif, Shoaib and Gul in form it became a massacre of Pakistani players and hopes of their fans....

    All i ask from PCB and the the players is...ATLEAST BEAT INDIA AND SHOW SOME SPINE IN SUPER 8...IF YOU HAVE ANY OUNCE OF SHAME LEFT !

  • Wasiq on February 22, 2007, 15:14 GMT

    Can someone refresh my memory? Wasn't it that the ban was lifted due to the fact that these guys took the banned substance unintentionally. If that is the case then why the hell is PCB testing them again for? Obviously the substance will remain in their bloodstream for a while so they are certainly going to be tested positive again. Is PCB trying to save them from ICC's traget testing during the world cup? If yes, then why not declare them unfit instead of humiliating them again. I think if PCB is trying its level best to have these guys play the WC then PCB shouldn't have conducted these tests again and if ICC is going to test them during the WC then they won't be banned right away but rather until after the whole appeal process, which meant they would have carried on through this tournament as their case would have been heard few months from now assuming ICC would require time to setup a committee to put these guys on trial.

    To me it seems as if PCB and ICC are playing the chess game behind the scenes, where one is trying to save it's players while the other can't wait to have them banned.

    Personally i feel it's been a sad episode particularly for us Pakistani fans and I hope PCB, ICC and the players involved take the higher road and do whats right for the game. I think the last year or so has been the worst time for Pakistan cricket and all these controversies have certainly hurt our image. I am sick and tired of people pointing fingers at us and i think it would be better if both of these players not play the WC and we should fight with what we have and maybe that will be our inspiration to lift the cup.

  • cricbuff on February 22, 2007, 15:14 GMT

    I really do not understand what Shoaib is scared about. Even when he was caught red-handed he has been condoned by the PCB. So what is the big deal? Take a piss.....if the results are negative, nothing to worry. If the results are positive nothing to worry either. You can always claim you took herbal medicine. You can even claim you have an extraordinary body which produces nandrolene like none other. Will the real slim SHADY please stand up????

  • Player of Cricket on February 22, 2007, 14:59 GMT

    Kamran, I think you should be more respectful for our pakistani cricketers. You and Osman Samiuddin are a disgrace t o Pakistanis. How can you constantly diss your own country? Becuase of people like you, our country today is fighting against each other,

  • Sohaib Shamim on February 22, 2007, 14:17 GMT

    Well, to be honest, they tested positive and should have been punished. Personally, I think they should have been punished but 2 and 1 year bans for Shoaib and Asif respectively were very harsh (considering the level of awareness the players have about steroids). However, there should have been SOME sort of punishment. Maybe fines incurred on both these players in addition to banning them for about 6 months.

  • waqas on February 22, 2007, 14:15 GMT

    every one is talking abt shoaib and asif can anybody tell me that wht the other 9 are gona do ?? it seems that our remaining 9 players are nothing without them

  • zafar on February 22, 2007, 13:51 GMT

    Why is it that we in Pakistan only produce these flawed geniuses like Shoaib...he is a corrupt type of person but a MATCHWINNER on the field...this is a typical Pak problem. but I say we should tolerate it...nobody can challenge Pakistan for level of natural talent. Just look at those Indians they have never produced a world-beating quickie and they never will. West Indies and England are finished forever. Australians will soon decline. Only Pakis lives on and on...

  • akhter Sahab on February 22, 2007, 12:51 GMT

    It is beyond any doubt that shoaibs fitness is still not entirely reliable and he will not last a whole cup performance. I hope he enjoys his last outing with the team, we should have looked past him years ago - and therein lies our greatest worry - where are all the quality bowlers we should have picked up along the way over the last 7 years????

    Kam- Please can you do an article about this situation and whether our production line has malfunctioned or what.

  • MFK on February 22, 2007, 12:30 GMT

    Hey Give Shoaib a break...he is immensely talented and has better wicket taking abilities than any other bowler...except Bond. With low IQ captains in the team, bowlers like Shoaib have to suffer. Give him to Australia and see the results. I wish they had the 'on-loan-players' programs like in football...hey a good idea, any takers!!! just to see the difference a profesional team would make to the talents of Afridi and Shoaib...now that is a thought!!!!

  • Aamir Azim on February 22, 2007, 12:12 GMT

    I agree with Kashif Ali. Pakistan will have a good enough attack if Umar Gul and Mohd Asif are leading it, with Rao Iftikhar as the 3rd seamer. Face it people, Shoaib Akhter has been nothing but an indisciplined let down throughout his career. How many times has he left the team in the lurch, during a tour, before a tour, and even in the middle of a match? He needs to be kicked out of International cricket once and for all. If he goes to the World Cup, I bet you 10000 dollars he wouldnt even last the league games, let alone the super 8. He's just a worthless person, who was basically put on a pedestral by the likes of fools like Tauqir Zia and Aamir Sohail. I think Pakistan should forget about Akhtar once and for all, and sooner or later we will easily find another bowler with extreme pace in the country to help our bowling attack, they always come through and then no one will even remember that AKhtar ever existed. As for the World Cup, Akhtar is 100% guaranteed to be full of dope so he wont be there, Asif may or may not be clear - if Asif is clear then he will definately be crucial but even if he isent, Umar Gul is an excellent bowler who will get good support from Rao Iftikhar, Mohd Sami, Razzaq, Kaneria and the others. Anyway the World Cup is not the do all end all that some people are making it to be, we have as good a chance to do well there as any other team...once we go through to the super 8 - anything is possible. He's a disgrace to Pakistan.

  • Hassan Rahmatullah on February 22, 2007, 11:25 GMT

    it doesnt matter shoaib or no shoaib we will inshallah lift the cup again this year like we did in 92!!!!!!!!!

  • Cricket Fan on February 22, 2007, 11:23 GMT

    Its really hard to understand why pakistan is continue to give support to ppl like shoaib akhtar. he may be a good bowler, but no use in encouraging ppl like this when they dont contribute anything to team's success. shoaib is a very selfish cricketer and always thinks only about himself and his records. gets injured (or pretends to be so) after every 2 matches. thinks he is bigger than the game. also he is not very strong mentally as compared to wasim and waqar. i remember him getting nervous when he was thrashed by Tendulkar in the last world cup game. he was looking really ordinary and was really scared to bowl another over to tendulkar. that clearly shows his ability to raise to the occasion. Even in a test match against India he pretended as if he was seriously injured and bowled badly.

    after all these stupid things he is also involved in the recent doping scandal.

    there are far less skilled bowlers than shoaib in other countries like South africa, india, NZ etc who are doing better job than shoaib.

    considering all these, its really high time for pakistan cricket to forget about shoaib and groom better bowlers who give 100% to the team and not play for their own records.

  • Obese Aloo on February 22, 2007, 11:15 GMT

    Shoaib = Match winner when fit Shoaib = Never fit Shoaib = Controversy Shoaib = Show pony

    That sums it up, I think.

  • Zee on February 22, 2007, 11:06 GMT

    I think we should rule out both Shoaib & Asif from the Pakistan World Cup squad. The reason being that they are not going to make it in the drug test.

    According to some information I have been through, it takes almost a year to recover from the drug levels that were attained by both these players. If you are lucky, you may do it in 8 months. In both the cases, they will not be able to pass the drug test.

    I think PCB should now stop playing dis-information games & tell nation that there is no hope for both these players to play the WC-07.

    What they plan to do is to keep all guessing & then draw them from the squad on fitness grounds at the last moment.

    It would be better to start working on our bowling attack w/o both these players. Better to appoint fast bowling coach immediately so that he could refine some of the bowlers available to the squad.

  • JEHANZAIB CHAUDHRY on February 22, 2007, 10:49 GMT

    I hope both akthar and asif pass the drugs test. if they do i believe pak has a very good chance of lifting the trophy. i have always liked akthar i think he just needs to be treated with kid gloves and for asif i think he is a true talent for the future. if all things go to plan over the next 3 weeks inshallah we will enter the world cup with a fantastic chance. good luck PAKISTAN

  • Nasir Fahim on February 22, 2007, 10:41 GMT

    I think Pakistan should think beyond SHOAIB i am sure even if shoaig clears dop will not participate world cup fully as his fitness and attitude is always always miserable so from day first Inzi must be planning without that man who have not worked for cause team in past so no expectation must be from him.................

  • Cam Hodgson on February 22, 2007, 10:27 GMT

    The world is already tired of this half assed sweep-under-the-carpet job. Every day that passes without punishing these two, people lose more and more respect for the PCB. But when you think about it, not many people respected them in the first place.

    Years of condoning this kind of behaviour is starting to catch up with the PCB. Every day they stall is just another day closer to the inevitable.

  • Danish Hasan on February 22, 2007, 10:00 GMT

    Shoaib has time and again caused great loss to the paki team. there is no doubt he is a valuable asset to the team but he needs to understand that he needs to spend more time on the field rather than dealing with controversies of it. If the fitness issue isnt enough, there is the doping issue hanging over him and the PCB as a dark cloud which is ready to send down a thunderstorm. All we can hope is that shoaib is cleared on both grounds and we get to see shoiab akhter in all matches, well realistically speaking atleast in the Super 8's because we are going to need him there to bolster our bowling attack, but for that someone advise him, forget "ME", think of the team for a while so he can celebrate his exit rather than hide his face and go. I would like to personally wish him the BEST OF LUCK and pray and hope that he is fit and clear minded for the world cup, coz i strongly believe he could be a lethal weapon for us.

  • vikas on February 22, 2007, 9:25 GMT

    If you were fighting in a war would you take a gun that fires at will and that too only 10% of the time?

    Why persist with Shoaib?

  • robin on February 22, 2007, 8:37 GMT

    For Pete's sake let us let go of the Shoib syndrome. What we Pakistanis need to really understand is that nobody REPEAT nobody is bigger than the GAME. This guy has flaunted the very structure and basic ethics of cricket for so long and whenever he has been put in his place or any logical decision has been taken concerning him our so called experts have come to his rescue. What we must remember is that aside from those eleven overs in SA Mr Almighty Shoib has not played any cricket since dogs years. Which would ensure that he would definetly be again unfit and aside from rolling on the sands in West Indies he would be totally useless.

  • adam the ozi on February 22, 2007, 8:29 GMT

    what i want to see is a match between the pcb and the zimbabwe officials. would make for great comedy

  • Syed Naumanuddin Hassan on February 22, 2007, 8:25 GMT

    It's such a hilarious scenario! I think upon inspiration if Shakespeare was to write Hamlet again he would begin with words "to piss or not to piss"

    PCB must be accountable to the public as it's the name of Pakistan that they are playing with. With lack of information and confusion, conspiracy theories are bound to take the centre stage.

  • Kashif Ali on February 22, 2007, 8:20 GMT

    Shoaib Akhtar deserves to be kicked out once and for all. He's a druggie, a cheat, indisciplined and repulsive. He has done nothing but cause trouble for our team since 1999. He has thrown tantrums, fought with team-mates, with coaches, managers, physios, everyone under the roof. I for one will not miss Akhtar one bit when he is Inshallah kicked to the sidewalk once and for all. As far as our WC goes - look people we will have Umar Gul - the best bowler in Pakistan for the last 12 months in the attack, Inshallah Asif will be there as well - if Asif isent there, then thats a blow but not to worry because Asif will have a long and succesful career and will play in many more world cups - anyway if Asif is available our attack would be Gul and Asif opening the bowling, the very impressive and under-rated Rao Iftikhar as 1st change followed by Razzaq, Afridi and Malik. If Asif is not available , I would put Sami into the 15 and open with Gul and Sami followed by Rao, Razzaq, Afridi and Malik. Rana Naveed should be carrying drinks and cleaning shoes in the dressing room - he should never have a ball in his hand again. As for Akhtar, I am praying to God his career is finally over once and for all so we can all be rid of the curse in our team that is Shoaib Akhtar. He is the most over-rated and pampered fool in history.

  • Fahad Tauqeer on February 22, 2007, 8:11 GMT

    Asalamualikum kamran Sahb, Look u cannot say any thing about shoaib's abilities as a bowler. with out shadow of a doubt he is a match winner on his day. He can turn around things in just an over. Every Pakistani should be proud of him. I am proud that we have the world's fastest bowler from our land Pakistan. So plz don't be so rude on him. He will clear his test (INSHALLAH) and he is going to be our main weapon in World Cup. I think it's all about respecting Your herios. and shoib is a hero for our country and will always be. Go Shoaib lalay Go, give it your full go and do sum thing that whole Pakistan should be proud off and be a bit carefull with your attitude. U r the best, Cum onnnnnnnnnn.

  • M.Saad Durrani on February 22, 2007, 8:11 GMT

    Hello Mr Abassi i agree with you Well i doubt that S Akhtar And M Asif had secrate Drug Test in Uk and thats why they are still missing to give theri samples for dope test coz they still fear that they might caught again and face life ban i think PCB should try to and ask both players wheather or not are they going to give theri samples for dope test or not so team will take theri names out from their minds and start concertrating towards World Cup

  • DiZzy on February 22, 2007, 7:44 GMT

    Why do ppl Hate Shoiab too much...?? specially ppl from his very own country??

    1- Many wud say...He is INJURED most of the times...

    ok ... but so are Shane BOnd and Bret Lee and Flintoff...Waqar used to get injured and i remember SAME ppl abusing him as well... wasim got injured b4 that crucial q'final in banglore and we all know wat we thot of him THAT time..

    I shud ask ppl here, have they EVER seen a flat-Footed guy in REAL ?? if they have, they SHUD know how much effort such person has to put in to RUN fast, one and to bowl THAT quick asks for an extra-ordinary talent.... Akhter made it POSSIBLE due to his super-talent... His physique and his flat-footedness was ALWAYS there to hamper him....and thats the MAIN reason for gettin him injured...

    2- Many wud say...He got a poor Attutude...

    Ok.. again ...But so did wasim and Waqar ..they did STUFF in their glory-days ... Wasim, for all his match fixing-ball tampering-DRUGS etc etc .... Waqar for his ball tampering-drunk driving etc .. And wat to say abt the team-politics in THEIR glory-days ?? it was EVIDENT in every match how much both LOVED eachother..

    3- many wud say ....He aint a team-man ...

    Team man u want eh ...??? was WASIM a team man ?? wasnt he THE guy responsible for wat they used to call Group-Baazi (grouping) ... does THIS counts as a TEAM-MAN ?? Ur POOR form in the last w'cup was more due to THIS grouping but yet, ppl so very conviniently rested all the blame once gain on Guess whom ?? AKHTER!! WHO, i ask, is a TEAM-MAN in our team ?? NAME it ?? plz... RANA ?? :) .... FARHAT ?? :) ... SAMI? :) ... INZI?? (hiding behind youngsters) .. AFRIDI ?? ... Tell me?? Name it??

    I ask this ?? if u have a child in ur home who's a naughty brat .. wat will u do to him ?? Kick him out of ur HOUSE ... ?? Lock him in some Room ?? Beat/Abuse/Mock him .. ??? Blame him for evrything that goes wrong around u??

    NO...u treat him tactily !! Thats how Wasim treated him ...Wasim knew how to handle such things..He went thru the same emotions.. same aggression himself..

    Dun u guys feel kay all these Shoiab issues surfaced more frequently AFTER Wasim left?

    And one thing that astonishes me MOSt is kay ppl point fingers on his PERFORMANCE ... ?? saying he is more speed than performance ... I ask THEM, IF Akhter's not performing, How come his Bowling figures are close to those that EVRY bowler craves for ?? 169 wickets in 43 tests @ 25 a piece .... 208 wkts in 133 ODIs @ 23 a peiece .... He is among the TOP 3 in having BEST strike-rates for bowlers having played 40+ tests and 100+ ODIs ... His winning %age out of the matches he played (55%) is almost neck-to-neck with likes of wasim (56%) n Waqar (57%).... Infact he does lead them both in the TESTs ... wid 47% win ratio as compared to 39% and 45% for wasim & waqar respectively...

    I know many of u will repeat that old term that STATS doesnt show the WHOLE picture ... but ... It DOES show SOMETHING ... something WORTHY of respect ...as a bowler who gave his 100% wen FIT n playing for PAK!!

    Aaahhh.. and Almost forgot abt the DOPING scandal ...

    Just temme one thing ... on one hand ppl mock akhter for taking drugs saying Innocence is NO excuse.. yet at the same time use EXACTLY this very excuse to feel sorry for Asif ... Wat can i say more ... :)

  • Umair Muzaffar on February 22, 2007, 7:21 GMT

    Whatever the case, if Pakistan stands a little bit of a chance of winning the world cup then it diminishes to zero if Shoaib and Asif are not playing.

    You may get a win here by the heroics of Afridi/Nazir or a win there by the stupidity of the other team --- but really there is no chance without Shoaib and Asif.

    My understanding was that even earlier the levels of the steroids or its metabolites were barely over the WADA limits. Three months after the tests --- I assume that there will be negligible traces and will be under the WADA limits.

    Let us hope that ill is well.

    I just thought of it … isn’t it a little too optimistic --- we are after all Pakistanis --- and optimism is the only thread that keeps the entire country running --- otherwise if we were realists then we would have given up a long time ago.

    Regards, Umair

  • Khurram Malik (NEWYORK) on February 22, 2007, 7:20 GMT

    Nandrolone is an anabolic steroid that has recently caused a great deal of controversy after a number of big name athletes have been banned from competition after failing tests for this drug. These include Linford Christie, Mark Richardson and Dougie Walker (all well known British sprinters), Merlene Ottey (the Jamaican former 200 m world champion), and Dieter Baumann (the German 500 m runner). After protesting their innocence, all were subsequently cleared by their national athletics organisations, although the International Amateur Athletics Federation fueled the controversy further by overturning the reinstatement of Christie and Walker. As well as athletes, French soccer star Christophe Dugarry tested positive for nandrolone after a match last year, and following a Wimbledon quarter final in 1998 Czech tennis player Petr Korda also failed a test. But the fact that so many sportsmen have tested positive for the same substance in such a short space of time has led to speculation that the testing procedure may be flawed, or inaccurate. The drug known as nandrolone (also known commercially as Deca-Durabolin) has the IUPAC name 17b-hydroxy-19-nor-4-andro-sten-3-one, and is an anabolic steroid (a muscle-building chemical) which occurs naturally in the human body, but only in tiny quantities. It is very similar in structure to the male hormone testosterone, and has many of the same effects in terms of increasing muscle mass, without some of the more unwanted side-effects such as increased body hair or aggressive behaviour. As such, it is being actively examined in clinical tests as a possible treatment for wasting diseases, and to strengthen and increase body tissue and musculature in HIV infected men. In this form it is usually injected in its decanoate form, after first being dissolved in a suitable edible oil.

    However, what is detected in the drug tests is the metabolism product of this molecule, called 19-norandrosterone, which is excreted from the body in urine, making it easy to obtain samples. A limit of 2 ng per ml of urine (set by the International Olympic Committee) is the maximum concentration thought possible to occur in human body by 'natural means', and if this is exceeded the drug test is considered positive. Since some samples given by athletes have shown levels up to 100 times higher than this, the conclusion is that the athletes must have been taking extra quantities of the drug to enhance their performance.

    The steroid nandrolone and its metabolite 19-norandrosterone. The structural differences between them consist of a reduction of a double bond to a single bond accompanied by a reduction of a carbonyl to a hydroxyl group in the first ring, and an oxidation of a hydroxyl sidegroup to a carbonyl in the fourth ring. These differences are shown in blue.

    Below for comparison, are the more familiar steroid hormones, testosterone and progesterone. You can see that nandrolone and testosterone are almost identical, differing only by one methyl group, shown in red. Progesterone (the female pregnancy hormone) is also very similar, perhaps giving some credence to the boxer's claim mentioned below...

    So, if the tests are flawed, what could be going wrong? Many excuses have been put forward to suggest why nandrolone is present in much higher concentrations than it should be. Bobsleigh racer Lenny Paul said that his positive test was due to eating a plate of spaghetti bolognese which contained beef from cattle that had been fed steroids. Although the UK Sport Nandrolone Review Group said that there was only a 'remote' possibility of meat consumption leading to a positive test, the athlete was cleared by his sporting body. Another sportsman, a boxer, said he failed his test after having sex with his pregnant wife! He too, was cleared.

    Another possible explanation, often cited by athletes caught with positive tests, is that the nandrolone in their system arose from the use of protein milkshakes and the amino acid creatine, which are perfectly legal and used as dietary supplements to increase weight. But it is difficult to see how nandrolone could be produced from the benign components of these substances, unless they had been accidentally or deliberately contaminated. Subsequent testing, however, ruled out any deliberate contamination.

    A much more likely theory has recently emerged from the results of a preliminary investigation at Aberdeen University. The findings are that dietary supplements themselves are harmless and produce no increased levels of nandrolone. Exercise alone, too, doesn't cause any problems. But a combination of both dietary supplements (none of which contain a banned substance) and exercise, can result in a positive nandrolone test. The reason for this is still unclear, but one theory is that there is a link between heavy training, the dehydration that goes with it, and their effects upon the components of high protein diets. Until more work is done, however, the 'nandrolone mystery' goes on...

    How long are steroids detectable in your body?

    4 days Clenbuterol 1 week Testosterone undecanoate 2 weeks Testosterone propionate 3 weeks Oral Stanozolol Oxandrolone - Anavar 5 weeks Ethylestrenole Mesterolone Methandienone Noretadrolone 2 months Drostanolone propionate Fluoxymesterone Formebolone injectable Stanozolol Oxymetholone 3 months Testosterone cypionate Testosterone enanthate Testosterone-mix (Sustanon & Omnadren) 5 months Boldenone undecyclate injectable methandienone Metehenolone enanthate Trenbolone Trenbolone acetate 12 months Nandrolone phenylpropionate 18 months Nandrolone decanoate

  • imran 4 on February 22, 2007, 6:49 GMT

    Asif is not one day wicket taker he only contains runs, where as Shoaib is wicket taker and can change the match in few overs. by the way WHERE IS YASIR HAMEED?

  • arshad india on February 22, 2007, 6:46 GMT

    hi kamran,i think PCB is being stupid in this whole episode.it's obvious that nandrolone levels will persist for some time so wat's point saying that players testing +ve wont be going.instead they shd say that if levels are more than previous ones then shoaib & asif shd be punished.lest they are adding to already embaeassing situation.thay should put up a firm stand .

  • Khan22 on February 22, 2007, 6:45 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi it seems like you ran out of any good columns. WHERE IS YASIR HAMEED?

  • Ali Hasan - Boston, MA on February 22, 2007, 6:28 GMT

    It's amazing to see a few non-Pakistanis praying to see a fit Shoaib. I bet they all must be wondering, "what's wrong with these Pakistani fans, aren't they supposed to be bigger fans of Shoaib than us"?

    The answer is confusingly-simple: Shoaib is too good to be true, and we Pakistanis have had enough of this drama.

    I believe it's time to move forward. Let's all hope that Umar Gul and Asif are fit to lead the attack, and the back up should be taken care of by the likes of Rana, Sami, and Danish (one of these three, depending on their form and the pitch). It's also time to plan for a drama-free...err...Shoaib-free future (being a Shoaib fan, I hate to say this) but we can't have weekly blogs on Shoaib, for cricinfo sponsors will stop funding this website because of too many cliches.

    As for Pakistan, let's also start hunting for wild cards in our streets. I remember one such chap called Irfan Fazil, I saw that yound kid clock upwards in the 150kph, in the few odis he played against Sri Lanka. He was too erratic, but was pretty young as well. I believe our talented country can draft in a few such surprises, and upon proper grooming, who knows what can happen.

    On another note, I know this another guy called Yasir Hameed, who's last 4 scores for his country look like this - 41, 57, 71, and 41. It's high time that you start a blog on this chap Mr. Abbassi. I was livid to see an all-praise blog for Nazir after just one innings of substance, which actually ended with a not so substansial slog. I read statements like, "See, I have been demanding Nazir's call up for some time now". The fact that most people missed, and as appalling as it may sound, our selectors are still missing it as well: Nazir has been terribly inconsistent over the years. Not that he has not been given a chance, just that he has not scored consistently over a decent period, as is highlighted by his dismal average in the mid 20's. I'm not expecting anything more than 3 fifties from him (Yes three fifties after such pessimism, of course all of them against the minnows, so he can justify another run of poor performances for a year)

  • Gohar Ayub on February 22, 2007, 6:18 GMT

    Well, it all comes down to the dominance of one pendoo province over cricket as well as the downfall of every other sports in Pakistan.

    This involves no planning, nepotism as well as mismanagement of public funds. Where is the accountability for all the millions of dollars PCB makes ???

    I agree with Faraz, why on earth would PCB start this dope test drama publicly (besides recommendations from our highly paid, foreign coach). And lets not even get into the debate regarding the effectiveness of these foreign coaches. Anyone, remember Richard Pybus,,, hehehe. I always wonder how do these coaches communicate with players, when very few of them utter any commonsense at least when interviewed by Mr. Rameez (I am so cool that I can speak English with an accent) Raja. Ever heard everybodys favorite Rana (most expensive ODI bowler) naved gives interviews ...

    How many players PCB groomed since 2003? whereas you either have to bring back the likes of Azhar Mahmood or rely on injured doped players. Can we ever go beyond our Dars, Butts and Akmals and truly field a Pakistani team based on merit *ONLY*.

    Well done PCB. You truly are a microcosm of Pakistan ...

  • tanveer s on February 22, 2007, 6:11 GMT

    Dont worry people everything will be okay. Our PCB chairman is doctor he knows what he is up against. Just sit back and enjoy. take my words Shoaib & Asif will play in World Cup.

  • Mohammed Munir - Sharjah, UAE. on February 22, 2007, 5:35 GMT

    It’s just so so sad and painful that the hopes, dreams, reputation, character and integrity of a great nation is rested on the hopeless shoulders of a pathetic druggy, and the entire country and all the cricket fans are absolutely powerless on this whole saga.

    If Pakistan can survive without Qadeer Khan, Allama Iqbal, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, and thousands of likes, then who the f***king hell are the Shoaib, Naseem Ashraf, Salim Altaf, etc. We as a country shall be placing our national pride before all others things.

    There are over 100 countries in the world who never know about cricket; is this game the only thing in the world? Look at USA, China, Germany, France, Japan, and many more, these countries do not have cricket teams but they are still great nations.

    What if we did not win the world cup? What if some players did not go to world cup? What if Shoaib, Naseem and Altaf all died? What if Pakistan did not have a cricket teams?

    We will still be a “Free, Great, Nation” .... So let that be.

    The one and only thing I like about Pervaiz Musharef is that .... PAKISTAN FIRST !!

    Remember Fiends .... These Peoples are by PAKISTAN, PAKISTAN is NOT by these peoples.

    PS: I used to love Pakistani cricket and its players and my heart bleed; but now I just love the game of cricket and only good players, no matter where they comes from.

  • ali a on February 22, 2007, 5:13 GMT

    I will address Shoaib's issue after this.

    To Alan and Marty:

    You claim as Pakistan or sub-continent cricketers cheat. Have you forgotten Aussie and English cheating. Talk about ball tempering and not mentioning Mike Atherton caught on tape tampering the ball. Samething about drug use - you accuse Akhtar and Asif as drugie, but forget about Warne (your excuse it was his Mum who gave him). Read this article and tell us if Warnie was not a drugie

    http://sport.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=1041&id=1792902006

    The allegations come from the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, Dick Pound. Pound states in his book "The diuretic was a masking agent that could have hidden the possible use of steroids that would help the injury cure faster. He had returned to play almost twice as quickly as the experts had predicted."

    So please mentioned the above facts when you accuse sub-continent of ball tampering and drug use and label them as cheaters.

    Now back to Shoaib's case:

    Personally, I think it was the PCB that actually would have asked the doctors to give both Aktar and Asif Nandrolone drugs in order to recover from their injuries for the English tour. What they probably did not realize was how this strategy could back fire so miserably. First they were not even available at the right time to make a difference. The end result is all the mess they have created as a result of this. One should ask PCB, was it worth it? You still lost the series in England.

    This is what I call a short-term thinking. It is further enhanced by the fact:

    - how coaches like Waqar have resigned - the fitness coach Compton has resigned

    all due to differences with PCB. Now a mgmt with long term strategy would try to work out their differences for the betterment of the team. But we don't see that. The whole fiasco about Shoaib suing Inzi and Woolmer about so called racist comments is bizzare. This should have been handled long time ago by the PCB mgmt and should not be in public. This further highlights how bad the mgmt is at PCB.

    I say if Shoaib is unfit because of his failed test. Its time to announce it now - that way its out of your system and rest of the team can concentrate on WC and start laying out alternative strategies now. I even say lets bring back Waqar Younis as a bowler (if he is can gain fitness) or as a bowling coach. Lets also bring Wasim Akram as a bowling coach with either Zaheer or Miandad as a mgr. They can help our batsmen during the WC.

  • Jaahil on February 22, 2007, 4:05 GMT

    The only problem with shoaib is that he doesn't listen to BS that woolmer or inzi throw at him. He is a parha likha and knows what is right and wrong. Inzi wants to make a religious team and full of players who say YES to him and call him inzi bhai all the time. This is the reason that Rana is still in the team eventhough he's been by far the worst bowler in the whole world. All he does is suck up to inzi and he probably is inzi's best friend. Corruption needs to end in our team otherwise this will go on and on for a long time. Sorry inzi there is no way you will win the WC simply because you didn't give young players a chance. We have no unity in our team it doesn't matter if asif and shoaib play or not we will not go too far in this WC. We should bring imran khan in our organization somehow either as a coach or a selector. This team can only run by imran and imran only. The best thing to do is after this WC we should bring players from under 19 and let them develop and matured for the next WC. We shouldn't add/drop players all the time as it is not working for us. I am begging for bob woolmer to go as this guy has done jack with our team. This guy couldn't even find an opening stand in his tenure what good is he anyway. Lastly, we need a captain who is educated and not someone who has no idea what to do on the field or how to come up with a plan to beat the other team.

  • Muhammad Hasan on February 22, 2007, 4:02 GMT

    Kamran, it seems to me that for the past two years, all you and Mr.Quereshi have done is criticize the PCB and the Pakistan cricket team itself without suggesting any progressive ideas that may help to improve situations in Pakistan. It is a fact that although Akhtar tested positive for having Nandrolone in his body, the level he tested positive for was far less than the amount required for any serious action to be taken. Floyd Landis, the Tour De France winner recently tested positive for the same drug found in Akhtar's body and was easily cleared by WADA with no further speculation on the case. Why then, should Akhtar receive a penalty from the ICC and/or PCB when an athlete with far more nandrolone in his system was cleared by WADA(the same agency that is currently raising further questions on the legitimacy of Akhtar's trial). There is a famous phrase I believe irrational critics like you should seriously consider before submitting your biased articles - "It is far better to set a guilty man free than to punish an innocent one." And with all the facts presented during Akhtar's trial, it seems to me that he's innocent. Why would a man, who has broken the hundred mile an hour barrier during a World Cup in which all players were tested for drugs and cleared (after the Shane Warne/diuretic incident), take a career threatening risk by taking performance enhancers? Unless Shoaib intends to break the 110 mile an hour mark, he has absolutely no reason to take any sort of steroid. As for you, Mr.Abassi, I just hope you realize the extent of embarrassment you have caused to every Pakistani/Akhtar enthusiast by submitting this typical Pakistani propaganda. I also pray you understand that at a time like this, when the Pakistani cricket team is about to embark on one of the most uncertain World Cup campaigns it has ever participated in, encouragement is not necessarily a bad thing.

  • AMIN S. on February 22, 2007, 3:30 GMT

    WHY? PCB is putting too much efforts after drug test and even if they know that Shoaib and Asif may prove positive again why they want to jeopardise Pak's chances (if any) for WC. We all talk so much about why Rana is playing? Inzi's captaincy? Do we ever think about our PCB Officers like Salif Altaf & Co.? They are the biggest problems in the system right now. If we want to improve our team the first step we should take is to change this crazy PCB Officers. Then we can think about changing Captain, Manager and ofcourse Coach. Mr. Woolmer has done nothing much so now is the time immediately after WC to look for another coach. Is there any guarantee that a Gora or foreign coach would be better for our cricket kids. I dont think so. We should try again one of our own legends as Coach. I still hope and pray Pak team to do better in the WC.

  • calgary highlander on February 22, 2007, 2:34 GMT

    Last line says it all.

  • Nasir on February 22, 2007, 2:21 GMT

    The whole picture is dismal. We are in for a rude awakening.It is not a matter of the proverbial glass being empty or full. Right now we can't even see the glass.

  • Roger Bond,Australia on February 22, 2007, 2:18 GMT

    What will the dope test reveal? Answer: As Adam paroroe pointed out that they smelt somethnig fishy long back when the the paki bowlers bowled 20 overs at stretch in hot weather and still managed to get speed. This is not humanely possible no matter what your diet is. The only answer is steroids. Everyone knows akthar and other paki bowlers were on steroids for long long time ,just managed to get caught now becasue the PCB and the players had a differnce of opinion on some other issue at this point of time. Before this PCB probbly knew but because dope test was not taken before,they let id happen. I am mazed to see people here asking the positive dope test to be forgotten and allowing them to play. Well I guess pkaistanis think dope is ok.Too bad for world cricket and for the game. Hope all dopers are banned for life.

  • sohaib on February 22, 2007, 2:08 GMT

    yea well some very intruiging comments but unfortunately most people here have no idea what in the world they are talking about. Except for that imran dude who had some valid points, most people here are making some false assumptions and accusations which has become atypical of our "cultural persona." First and foremost, apart from the cricketing woes, we need to realize a few things. This forum gives me an opportunity to highlight some points which we need to ponder over as Pakistanis in general. Has anyone ever wondered why us Pakistanis are despised the world over? Why have we created an image of ourself as a people with no discipline, unity, or self respect. It gives reason to ponder that in the last 50 years or so, we have learned nothing from history. We still remain our very own worst enemies. We still cannot tolerate one another and make false assumptions about other people and cannot see another fellow brother be more successful (i.e. inferiority complex). Whether it be terrorism, democracy, or cricket, we have become a laughing stock in the world thanks primarily due to...ourselves. I would like to quote a recent example with regards to shoaib akhtar when he was awarded a two year ban, which was later overturned. In the report, it was highlighted that shoaib akhtar was "sexually active.." among other things. So what if he was sexually active? How does that concern the general public or Pakistani society. Was that included in the report to tell the world that Pakistani people are not sexually active? Why would we want to embarrass our national hero in public eye by telling everyone he was sexually active? Did the judge find it necessary to include that in his report because he was jealous that Shoaib actually has "laid" more women than himself? In an Islamic country such as Pakistan, it has become a commonplace for us to embarras our national heroes in the public eye as well as internationally. Shoaib Akthar, Dr. A.Q Khan, you name it; when we get a chance to embarrass them, we grasp the opportunity with pleasure. I WOULD also like to point out a few other points here if i could to those haters and cricket extremists, and "pundits" who are embarrassed by the Pakistani team performance in South Africa. For us to think that Pakistan could have won the tournament with Rana Naveed and Mohammad Sami; when the likes of Umar Gul and Shoaib were injured is a wild stretch of the imagination. Under the cirumstance, Pakistan played some outstanding cricket in the SA series. Australia recently proved that they are beatable without Bret Lee and a full fit Glen Mcgrath as NZ comfortably beat them. For us to have believed that Rao Ifikhar and Rana Naveed would have taken Pakistan to glory in South Africa was our own mistake. If Pakistan is to stand any chance in the world cup, it needs all its three front line bowlers to be fit. Shoaib, Umar Gul, and Mohammad Asif have to be there. However, with the recent drug scandal it is no surprise that the poor guy has run away to England. He is probably fed up with all the media attention that he is getting for the wrong reasons. PCB doesnt know where he is. If he feels that he will test positive again for the drug, then he is in his right to not test and skip the world cup. The same goes for Mohammad Asif. What this would mean is that Umar Gul would be our only glimmer of hope, and asking him to lift the world on his shoulder would be asking too much..

  • ahmad shah mian on February 22, 2007, 1:39 GMT

    I don’t know why most of the people in this blog picking on Shoaib(the great). If you look at his off the field activities, he is in very good terms with other nation players as well as public. I personally met him once and he is a well spoken individual (not like our present skipper, when he loses the game then he doesn’t begin with bismillah, and thanks to Allah..Referring to SA tour 4th ODI presentation). The only thing I can think of is jealousy and prejudice which as a matter of fact does exist in our nation. I hope everything goes well in his favour. Peace

  • zaheer muhammad on February 22, 2007, 1:29 GMT

    piss has to go from pakistan, why not take inzi piss threee time and just label them first one inzi second shoib and third one asif problem solve people dont take it serious its a joke

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 22, 2007, 1:29 GMT

    MY QUESTION TO ALL.......... Apart from Pakistan which other country and which players are giving their urine samples for a DOPE TEST?

    If the anwere is NO ONE, then WTF wrong with PCB? Why are they volunteering this test?

  • Imran Iqbal on February 22, 2007, 1:27 GMT

    In response to Mazher Hussain's comment; I agree Shoib is lethal but mostly to his own team... Regarding drug tests, ICC must be doing it instead of individual boards so that every body gets transparent treatment.... but PCB loves to be honest and in the end stupid ass....

  • Owais on February 22, 2007, 0:58 GMT

    Shoaib will doubtedly clear the dope test as the nanlandrome will still be fooling around in His body. He just had a sample taken only a few months back.

  • Faraz (the first Faraz on all of Kamran's blogs) on February 22, 2007, 0:36 GMT

    Kamran: I have to agree with Aftab Qureshi...instead bringing PCB's shinanigans in the limelight you are providing for an anti-Shoaib bashing channel on this blog...what did Shoaib do so wrong that we as Pakistanis cannot live with his "bad-boy-hood" I mean..we need bad boys like Shoaib, Afridi, Imran Nazir to deal with the ugly thugs in the Nels, Symonds and the likes...why is SA or AUS not hurrying for dope tests ...PCB has made Pakistan cricket team a laughing stock !! this manhood-deprived administration lead by that sham of a person ..so called Dr. Ashraf...I mean how much more sickening can you get...?? We need managers...(project amangers) not "chamaars" to handle the cricketing affairs. Oh, what am I saying the ugliest chamaar is leading them ...that damned Musharraf...patron of PCB...on merit may not even qualify as the peon of PCB

  • Sitarah Anjum from London on February 22, 2007, 0:32 GMT

    Well, the dope test is an enigma for both Asif and Akhter no matter what. If their tests result positive conducted by PCB and PCB still let them play arguing that these players should play WC because their appeal is pending. But remember that ICC will still conduct the dope tests on them and eventually these two will be banned under ICC rules. Those people who think that PCB can get away with this by playing some tricks should not forget ICC. Can you make them to turn a blind eye too? The only hope for the duo is clearing the test and only then play the WC. If however they are tested positive again and the level of nandrolene is not fully cleared from the body but remains the same or low since the last test then they should not be banned for life because they did not take it again. There should not be double the punishment for the same mistake. However PCB should not allow them to play because this is 100% guaranteed that ICC will certainly ban them if found positive by them during the WC. There is no way out for them. The mistake is done by PCB. They should not have given them harsh punishments in the first place and if given then decision should not have been overturned altogether. They should have thought about WADA because they claim Pakistan is bound to be abiding by their rules as a signatory. Ignorance of law is no excuse. Better sack the medical team of PCB who takes salary without checking the players what they are actually taking in their bodies!! There is contradiction within PCB itself. First they ban the players then they try to give lame excuses to the world to save their asses. Who are they trying to fool? WADA, ICC rest of the world or themselves????

  • Aftab Qureshi on February 21, 2007, 23:37 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, why do I get the feeling that you have joined the anti-Shoaib Akhtar club? What is the point of speculating that "if the (nandrolone) levels are higher than the last tests"? You are completely out of order here, unless you know for sure that the blokes took more nandrolone after the last tests. And by the way, if Shoaib and Asif are taking private urine tests prior to the official test, what is so goddamned wrong with it. If they are doing this, it could only be to save themselves, the PCB and the country from further embarrassment. Why should any one have any issue with that?

  • Faraz (the first Faraz on all of Kamran's blogs) on February 21, 2007, 22:55 GMT

    Kamran: This dope test saga is a self-afflicted PCB mess and while the rest of the world ridicules us for even coming up with dope tests during ICC trophy....we talk of ending careers. I ask..who implicated Pakistan of ..there are no juice monkeys on this team who look like Nel, Watson, Symonds, Haydens and the lot. In my view PCB should be tried for treason for creating a storm out of nothing and all this at the expense of nation's pride and integrity...It is said that when responsibility lands in the hands of the incompetent then should anticiapte apocalypse as being imminent.

  • Zain on February 21, 2007, 22:53 GMT

    All is never lost..cricket is an ongoing thing..everyone has to think ahead of the world cup..Shoaib IS history..let him go to hell..focus on Asif..try and save him from as much damage as possible...Pakistan still has a more then decent bowling attack in contrast to the world..everyones obsessed with winning the world cup but think realisticly..Pak is in no position to win..try and make it good experience..let the world know we are broken but we won't go down as nothing..we can still give teams a run for thier money..Gul and Asif with an in form Rana or Sami is a very decent attack indeed.Look at India, a country not known for fast bowlers, they have made a good attack with Z.Khan & Co...we sure as hell can match that and more even without Akhter..its all about how you see Shoaib's absence..IS THE GLASS HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL...you decide..but whatever the case if Pakistan is to make any kind of impact to the WC..they are going to have to be determined and I still believe they can beat anyone..Akhter or no Akhter, the team has to understand that.

  • Ish Younis on February 21, 2007, 22:49 GMT

    I don’t understand why everyone is annoyed with Shohaib and Asif taking the piss this one time. Look at the foundation, PCB are taking the piss ALL the time! Each and everyone that have the final say in PCB takes the piss. The foundation of Pakistani cricket is a shambles, why do we expect a miracle from the players?

    The players play up because the management lets them. If the players a conditioned to think they are indispensable regardless of they’re behaviour then why are we blaming them?

    you know how far you can push your luck, they do to - so they are.

  • Marty on February 21, 2007, 22:44 GMT

    Does it matter if the test returned by Akhtar is over the prescribed WADA levels??? The PCB have ignored them thus far, and in the process highlighted what a corrupt and ignorant cricket board they truly are.

    I cannot believe how most of you are commenting on how harsh the PCB are being on the two players - they let them off for cheating in a way which in my opinion is only surpassed by match fixing. Whether or not they knew what they were taking a minimum one-year ban should be applied to any offender from any nation.

  • Akram on February 21, 2007, 22:16 GMT

    OMG ( Oh My God) Ijaz Ahmed is still around at the age of 38 playing for sialkot…… he made a blistering 68 for them and top scored for there team, hes still got his old form and experience with him and I think were in for a winner. Im sure he would be more then happy to play for Pakistan. Mushtaq Ahmed I DON’T KNOW why the hell he isn’t in the team he is the best spinner in the world at the moment taking over 100 wickets for Sussex in 2 seasons in a row is amazing.

  • asam on February 21, 2007, 22:03 GMT

    can everybodu=y on dis blog SHUTUP! its not akhtars fault its pcb so leave im alone wat do u mean chuk im out chukin him out is chukin ur chances 4 any glory out of the window

  • syed omer on February 21, 2007, 22:01 GMT

    this is very very sad for pakistan near the wc it is true without shoaib cannot achive the world cup . if shoaib & asif both are clear is very exited to see the wc. shoaib is dangrous bowler he can give break through any time insha Allah shoaib & asif will be back on top Aaa meeen

  • saj on February 21, 2007, 21:57 GMT

    typicle pcb can't organise a piss up

  • Yassar on February 21, 2007, 21:38 GMT

    Your article is deeply flawed on 2 major fronts and as a result is disappointed. First of all I do not think Shoaib and for that matter Asif are dodging the latest dope tests as you seem to be suggesting especially when referring to Shoaib.

    If for whatever reason they are found to have traces of nandrolone in their body which are above the decay curve when this latest dope test is conducted they risk being banned for life. You already mentioned in your article that the ‘decay curve’ varies in athletes and hence poses a grey area. Therefore it is only sensible that both Shoaib and Asif are allowed maximum time before dope tests are conducted in order to minimize the chances of the test being positive.

    Secondly you seem to refer more to Shoaib than Asif when making your accusations. Let’s not forget both were found with traces of the banned substance so why does one of them seem to be taking the flak more than the other. It seems you like many others are punishing Shoaib for his past misdemeanors which is completely wrong!!

    Shoaib is no angel, but his treatment from the PCB and the media has been disgusting. The cricketing board has failed miserably in managing a volatile star who has the potential to make Pakistan the greatest team in the world. You only have to look at Australia and see how they managed Shane Warne who was as much if not more controversial than Shoaib yet he is success and hence Australia’s is there to be seen.

    As a nation we should be getting behind our team and individuals and not barracking them with silly articles such as this. The media has a big part to play in this so Mr Abbasi lets look to support rather than criticise which is always the easy way out.

  • murtaza bank on February 21, 2007, 21:35 GMT

    it's about time that the pakistan cricket board shows some disipline in it's handling the national side, it's not only a matter of losing and winning but more important the integrity of the Pakisani side which it portrays to the rest of the world. A player like shoeb akhtar should have been banned and made example of to the rest of the team.

  • Rehan on February 21, 2007, 21:22 GMT

    I have a very bad feeling about this whole enterprise. I will not be surprised tomorrow, it is announced that Asif and Akhtar cannot play.

  • Mawali on February 21, 2007, 21:06 GMT

    Kamran Sahib, it seems we are fishing for a story. I really don’t see what the problem is! As I understand Shoaib and Asif’s tests are being delayed to buy more time. For my money that is a pretty smart move. The point being wait till the last possible window of time, send the samples pay extra for expedited results. If the results come back positive, well tell the boys, to take a long vacation and get in the fast lane to Adios. Now if the tests indeed come back negative than hurray and mazel tov, time to rejoice.

    Personally, I am planning to play this wait and see game before subscribing to the event. Here in the US the WC is a pay-per-view event. I plan to wait till the last minute before the game starts and to see the lineup. Guess what no Shoaib or Asif, then hello Cricinfo updates. AMF!

  • usman razaq on February 21, 2007, 21:05 GMT

    pakistan team has no unity at the moment. a couple of years ago they could have gone to w/c without shoaib, rana was bowling well with asif an gul. now, the team needs quality. both asif and shoaib must go to west indies. if they do not appear for pakistan, then definitly they will not get close to smell the semi-finals.

  • Miten on February 21, 2007, 20:50 GMT

    Im tired of hearing about Shoaib Akhtar, he is a nuisance and the Pakistani team has enough firepower to wave goodbye to this constant distraction. Bring in Gul and Asif to open and you have a combination as good as any in the world. Good pace, excellent line and length, good seam and swing, what else do you want? Get rid of that man for gods sake!!!!!

  • Shaan on February 21, 2007, 20:48 GMT

    This is the greatest circus in the world of cricket! Thanks to PCB and the maverick "Shoaib"

  • Alan on February 21, 2007, 20:30 GMT

    they failed the drug test so why cant u kik them out of cricket now, cheaters

  • shehzadd on February 21, 2007, 20:25 GMT

    He used the drug(nandrolone). Nandrolone is an extreemly effective 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. Fortunatily he let Asif use the same drug. Poor Asif thought Shoaib akhter is his very close friend. But Akhter thinks the other way. If Akhter was the only player, testing pocitive. Pcb would have banned him straight away for life. Because of innocent Asif Pcb reduced thr bans. Poor Asif was weeping like a child because he was innocent. I hope things will get better very soon before the worldcup.

  • Farhan (California) on February 21, 2007, 20:10 GMT

    Make drugs legal in sport. I want to see 100+mph bowlers take on flat track bullies. I want to see a 3 minute mile. I want to see 100 home runs in a season. Why not?

  • Ali Wazir (Amsterdam) on February 21, 2007, 19:54 GMT

    One thing all Pakistani fans have to understand that Shoaib Akhtar is a matchwinner and Pakistan cannot do without him. You can see this in Pakistan's recent tour of South Africa, where batting was obviously poor but the bowling attack was only half hearted. What can Mohammad Asif do on his own. We need pace. That's what we've lacked for the past couple of months.

    Sami has pace; Asif can swing, but Shoaib has both these. He is a top class bowler and if fit, I can bet my house that he will bring Pakistan far in the World Cup.

  • MAZHER HUSSAIN on February 21, 2007, 19:35 GMT

    SALAM

    I am sure we are all aware of the shortcomings of some of our players individually and also as a team but isn't it now time to put negative opinion a side and start supporting our team.I am sure shoaib must be having some attitude/behavior problem;however,he also has been victom.Inzmam ,though a gentle and humble ,certainly lacks the art and fun of making use of one of the most lethal fast bowler available to him.I do hope sanity would prevail and someone can help players to resolve their differences very quickly. Insha Allah it is this very team that can win pakistan the coming world cup.Let us stand unitedly behind our team and support them fully.

  • wasim saqib on February 21, 2007, 19:33 GMT

    One more thing why did shoaib And Asif both went to England are they getting their own tests first or there is some treatment available for eliminating nandrolone in the body.

  • wasim saqib on February 21, 2007, 19:23 GMT

    Well we have to think positive if shoaib and Asif pass te test which is highly unlikely, we will be a team to reckon with,but lets look at the worst case scenario,We will have a bowling attack consisting of Umar gul,Rana,Rao,Razzak,Afridi and Possibly kaneria. Lets look at the bowling first,This Attack is in no way inferior than an indian attack they all have experience and all of them except Razzak whom i have never considered a bowler are good bowlers the problem is rana is out of form and Thats where i want to curse out PCB officials because if Waqar was still the bowling coach he would have been able to put some of these bowlers on track, but having said that, its of no use to cry over spilt milk these are the bowlers we have and they are better than some of the other teams.

    So where lies the problem? Its the final team selection, our batting order and the spineless leadership. We have seen during the last week that Newzealand Succesfully chased twice a 300 plus target are the australian bowlers not good enough or the Kiwi bowlers were not good enough that they were thrashed for 300 plus runs twice. The answer lies in nature of the one day game its a game more suitable for the batsmen,our batsmen are not consistent they have talent but no courage or brains. Speaking of courage can any body tell me why Inzimam is batting so low down the order,this guy is the most politically correct and diplomatic person i have ever seen he seems to get away with every thing,Basically his strategy is to face the bowling when the ball is old if he saves the day he will be regarded as a hero else the responsibility will fall on the top order,he should either open the innings or come one down if Pakistan has to fancy any chances in the world cup,secondly Younis khan needs to bat with more sense he has lost his wicket so many times during the recent past playing a rash shot out side off stump that now i believe he does it intentionally how many times a batsman of his experience can fall to the same delivery or shot. And last i seriously think the worst mistake PCB has made is that they have not found any replacements for Razzak and Afridi these players are so inconsistent that i seriously think that we should go with one more regular bowler and one more regular batsman,at least we will get a degree of consistency from the team and the balance will be restored,after all we all want a team which performs on the field rather than looking strong on paper. Finally its sad to say that we dont stand a chance to win this cup without Shoaib and Asif.

  • Ahmad Zubairi on February 21, 2007, 19:21 GMT

    I have been waiting like most others. Someone asked earlier about chances of another positive test. I researched it there is a good article about it. It appears to me that chance of it getting negative are high, If someone gets one injection of 50 mg it could be detected in urine for 3-4 months a dose of 150 could be detected upto 6 months. However a level of 13 -14 ng/ml which both the bowlers had means that they received the steroid at least 35-50 days before the first test so that places them in relatively safe period now. There is a belgian study that shows detectable amounts till nine months but this particular study that I reviewed was published in a respectable peer reviewed endocrinology journal. I hope Asif gets cleared, shoaib even if he is clear will definitely pull some other stunt dont count on it. Ahmad

  • vijaykarthick.T on February 21, 2007, 19:09 GMT

    dear mr.kamran abbasi.i regularly read your columns.T he one thing i would like to say here is asif is an even more asset to pakistan than shoaib.Gone are those days when batsmen around the world used to struggle to come in terms with shoaib's pace and in fact they now may enjoy it more since the ball comes on to the bat much quickly.But nevertheless he can still produce some magic spell of bowling and do wonders for pak.For that to happen his mind should be relaxed and allow him to concentrate on the happenings on the field and rather than off the field.Another major factor will be his fitness. On the other hand Asif has proved to be the bowling find for pakistan and has taken the mantle of leading the pakistan attack.Most astonishing factor is his ability to hit the right areas more often than most other bowlers in the world.Add to his height he can extract bounce also. But the pakistan cricket administration is also to take a good chunk of blame for the doping incidence.These players are mostly picked from galli's at a young age so they will have to be educated about the do's and dont's. sadly pakistan cricket administration itself has the tag of being the most unstable board in the world. Now that these tests have to be conducted these players will have to give their urine samples and hope that the banned substance have degenerated to the levels mentioned below that set by the WADA For the good of world cricket lets hope they come out successful,but in a few days time world will know if they are boarding the plane to the caribbean or be in a position to not even walk down the Lane of pakistan!!!

  • mohidin gundroo on February 21, 2007, 18:54 GMT

    It IS in the best intrest of both Pakistan and PCB to ban both these players if they are still positive for the drug if they want to gain some credibility which is far more important than winning the world cup.It doesnt look we are going to win the cup anyway irrespective of nor do we deserve to win it considering our recent performnce

  • Shehzad Khan on February 21, 2007, 18:53 GMT

    Is it me or is everyone missing the point? Shoaib and Asif have to take the tests now as it too late to come out with any excuse and destroy any credibility left for PCB and even for themselves?

    But the way people are ranting about getting rid of Shoaib and playing dumb when it comes to Asif, shows that each one of us is biggoted toward our self opinions...Just because Shoaib has trendy lifestyle, he should be judged harsher punishment than Asif?..Just because he is a flashy player, his off the field acts are "un-Islamic", he should be banned for life?...For GOD's sake, we are having opinions of flogging him on Kalma chowk!...I mean is there a end to stupidity or is it true that stupidity is in our blood?

    Today Shoaib is considered a spent force so everyone gangs up on him and wants him out...Where was everyone when even after the so called proven tests, he came back in SA and took control of the whole all by himself?...seriously, who in our team gets us excited apart from Afridi and Shoaib?..Inzi, Younus, Akmal, NOT!!

    You have to take care of people depending on their personalities and look after their own goals...PCB failed to do that and our captain, well what can you say of someone who is as lethargic as Inzi...

    So everyone say after me "I am not a Biggot and whatever Shoaib deserves, should be metted out to Asif also"...

    And please enough of the piss, piss....seriously its getting boring now.

  • KJM on February 21, 2007, 18:49 GMT

    I think PCB should be run by sensible people. The current administration doesn't know what the hell they are doing. If the same players were acquitted from taking this drug, which they have proved not guilty, and if they haven't taken it again since then, which I am sure they should not have, testing them and the rest of the team seems ridicules. Why PCB is making this issue such a big issue? They cannot learn by themselves, learn from neighboring country, even learning from Bangladesh won’t hurt. PCB looks foolish in handling this issue. Aside from this, why PCB didn't protest against Afridi ban? I'm not asking for the appeal, appeal would have been rejected but a mere protest would have an impact on ICC that in future they will not dare to prejudicially ban a Pakistani player. Look at the dilemma that Afridi action was ignored by the match referee but ICC president (who always keeps one eye on Pak. Player) noticed this incident, and asked to take action.

    New York

  • Omer Admani on February 21, 2007, 18:48 GMT

    The question should not be "what if Shoaib and Asif play" but what "if they don't play". Who will play if either because of injury or dope or whatever reason they don't play? Would we play Rana? Or even Sami?

  • Imran From Rawalpindi on February 21, 2007, 18:45 GMT

    Hi Everyone : Basically Nandrolone is an anabolic steroid that has recently caused a great deal of controversy after a number of big name athletes have been banned from competition after failing tests for this drug. These include Linford Christie, Mark Richardson and Dougie Walker (all well known British sprinters). Shoiab and asif must know that since they were banned and since than if they are eating spaghetti ( spaghetti has bolognese which contained beef from cattle that had been fed steroids ) their Nano will stay as it is or will arose from using protien milkshake. The bottom line is that if this banned substance is still found in their body they should be smart enough not to go to world cup at all specially asif. the only advice i can give them is to drink lots of water and eat KOLONGI because KALONGI has what it takes to take away any side effects of any drug. We as a nation should expect all the wrong things a PCB can do to ruin their team chances in WC. Why PCB picked shoaib and asif in WC stumpped me when they are sure that Nano will remain in their bodies for certain time. PCB should be in touch with WADA at all times to convince and show them that that substance is either the same or has lowered since their last intake. If we had to tell these litty bitty things to PCB than we might as well should run it. PCB please wake up for the great sake of 150 million fans. Thank You

  • ali on February 21, 2007, 18:30 GMT

    It is painfully obvious that both of them are drug cheats and the whole team knew this.Why else would the PCB take the pains to conduct a drugs test?They knew that if they were caught in the Champions trophy,their careers would be finished. Hence,the completely superfluous committee and the reversals to take advantage of the loop holes in the system.Pakistan cricket is full of such incidents. Wasim Akram being elt off with a fine for fixing matches because he was one of the favorites of the esteemed judge.Match fixers,ball tamperers and drug cheats-thats what all pakistani cricketers are!you are a disgrace to the game!

  • Shokaib on February 21, 2007, 18:26 GMT

    lol nobody suggested wat if only one of asif or akhtar get banned and other one is cleared dat wont bee too bad but if the level of nandrolone has decreased and they still get ban this WADA or cricket board wateva are a pile of dumb idiots they make me angry man why shud they get punished wen they stopped taking the drug and it is shown but im not sure shud they have the test or not is it worth the risk of life ban hopefully sum england doctors can pull some tricks off INSHALLAH

  • YASIR AKHTAR on February 21, 2007, 18:17 GMT

    Yes, Mr Kamran, i do agree as u said that talk about life bans is really ridiculous.

    we can just pray hard ALLAH PCB ko AQAL day (AMIN)

  • Haider on February 21, 2007, 18:15 GMT

    It was surprising to see Asif's speed suddenly drop significantly throughout the SA series. I hope its just a tactical issue of adapting to needs of the situation rather than a drug withdrawal related. Shoaib is a tremendous asset, just needs the right disciplinary and leadership enforcement from Inzimam (or whoever the captain is). Can you imagine how Imran Khan would have utilized and handled Shoaib - we would have extracted a lot more out of him. So instead of blaming Shoaib for his attitude, we should equally blame the "leaders" in PCB and the team captain for not utilizing the resources to their fullest while being aware and adept about handling the diversity in personalities. Inzi needs a totally homogeneous group to deal with. He cannot handle heterogeniety.

  • Ek Pakisthani on February 21, 2007, 18:12 GMT

    Akhtar became fast bowler by using steroid. He breaks down every now and then. There is no excuse on test. Test should be taken that akhtar and other our pakisthani bowlers are still using steroid to become fast bowler and still acting naive about that they don't know about it and blaming on cricket board. Akhtar is morally wrong and a BAD person to be in team.Our bowlers need to learn from India that they never use illegal drugs to become fast bowler. They are natural bowler. What does it make us pakisthanis look like. Fake, cheater, coward and weak and no moral or ethic. May god bless us pakisthani good people.

  • Nishant on February 21, 2007, 18:08 GMT

    It would have helped Pakistan's cause a great deal if PCB could just take a decision not to take Akhtar and Asif. Atleast it will give the coach and the captain some time to think about their strategies and combinations. I think it is unfair to judge Inzy as a captain when he is always at selectors' and PCB's mercy. Not many teams in the world have three top class batsmen and 2 top class bowlers. Sadly, we will perhaps never see them play together. I also think Younis Khan would have made a much better captain. He is decisive, flexible on the field and leads the team with passion. Moreover, it would help Inzy concentrate on his batting and become a match winner that he was, not long ago. I guess, everyone will just keep saying how talented this team is/was and how they have consistently failed to live up to expectations. As a neutral observer to Pak cricket and being a cricket fan, I can only hope that dope scandal will not ruin the WC for Pak and the rest of the world as well.

  • Jack Murphy live from New York City on February 21, 2007, 18:05 GMT

    Folks lets get our heads out of asses as a starting point. This Shoaib guy is just a media hype. His average speed is well below 85 for the last three years. Which inexplicably the media and the dumbass commentators have not been able to point out . Now , having seen him in the last three or four years ..one thing iss very apparent he is definitely taking more than steroids. His eyes specially when he is going through a bowling spell are one proof. Now , perhaps I have advised his fans oon this matter before as well ..Shoaib ..get off ur drugs son!! This guy is never fit to bowl 10 overs ..atleast that has been the case for the last 5 years. Five overs and Shoaib is injured . ..3 overs and Shoaib is injured ...now this is a bad ass horse to bet on. Wake up ppl.

    Thanks

    Jack

  • Muhammad Zubair on February 21, 2007, 18:01 GMT

    I just want to say one thing we need shoiab akthar and it is proven from SA tour.So we have to handle his dope test in a cvery careful way and in this reard PCB and shoib is doing right they r delaying test and it is only solution to get the nandrolone minimum.And Mr.Kamran plese stop critising team and [layers because it is not the time to critisize but to support them.Go Pakistan Go.....

  • Tanveer Imam, M.D. from Pennsylvania, U.S.A on February 21, 2007, 17:59 GMT

    Kamran, the issue about dope testing and the associated delay in testing of Shoaib and Asif would have been less confusing if we had done it right the first time. If the hearing and conclusions of the appelate panel was based on facts and concrete evidence we would not have this dilema at the brink of world cup.

  • Gopala Sataluri--NJ,USA on February 21, 2007, 17:58 GMT

    Salam Kamran Saab This Shoaib Akhtar now in the state of mind he is in is an enigma to Pakistan team than a match winner. How come Pakistan Cricket fans and board are baring this man is still a puzzle to me. Since he is the one who brings lot of devision within the team and so reckless and foul mouthed.I still remember we in India used to be elated when ever we won against Pakistan.But now there is no such thrill when India beats Pakistan.There were times when personally my self and many of my friends used to feel Pkistan was much superior a side to be beaten by any good cricket team in world.Now after their worst performance against SA I feel very much let down by the team.Please for Pakistani cricket fans sake and for all of us who want the world cup be won by Asian team don't project this man a match winner and dilute the spirit in Pakistani team. Thank You very much.

  • Mahesh on February 21, 2007, 17:56 GMT

    It is unfortunate Asif is in this drug story. I think he was fooled by somebody into taking the substance. But, Shoaib Akthar is no innocent baby.

    At present there are 3 things that can stop Shoaib from playing the World Cup: 1) Nandrolone 2) Injuries (can be anywhere: shoulder, wrist, hamstring, ankle, foot, toe....or just his hot head) 3) Hot headedness

    Inzi has never been happy with Shoaib, and you cant fault Inzi for that. Inzi may not be a fitness freak, but he is a role model for gentlemanly behaviour.

    When will Shoaib ever learn? - Cheers, Mahesh

  • andrew on February 21, 2007, 17:54 GMT

    I either he just does'nt need to go to the toilet yet...or he still has something naughty to hide that is just not going out of his system quick enough.

  • shehzad on February 21, 2007, 17:37 GMT

    He used the drug(nandrolone). Nandrolone is an extreemly effective drug, remains in ur body for atleast 18 months. Now before the worldcup Shoaib actor will face the life ban. But fortunatily PCB is looking to let him escape from his dope test. Shoaib let Asif use the same drug. Poor Asif thought Akhter is his very close friend. But Akhter thinks the other way. So unknowingly Asif used nandrolone. If Akhter was the only player, testing pocitive. Pcb would have banned him for life. Because of innocent Asif Pcb reduced thr bans. Poor Asif was weeping like a child because he was innocent. I hope things will get better very soon before the worldcup.

  • Waqar on February 21, 2007, 17:35 GMT

    The Way PCB is handling Pakistani cricket from destorying domestic cricket structure to abusing senior players, from corruption in Cricket Budget to making every silly decsion, i ll say i love n enjoy to see those dumb and duffar ppl running after Shoaib and Asif with bottles to piss.

  • Aaron (INDIA) on February 21, 2007, 17:04 GMT

    Shoaib the best by far!!!

    GO Shoaib GO!!!

  • Faizan on February 21, 2007, 17:04 GMT

    Just Forget About These Drug Tests And Concentrate On The World Cup ... And Ofcourse That Would Be Impossible To Win Without Our Main Strike Bowlers Akhtar And Asif So My Answer To Kamran Abbasi Saab Is Keep Your Views To Yourself

  • Big D on February 21, 2007, 16:57 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi and rest of the folks picking on Shoaib Akhtar... please do realize that he is the best match winning bowler RIGHT NOW!!!!

    He bowled only 11 overs in 2nd test and that was the only test match Pakistan won in SA... it would have been a clean sweep if stupid PCB would handle him better and he would have played all 3 tests!!!

    If pakistan doesnt do well in WC it will be because of Wasim Bari... you dont have a single opener with an average of 30 going into WC... Hafeez has an average of 19 after 50 matches as an opener!!!! your best opener Salman Butt is in reserves... now that's not what's up!!!!

  • Shiraz from Houston, USA on February 21, 2007, 16:50 GMT

    Seems like everyone from Dr. Ashraf to Woolmer to Inzi to Shoaib is trying level best to sabotage the spirit of Pakistan Cricket and its fans, whether on the field or off...what a great time for all this BS to happen (right before WC)....bravo to you all...who needs enemies when we have all of you among us!!!

  • aj on February 21, 2007, 16:28 GMT

    or totally on the other hand...................................SHOIAB WINS US THE WORLD CUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Masaood Yunus on February 21, 2007, 16:26 GMT

    An Open Letter to Mr. Shoaib Akhtar ===================================

    You burst at the cricketing scene with awesome talent and immense speed. A raw talent that swept the ground under our feet and made us all clap and praise the beginning of a new era in Pakistan Cricket. Your first ball wicket of Sachin Tendulkar was so shocking that we forgot to blink. Your 5 wicket hauls reminded us the great talent you possess along with the 2 greats, Waqar and Wasim. You along with Waqar and Wasim looked like a potent attack that would blow off any team on any day at any pitch. Such was the intensity and emotions that we pinned our hopes with you to raise the standard of cricket and particularly bowling in Pakistan. Your obsession with speed was equivalent to this nation's obsession with you. Your heroics on saving a kid in Australia made us proud of you. As much as we wanted you to prosper with your immense talent, that much we expected rising cricket standards for our amateur cricketers. Believe me, when you achieved the 100 mile milestone, the whole nation stood on their toes and praised you. You have since given us glimpse of brilliance that you was and still capable of. The energy that your inspired into our youth and especially cricketers made us all take a note. Just when we were settling down with our high hopes for Pakistan Cricket and stood behind you in every controversy (chucking etc) your cricket had been attracting,something went terribly wrong and You, Mr. Shoaib Akhtar, ..... failed us.

    This is the time you stand by your nation and give us back what we expected of you. We made you a star and you owe us BIG TIME. We have regularly heard you claiming to be perfectly fit only to break down in the next game. We have seen you partying out with pictures splashed all over the media when you were "supposedly injured". We have seen you carrying grudges against your own team mates and being vocal about it. We have seen you appointing your own doctors and trainers when PCBs appointed officials has been lot more successful collectively with the whole team. We have seen you giving out statements that you were usually not able to back with action. We have seen you ..... there is no end to it.

    All what it takes is just a slight change of attitude and humbleness. You are a star because this nation made you a star !

    As it stands today, the record books will carry a profile that will be dusty, hidden under piles of great cricketing records, without a heading, crying out to be named after someone who ones was known to "would be" take the cricketing world by storm .... Mr. Shoaib Akhtar.

    This is World Cup 2007 and its time you stand up for your nation and give us back what your are capable of delivering. Nations have prospered with great leaders and its time you lead our bowking attack to heights that we know it is capable of. Your motivation and dedication might earn you a big recognition in the record books but will definately earn you a 15 million nation applause and i will trade anything for that ... any day.

  • aj on February 21, 2007, 16:23 GMT

    if as everyone says inzi has got unity in the team-bar shoaib- i would like them to kick shoaib out, pull together and prove to shoaib that they can win the WC without him and SHOW HIM HE IS HISTORY. after all we need something to motivate this side and that could just be the perfect thing to do.

  • kamaldeen nazeer on February 21, 2007, 16:23 GMT

    i like akhtar without akhtar not win world cup

  • sakil kathmandu on February 21, 2007, 16:18 GMT

    Akthar is the key player for pakistan he have already proved it but he should maintain his fittness.they have great player individually they should utilize it playing as a team.one agressive bowler should be in the team like akthar who can trouble the batsmen by his pace and variation.

  • sunder koirala on February 21, 2007, 16:08 GMT

    akthar alone can turn the match.all should have know his ability and they should play as a team.every individual player have a big name and ability in playing so they should utilize it. they should open the innings with afridi's big shot before powerplay.they should really manage their batting order so they can do like 1992.

  • shafqat ahmad chaudry on February 21, 2007, 16:05 GMT

    mr kamran abbasi i think you are right , time has come up to take the things in serious. i think pakistan team main strength is their bowling department,we all like to see shoaib and asif in action along with rana and razzak with spin department with afridi and malik . so i think paki guys can do a wonder its my belief.

  • khansahab on February 21, 2007, 15:57 GMT

    Akhtar is likely to fail the test, as most people have commented. I hope there hasn’t been a major communication gap between PCB and Selection Committee, because Akhtar and Asif were selected in the squad. It would be a hassle to go through the official route to remove them from the squad and replace them. I pray Akhtar and Asif make it for the sake of the team’s success. Akhtar only plays for himself. Period. He is a stupid man who does not know what is good for him. The countless times I have seen him say that he plays for his country, that he carries his country’s name with pride etc! What a load of bull. The wider world (and much of Pakistan) sees him as a cheat, a liar and an undisciplined bully. If he cared about his carrying his country’s name with dignity, he would work on his fitness more instead of wasting time womanising, partying and badmouthing others. Akhtar has much experience. Woolmer is right in stating that if Akhtar slows his pace down 5-10 mph, bowls with a shorter run up and generally takes care of himself more, he can be even more effective than he is now and we would see him in the team more often. Look what Waqar Younis did when he reached early 30’s- pace dropped, but accuracy and swing increased and he became a more intelligent cricketer. Akhtar bowls at an angle at times which will also assist him. He does possess the bouncer, the yorker, the off-cutter etc. in his arsenal so he can still be effective if he mixes his deliveries well. I daresay that strained relations between Woolmer, Inzi and Akhtar have not helped. This will affect in turn Akhtar’s relations with the PCB. The correct way to deal with this is for all parties to drop their egos, become soft and unite with the common purpose of how to do well in the WC with the limited resources currently at our disposal. I hope PCB are contacting Akhtar regularly and discussing this issue with him. Akhtar is like a wild but effective animal that needs to be tamed with kindness and clemency. PCB needs him more at the moment than he needs the PCB. In the end I would like to mock that snake Naseem Ashraf, who recently said he can’t control the actions of the Selection Committee. Well we have the situation which is another indication that the Board is in complete shambles. Surely Ashraf can use the PCB constitution to his advantage and instil some common sense in the selectors? But I guess for that to occur, he needs common sense himself. What a pity that will also be another disaster and will feature in the list of current disasters the team in experiencing. It will be a miracle if Pakistan can reach the semi finals of the ‘Cup, considering the situation they are in now. For all those people asking us to take it easy because Pakistan are always in shambles and classed as underdogs before the World Cup, my advice is only this: Look cumulatively at the current problems we are going through: 1) Dope test problems 2) Akhtar’s problems with Woolmer and Inzi 3) Openers’ problems 4) Fielding problems 5) Bowler injuries 6) Naseem Ashraf’s ineptness 7) Selection Committee’s incompetence and mismanagement 8) Inzi’s deteriorating captaincy and tired/frustrated demeanour 9) Arguably out-of-form Inzi 10) Out-of-form and unlikely-to-gain-form, key-ODI-player Razzaq 11) General lack of team spirit and morale 12) Out-of-form wicketkeeper (both batting and keeping) 13) No reasonably experienced replacement wicketkeeper BRING BACK SHAHARYAR KHAN.

  • Masaood Yunus from Minneapolis, MN on February 21, 2007, 15:44 GMT

    PCB did a huge blunder by first banning the players and then totally overturning the bans. c'mon give me a break. A two year and 1 year ban turned into NO BAN at all ! PCB has a very obvious lame administration. Fresh from the ban overturn, PCB is attracting more controversy, rightly so, by keeping Asif and Shoaib away in England. Unfortunately, Nasim Ashraf and Saleem Altaf make a lame administration (its been six months, do we need more time ?)and should accept their shortcomings and lack of admin skills and let the board be run by some REAL Professionls. Anyone listening ? Mushtaq retained as a assistant and bowling coach for the World Cup ... can someone explain to the whole nation how does his credentials qualify him as a bowling coach ? I have been a supporter of inzamam but a few blunders he made recently undermines his ability to captain the side. His role in Mushtaq's inclusion and resignation of Waqar has and will hurt Pakistan in long run and he SHOULD be held accountable for that. As for Mr.Shoaib Akhtar (or Actor ?), the support for him in Pakistan is almost gone and he should start looking at other career opportunities. May be its time he explore opportunities in what he does the best, ACTING ! Bye Bye Mr. Shoaib Akhtar, this is probably the end of the road for you. You have been a huge disappointment to the whole nation and we hope one day YOU realise that too. By then, it will be too late.

  • Dr.Ahsan on February 21, 2007, 15:23 GMT

    BRAKING NEWS: Guys!listen!Shoaib Akhter and Asif have turned POSITIVE in their Tests and very soon u will hear them banned if PCB chooses to announce the results or if otherwise, Asif and Shoaib will shy away from playing this world cup. I am giving you the inside scoop as I have my own resources.Please!start thinking about the Pak eleven post Shoaib and Asif. I am eagerly waiting as what PCB decides to do.All the rest of the players have been cleared and set to play for Pakistan including Afridi who was tested with Shoaib and Asif. I don't think NOW Pakistan has any chance and bowlers like Shahid Nazir, Umer gul and Rana are at mercy of the oppostion.They are no Waseem Akram or Waqar rather they are in the likes of Abdul Razzak.Only hope is that i really wish our batmen have to work really hard and post or chase the target with real will and determination. Who knows we might create the history by being the weakest team.Keep praying. As soon as i know more I will add here by tomorrow.Till then Charios!

  • Ahmed Khan on February 21, 2007, 15:21 GMT

    Well, first thing for Akhtar is fitness. The way I see the first stage of the world cup is the best area for Akhtar to recover. Think of it: if Akhtar is just fit enough to play against the Windies, Akhtar can be rested against the lower teams in the group, which are Zimbabwe and Ireland. If Akhtar is fit after the group stages, Pakistan will be INIVINCABLE!!!! Have the gun power of Akhtar will help Pakistan race through any nation's batting order!!!! But for any of this to happen, Akhar needs to pass the urine test to see if he has taking any dopes - which he first claims he never did!

  • Shoaib Nursumar on February 21, 2007, 14:47 GMT

    I have a very strong feeling that both Shoaib and Asif are fit enough to play at the world cup. PCB and the two individuals are creating a diversion here, that is if Shoaib and Asif still have traces of drugs in their body, they'll be declared unfit for the world cup. So at the moment,I think PCB is doing a great job by bringing it to public knowledge that there are chances that they might not be fit enough for the world cup. Sorry if I am creating a misconception, but following the performance and the series of events that have occured, I have lost trust in PCB and any of the cricketers.

  • Haseeb on February 21, 2007, 14:45 GMT

    I think your analysis of the situation is good. As your article rightly points out its time to stop thinking about "what ifs" and start to focus on the prize at hand - the World Cup. As an example Lance Armstrong has had his Tour De France titles challenged but always focused on the prize (people suggest all these cyclists take steroids and then get a blood transfusion - I am NOT comparing Shoaib to Lance btw). It is unfortunately natiional character to worry about things going wrong rather than taking ACTION to put things right. COME ON SHOAIB GET ON WITH THE GAME! But maybe that precisely is in our genetics - it wouldnt be Pakistan Cricket if we all got on with the game.

  • Irfan Safdar on February 21, 2007, 14:22 GMT

    To be honest I think the avilibility to Asif is more important than Shoaib

  • Adi Mehta on February 21, 2007, 14:14 GMT

    even if they test positive this time, they (read PCB) will hire even better lawyers and have them exonerated. The tests are an eyewash. Pakistan realise that they can afford to lose Shoiab but i think they know that they cannot afford to lose Asif. There has been no talk of him in the article. He is as guilty of taking the banned substance as Shoaib. But Pak know that he is the only genuine matchwinner (bowler) around. My gut feeling is that Shoaib will be sacrificed to save Asif. Hope I am wrong and both get the punishment they truly deserve. Also lets not get personal against shoaib just cos he has a flambouyant personality. He still remains the most successful bowler after waseem and waqar have retired.

    Adi.

  • irfan on February 21, 2007, 14:10 GMT

    salam,i think we all know whats gona happen in world cup(we going to get slaughter)so lets think of whats gona happen after world cup cos i want all the members,selectors and the whole administration of PCB to get sacked with inzi and so called great coach bob woolmer(always been conterversial)and then get young players in and stick to them if they talented enough

  • Zakir Khan ,Ireland on February 21, 2007, 14:10 GMT

    Kamran Sahib I don't know why we are so obsessed with this person.he is a disgrace to the Pakistan side.he will always be indulged in one or other contorversy every now and than.he is a person who is responsible for bringing bad name to the whole country.why to tolerate such a person for so long? we don't need him at the cost of what he has been doing to our cricket image abroad.i don't remember a full tournament which he played till the end.we should get rid of him as quickly as possible. first,we used to pray that he last for atleast one test match in a series.than we lowered our expectations to one innings of the test match and now the situation is that we look at him after each over that wether he will last for another over. this is simply not cricket.kick him out just for once and forget about him.give a chance to another youngester and i can assure u that we would have another match winner by the next year.this is the only solution to this problematic child.

  • Farhan Mumtaz on February 21, 2007, 14:08 GMT

    The simple question is that two players took steroids, its in their systems, is it fair or sporting for them to play?

    Banning is irrelevant, they should not play if only to regain some semblence of dignity.

  • Adnan on February 21, 2007, 14:05 GMT

    Whatever happens from now on - even if Pakisthan wins it will be under cloud if the above mentioned 2 are selected. The greatest problem would be if they do random test on other team and by chance test one of these 2 and get a positive result in the course of the tournament it will really be disgraceful for the country. I would rather play well without the two of them involved anyway. Asif will get other chances to play but Shoaib will have to pay for his mishaps and his runins with authority. Its one thing to threaten a coach and try to lie about drugtaking.. you cant always win. So I would be really proud to even reach the semis or even win the world cup god willing without these two rather than have Pakisthan humiliated by these two in front of the whole world.

  • Dr Fareed Nasir from London on February 21, 2007, 14:03 GMT

    Why is it all about Shoaib Akhtar? What is more worrying from teams point of view is how Asif's results will turn up. Nandrolone can be found in urine upto 60 days after last use. I dont know the exact date when last specimens from shoaib and asif were taken. However they were reported positive around 15th of october, which is about 4 months in past, so unless they have used the drug since then it is highly unlikely to be present in urine. Any presence still will actually mean Shoaib and Asifs body doesnt handle the hormones in a normal way, Actually strenghtening their case they were innocent all along. Although it is players responsibility not to take any un known drugs. Nandrolone can be produced from using off the counter products which contain what is called as pro-hormones. I wonder how much info shoaib and asif had about this fact. Knowing PCB medical team I dont think a lot. Because its silly for an athlete to put his career at risk by using a drug which has been around since 1970 and is very easily detected in Urine. There are some controversies regards use of nandrolone and I have included an axcrept from a latest article from clinical chemistry. large disparities were observed: for example, labeled NA concentrations reached 40 000 µg/L for one volunteer but <5000 µg/L for other cases (Fig. 4 ). Similarly, the excretion peak generally occurred around 6–7 h after intake, but for two volunteers, it took place after 10 h. The concentration of labeled NA excreted was generally greater than that of labeled NE (generally threefold higher), but this difference in excretion was, in some cases, not so obvious. Another observation was that although most of the nandrolone metabolites were rapidly eliminated, i.e., within 20 h, small quantities could be found for several days. For example, some urine samples contained labeled nandrolone metabolites at concentrations >100 µg/L 100 h after intake.

    Another interesting point is that the elimination kinetics were different among volunteers. Indeed, the slopes of the excretion curves were very different at the end of labeled nandrolone elimination (Fig. 5 ). For example, at 77 h after the first intake, the labeled NA concentration could be below the cutoff of 2 µg/L in some urines and near 100 µg/L in other samples, although the same nandrolone dose was administered at the same time to the volunteers. All of these considerations suggest that the nandrolone metabolite elimination rate in urine is linked to the hydration of the volunteers at each time and that this can explain the observed differences in excretion patterns. Moreover, the differences obtained at the end of nandrolone elimination can also probably be explained by a difference in metabolism among volunteers.

    These findings led us to consider the positive cases obtained in the laboratory. Indeed, regarding these results, it is very difficult for an antidoping laboratory to make conclusions regarding a positive case in relation to the nandrolone concentration found in urine, the "seriousness" of the case in relation to this concentration, the possible origin of the nandrolone found in urine in relation to the concentration found, and finally whether the sanction given to the athlete should be decided in relation to the nandrolone concentration found in urine. All of these questions need to be discussed by the sport federations together with the antidoping laboratories. Well all will be clear in a few days time. From what the reports are suggesting Asif will be probably negative and Shoaib might have had it checked it privatley (and is still positive , which means he coninued using the drug after october). My own gut feeling is both are negative by now as I dont think they are so stupid to use the drug after the entire debacle.

    However is there some more internal politics going on in PCB, I find it plausible and deplorable.

  • Unni on February 21, 2007, 13:53 GMT

    Kamran - Why do you take the piss (pun intended) of Shoaib all the time.

  • sideek abdul rahim on February 21, 2007, 13:49 GMT

    hey! im from sri lanka crazy obout this crazy pakistani side.hell man one controvesey after another .....1st of all change the management of pcb and throw dat sickness call shoiab out of window.

    ....i realy feel 4inzi......hes a good man .well as pakistan wc chances re concerned,im very very sad .....this is the best example 4 self destruction........side which is second 2 none..got a big hole in their own fleet...my advice 2 asif is pls pls dont follow dat crazy gud 4 nothing so called fastest bowler!

  • abrar on February 21, 2007, 13:35 GMT

    Shoaib Akhtar was the only reason that I fell in love with Pakistan cricket after a long hiatus. Criticise him for all you like but on his day and in his prime there's no bowler that can touch him for sheer excitement and anticipation that a wicket is just around the corner. The only other bowler that I ever felt this way about was Waqar Younis. If on song Shoaib has the potential to defend a small total which seems to be the norm for Pakistan these days. The impression that I get is that he's not handled properly but given the right encouragement he remains a committed individual willing t give his all for the country, as evidenced in his bowling efforts against England when they last toured Pakistan. For all his batting talents, imho Inzi is probably partly to blame for this mismanagement.

  • Mohammed Jarrie Abbas on February 21, 2007, 13:23 GMT

    Kami bhai i think u r too harsh on shoaib along with others who do not use their brains to search deep inside the matter . 1. first i have to say about the incident that occur 5 months ago , if u and others think that shoaib had taken drugs thats why tested positive then u have to look into the human psychology when ever a person does a crime he or she himself/herself feel guilty and want to avoid any investigation or check . This means that shoaib if guilty at that point should avoid any check and could give urine of another person and if the question comes that it could not happen well thats a probability . i will send u another comment on this its time to go.

  • Imran Iqbal on February 21, 2007, 13:22 GMT

    I am afraid PCB is going to provide another laugh stock to world. Having been run by adhoc committee for years, its time to contract whole board to some foreign country similar to coaching department as they can never learn & have their own constitution! They say no player is bigger than game but they are making one for sure. If Mr. Pace cannot learn in 10 years he can never! Simply dump him and the players who have attittude problems! Only then we can expect a great Pakistani team and fans can focus on cricket instead of controversies.

  • Talal Hasan on February 21, 2007, 13:11 GMT

    I as a British Pakistani feel that my patience has run out with Pakistan and their ineptness. I feel my alligences may also be shifting towards England.

    They may not be the most talented, but they have a hell a lot more character then this self destructing pakistan team.

    Come on Kamran you know you want to support England to.

    P.S Pakistan prove the us scepitcal cynics wrong!

  • Atul Bhogle on February 21, 2007, 12:38 GMT

    For the sake of Pakistan and world cricket I hope Pak would leave Shoaib at home - agreed that he is a match winner on his day but I dont see Shoaib going though even the first round without any gimmicks (read 'injury').

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 21, 2007, 12:34 GMT

    SHOAIB AKHTAR is making so much fuss about giving his urine sample it sounds like; Fumum et opes strepitumque Romae. It means, "the smoke, and the grandeur and the noise of Rome." and the end the result would be zero. Because, we all know that the traces of Nandrolone metabolites stay in the system for over a year and he is avoiding to give his urine sample for that reason. Its also a well known fact that hair loss is one of the side effects of Nandrolone. Is Shoaib losing hair? But, ICC and ECB were not reported to be taking Nandrolone, how come they lost Hair? In both cases it would be good riddance.

    Why is everyone on this blog making so much fuss about Kamran Abbassi's bottom line comments on Shoaib Akhar, "stop taking the piss and start giving it." There is nothing harsh or rude about it and its just a figure of speech. Actually Kamran Abbassi is a bit too soft in commenting on this issue. Because, Shoaib's attitude is so well known, if it's not about "piss" then its about "Sh*t" and thats what he always give. They are asking him the wrong sample. :-)

    Right now Shoaib is acting "khisyani billi khamba nochi" and doesn't know what to do and making 'a mountain out of a mole' and dragging everyone into a whole lot of mess or should I say into deep sh*t?. Right now when the younger players need to be with their senior players and focus on the game plan for the WC, Shoaib is still in the UK and three other senior players including the Captain are also busy "acting" super HEROES, reciting their lines for a TV commercial in Malaysia. What a game plan, what a team, what can one say?

  • sa on February 21, 2007, 12:22 GMT

    What will Shoaib's drug test prove?

    IT WILL SHOW PAKISTANI CRICKET PLAYERS REAL FACE FROM PAST TO PRESENT TO FUTURE

    HA HA HAAAAAAAAAA

  • Shoaib Akhtar is a Paindu on February 21, 2007, 12:06 GMT

    Shoaib Akhtar, at the end of the day is just a Paindu who knows he's a druggie and a charsi - so he's not going to take the test. Watch the drama in the next few days. He`s going to blame his knee, Bob, Inzy, the sun, the moon, the sky, his mom...anything he can say to avoid taking the test...he'll do. Because he knows he's history. The real fools here are the likes of Salim Altaf (a no-good cricketer who never did anything during his playing days) and Nasim Ashraf (who is just another one of Musharaff's lap dogs and doesent know anything about cricket). These 2 morons are trying to mis-lead the cricketing public into all kinds of nonense...first they said Akhtar had gone to London to consult a surgeon and would be back within 2 days, its now been over 8 days since that statement was made, then they said he was in Malaysia for a commericial, although people are saying he was in Karachi just 3 nights back. What kind of fools are these two, Altaf and Ashraff? Instead of making us the laughing stock of the world, and also showing the other players how the blue eyed boy of the PCB...ie Akhtar can continue to get away with breaking all rules and laws...they should have told Akhtar to get his fat ass back in town so they could check just how many steroids he had taken and end this fiasco that is his international career, once and for all. But no, what they did instead was make all the players who came from South Africa go to the Lahore stadium straight from the airport, to give their piss, while Akhtar continues to party away and the PCB looks the other way. Quite frankly, Akhtar and the PCB deserve each other. Both are fools.

  • Yousof Yohanna on February 21, 2007, 12:05 GMT

    I think that shoaid should play reagalrdless, the world cup needs starts like this to make sure there is fire left for the suporters.

    the present set of bowlers are piss poor to saythe least. Aif was useful in short spels, but no other could match him

    Maybe we can do well without shoaib, but i really doubt it!

    Yousoof

  • Muhammad Yousaf on February 21, 2007, 11:56 GMT

    Kamran I think that Pakistan selectors made a big mistake.I mean to say if shoib and Asif face the ban again,then there is no replacement in the team for the world cup.Why didn;t they select Shabbir who is probably the best bowler in Pakistan?And as we know that Rana has been expensive since last year and i think he has lost his accuracy in bowling and i think he will not be able to get wickets in west indies,it seems like Pakistan took a big risk which is devastating for team performance.

  • umar on February 21, 2007, 11:51 GMT

    I think if shoaib and asif gets postive tests and then they r not in WC so paks should better not to go far WC,because without asif and shoaib pak r very poor,they can bat but they have no options far bowling.This we saw allready in S.A how much trouble they got.I hope they these two guys r in without any problems.I agree that shoaibs behaviour is not so good but let me tell u one thing since we have new coach(Bob) why it gives allways problems,allways we have to listen that shoaib did this shoaib did that its not only matter that shoaib behaviour is not good,we should after WC change the trainer and as well as captian,its unbelieveble that they took spinner as a coach bowler.I hope they had learnt mistakes and wish them all the best far WC.good luck

  • Umar on February 21, 2007, 11:49 GMT

    Shoaib is out of WC 2007. I am almost 100% sure about that. He does not deserve to be in the team due to his rediculous behaviour alone. I am positive Pakistan can do well without him.

    I am more worried about Asif. His loss will be a greater setback for Pakistan.

  • Iftikhar Ahmed on February 21, 2007, 11:30 GMT

    Cricket is an important sport for us in Pakistan and winning matches gives us a great deal of joy. I am though of the view that winning should only be through fair means and not with cheating and or manipulated performnace to get an unfair advantage. I believe Shoaib Akhter is a cricketer who has not been professional in his conduct over a sustained period of time. His fitness and injuries have caused alot of damage to Pakistan cricket. Now we have the drug related tests and his unwillingness to come clean with tests. Paksitan as a nation should stand shoulder to shoulder with other member nations in the cricket fraternity to weed out cheats even if it means banning talented cricketers. Cricket will be the winner and PCB will come out the winner too. I am sure that Shoaib's inclusion will not win the World Cup and by the same token his exclusion will not mean Pakistan will necessarily lose the Cup. Pakistan should participated with whatever clean resources it has at its disposal and let the result of the World Cup be in the laps of the Gods. The problem has always been in Pakistan authorites that they make expedient decisions and seek to curry favours. Bold decision making has never been their forte and I do not see that changing anytime soon. Ex-cricketers are not very helpful as most of them have their axes to grind and grind they do.

  • imy on February 21, 2007, 11:14 GMT

    shoaib just dosnt care any more by missing the drug test proved it...BIG HEAD

  • Numan Hussain on February 21, 2007, 11:11 GMT

    I think Shohaib should be hailed a national hero which bowler in the modern history of the game has been able to bowl 90+ mph consistently throughout their career. Austrailia and New Zealand would love to think Brett Lee and Shane Bond have but the reality is they havent, they have been lurching in the shadows of Shohaib. Any other bowler who has achieved this feat is either retired or dead i think most are the latter.

  • Farhan Khan from Houston, USA on February 21, 2007, 11:05 GMT

    Dear Kamran: I think instead of slamming Shoaib, as well as Asif, with the accusation of being "guilty" of using the dope the so-called 'nandrolone', you should have brought this matter in the notice of the ICC and WADA that both of the players are innocent. Now it seems funny but its logical. Tell me how a poor guy like Shoab could have made a quick and healthy come back to the international cricket after going through multiple surgeries on his both knees? He used the medicine prescribed to him by his doctors not for the sole reason of taking steriods for enhancing his performance rather as a quick recovery from surgery. He loves cricket. He sure loves to play for his country as well. I am sure his statement to the doctors would have been," Hey doc.. Cure my injuries and make me fit and healthy as fast as you could. I wanna play cricket for my country. The doctor performs his duty and prescribes him the bestest drugs available in the market for a rapid recovery of a injury-torn-surgery-performed body." As far as Asif is concerned he went through the same phase that is, the acheivement of a fast rcovery from an injury. You think had they known of the consequences of using the drugs having 'nandrolone' they would have still taken it? ..Never. They were the victims of mis-informaion and they acted nieve. Now who to blame? PCB..? WADA..? ICC..? or the players themselves? To my understandings, The ICC and WADA should adopt some strict measures for who ever is found to be guilty of using drugs for performance enhancement and on the other side they should be considerably lenient towards the cases of Shoaib and other Injured Players who took some doctor's prescribed medicine that contained the forbidden 'nandrolone'. So that means the medical doctors and experts should be held liable for such incidence as well since no one would be more aware of any such substances contained in medicines then they are. Now why this all Bru Ha ha!! clouds of dope scandalls on their heads? If WADA or ICC banned Shoaib or Asif than they are proving one thing and suggesting that no one in the active world of cricket should try to use any medicine that can make their recovery from an injury or surgery faster. Is that all the fans around the world seek? not at all.. all they care is fun, thrill and solid competition and the WADA or ICC just make the things complex and bring disrepute to cricket look at the Barrel Hair case.. enough said.

  • Ahmed Qaisar on February 21, 2007, 11:02 GMT

    Frankly i really dont give a rats ass about shoaib the piss artist. Baring a few good spells which can be counted on your fingertips all he has done is embarasses his team and the country. He should just take the test and if they do find traces of nandrolone or whatever they should ban him for life and close the shoaib chapter once and for all. As for Asif i would hate to lose him and given our current run up to this world cup i think i would rather not risk him at all. If it means losing a faint chance of qualifying for the finals and in return saving one of the finest bolwers we have for the next decade and a half then i would rather opt for that. There will be more world cups but if Asif gets a life time ban then we wont have his services for any of them. We screwed up once with the dope affair lets not do a repeat.

  • Adeel Ahmed on February 21, 2007, 10:40 GMT

    Half Fit Shoaib is better than fully fit Rana or Rao so lets hope that he clears the dope test. Right now thats the major problem.

  • keith on February 21, 2007, 10:36 GMT

    if there is nothing to hide then take the test, simple. If you delay, then PCB must enforce. Cricket is bigger than any 1 player. paki supporters PLEASE support youtr own team, regardless!! this is your country, be patriotic!! i still support SA regardless of if they perform poorly or well!! australia have lost 5 in a row now BUT they will still be supported!! about 2 years ago SA lost 9 in a row BUT they were still supported by their fellow countrymen, we may have been upset BUT they stay our team!!

  • Asif Akhtar on February 21, 2007, 10:33 GMT

    I am Brother of Shoaib now a days he is very upset. plz prey for him. hw want to play this World Cup. He is the only match winner bowler

  • Adam Amin on February 21, 2007, 10:30 GMT

    I am extremely pleased to see the Pakistani team in disarray. Keep it up.

  • saif abbas on February 21, 2007, 10:25 GMT

    Kamran, I always like your minblowing blogs. There is one topic you have not touched and its Pakistan Cricket Team Uniform. First Of all I am confused about its color. I dont think its green. whatever it is but it does not seems pakistani color. Secondly PCB is earing so much money but they never thought to modify this uniform, afterall these guys are represing our country. they are off color in their performance but at least we can make them look smart. I have seen in test matches, every guy wearing different brand of trousers with different logos. I would like you to write a blog about this in your commic way, it will be really nice.

  • Imran on February 21, 2007, 10:01 GMT

    I find it very hard to believe some fo the commnets posted here. Clearly a majority Pakistani fans who have absolutly no knowledge about the game. Shoaib Akhter is a winny primaddona..no doubt..but without him...Pakistan is nothing! Just think about the test series and one day series in South Africa. He bowled only 11 overs but the Safies were rocked. Without him poor Asif was reduced to a donkey dragging grain all day. The Pakistani nation loves to deride their heroes. At one time Wasim Akrams dad was kidnapped so we have a history. Shane Warn took illicit substances I didn't witness the Aussi press and public hound him like a dog. He also had extra marital affiars etc... but in Australia they respect him for his cricket. So maybe we should all wake up and do the same. If anyone writing these blogs was capable enough to do what Shoaib does then we wouldn't be writing we would be bowling at 100 MPH like he does. Most Pakis are not patriots just selfconscious and suffer from inferiority complex. So when we have a fiasco like the drugs thing we have to blow it up and ask for forgiveness and play out the drama on the world stage. Why do we have to do this. Why do we humiliate ourselves. Everyone hates PAKISTAN and PAKIS. HAtes us. And we add to that by hating and fighting amongst ourselves. Pakistan nation does not deserve 5hit~ Pak won the world cup in 92 because Imran commanded a unit through belief and character backed by the well wishes of a nation during Ramdan. Well we do not have any of that combination so ...either Pak team will shine like the stars they are or they will flop and disintegrate like they have been wont to do recently because their is no belief in them and in the nation most importantly.

  • qaisar sheikh on February 21, 2007, 9:53 GMT

    well folks! i dont think there is any thing to fight on. every board tries to defend their players. once they have been verdicted free of all charges now board would want them to pull out of all this. there may be remainders of drugs and to let those vanish from their boddies is not any thing which should make us so horrible that we start commenting like Mr. abbasi. of course board want the tests to keep them away from ICC sword. if they found any remainders of substance they will not let them play w/c and thus they would not be tested by ICc. i just cant understand that y we are crying on each and every move. every thing is wide open. both of them are crucial for team and no team would like to lose such players. stop it all please.

  • Flat Jack on February 21, 2007, 9:49 GMT

    The possibility that Shoaib and/or Asif could still fail a dope test highlights the ridiculous decision to overturn the initial bans. Given the sort of excuses that sportsmen the world over come up with for illegal substances being in their bodies (almost always blaming someone else- trainers, coaches, friends spiking drinks, your mum), the zero-tolerance approach is the only way.

    This case has been judged on the personalities involved and not the offence. If it was Shabbir or Sami, I guess the bans would still be in place.

    In short, it is pointless testing these 2 bowlers for drugs for a while, which defeats the whole point.

  • S.Usman on February 21, 2007, 9:42 GMT

    As i said before, PCB give the fans some cherishment by banning Shoaib themselve, before ICC ask to do so...or his disaster career end seems to be inevitable after the world cup...i totally agree with farhan, PCB should leave their majestical behaviour towards shoaib and its a pity they let off the real legend saqlain mushtaq in disconcert when he needed them (PCB). Its a dig which the PCB theirself soughed now be ready to have it. Its a pity how Dr Ashraf took over to shehryar khan, and made such a pompous remarks about revolution in cricket, i am proud to say that i dint watch the last 2 matches of pakistan with south Africa and planning the same for WorldCup...

  • KOTA NA INSAAN on February 21, 2007, 9:33 GMT

    I think Shohaib Akhtar should be allowed to take performance enhancing drugs be it nandrolone, steroids or uranium from the planet mars. How else are we going to see such a treat a bowler who bowls at 95+ miles an hour. I dont know about you but I want Shohaib to break the 100mph barrier which he broke in the last world cup against England in only his second over. Come on Shohaib we love you juice baby.

  • Atif Yousuf on February 21, 2007, 9:32 GMT

    the main bottom line as far as my views are concerned. Shoaib and Asif both will not be able to play in the world cup 2007 at all. WHY? well its simple if they give there urine samples for doping test, traces of nandrolone might still be found in there blood even though the quantity found might be lower than found before but still enough to test positive again because the nandrolone traces will remain till after a few months since taken. So by this they will not make it to the world cup team and might even be banned for life or watever immediately. In the second case, if they dont do the dope test they will not be taken in the Pakistan squad. and the third case is that even if they make it to the squad somehow without undergoing dope test then the ICC and WADA will get a fair and good chance to target both asif and shoaib during the worldcup and they might do there dope tests which if they fail might be just that ICC/WADA would wish for but also there is a chance that till that time period the traces of nadrolone might also vanish and clear up and the careers of shoaib and asif could better be saved and they could continue playing. BUT all these are offcourse just asumptions so we will have to wait and see wat the PCB does in the first place. Apart from all this they might be carrying injuries also which will automatically rule them out of world cup 2007. Hence see all the above facts, i say shoaib and asif would not be seen in world cup 2007 at all not matter what happens and the only percentage of them to play are as minute as only 1% at this present time unless they do something drastically magical to clear up the traces of nandrolone left in there bodies privately.

    ATIF YOUSUF.

  • Shoaib on February 21, 2007, 9:24 GMT

    I think its a management fault in handling of Shoaib Akhtar case, we need people like Majid khan or Imran khan...who can tell players on their face that no one is bigger then a Game:)

  • Aamer on February 21, 2007, 9:09 GMT

    Well , with or without shoaib and asif, with the present team , there is no chance of winning more thana few matches, let alone world cup. So in my opinion, the whole setup to be sorted quickly, with a furure to look fwd. By the whole set up i mean the ill disciplined players,the money eating board officals and every body.

  • Haroon (South Africa) on February 21, 2007, 9:06 GMT

    I think i'm ready to quit watching cricket, don't know if i can really support any other country, even though i'm not a Pakistani, Í've always supported Pakistan.

    Over the years the Pakistani team, administration, and players were ever so often in the headlines for the wrong reasons .......... but we as fans always had hope that things would change

    Nothings changed, same problems only different actors. Shoaib Akhtar as talented as he may be is just a disgrace, theres no place for him in cricket, and i'd be the happiest person if he were to get a ban. Yes we have made him an integral part of the team and he is undoubtedly the most talented bowler in the world at present.

    What good is a Ferrari on a long road trip travelling 250 km's per hour for 15 minutes and then breaking down 'with no parts in sight and no chance of road side repairs, whilst you actually require to be doing 1000 km's...... Honestly you'd get to your destination quicker in a toyota travelling at a 100 kms / hour. Shoaib Akhtar is a high maintenance luxury that we can do without.

    There must be an end result , a destination that we want to get too and we must use the right tools or vehicles or players to get there.

    SHOAIB is just wrong for the long road, so dont waste time and energy throw in a youngster(please not rana or anyone like him) and carry on, and enjoy the beautiful scenary along the way ..... who knows we might even win the race.

    POOR EXAMPLE, i know but i cant think of any other way of describing a beautiful unreliable machine.

  • omar hussain on February 21, 2007, 9:00 GMT

    Mr.Abbasi Akhtar is a world-class fast bowler but like many of our countrymen he is a egotist.I believe if he had put contry before self he would have been a greater bowler;the mental factor will also have spurred him to greater efforts and possibly the same will have kept him safe from injuries.At the momemt we have a team in disarray,spineless,feeble and lacking the motive to win.This is where the likes of Imran Khan,aggresive and positive, could change the whole outlook of a team and matches.Shaid Afridi showed us an example when he mauled South Africa,think what can happen if all the team had the same mentality!!Shoaib Akhtar can provide the motive...now it is up to him...Shoaib Akhtar or our soni dharti...i hope he realises how much we think of him despite his antics.There will be no better way to say farewel to international cricket than win the World Cup...all will be forgiven...yes we all forgive even the most egotistic of all our companions if they give Pakistan glory.I am still praying for our boys!!!

  • Iain on February 21, 2007, 8:57 GMT

    What is the point of any of the Pakistan team taking doping tests as they can simply say they were unaware of taking the drugs and so be let off and be free to play.

  • Danish on February 21, 2007, 8:56 GMT

    Its pretty obvious that Shoaib will not be going to the WC. Like Kamran says that he preparing his exit strategy. I think he knows very well that he is going to test positive and needs a dignified way out which isnt going to happen

  • vikas on February 21, 2007, 8:51 GMT

    You can love him or hate him but can't ignore him. That's Shoaib for you.

    I am really surprised that most entries in the comments section have ignored Asif completely. Shoaib, even if he avoids the ban, will at best play for a couple of years with injuries, attitude problems and the entire circus of tantrums. He has not been of much use in the recent past and will not be of much use in the future.

    You should actually worry about Asif. He has a great career to look forward to and long one as well, if not mismanaged by PCB. Please 'handle' him well and manage the dope controversy. Letting him be in Shoaib's company in London is a downright disaster. Doesn't Pak team have a physio and / or a trainer? What are they doing when your most valuable future prospect is in London for treatment in the company of a self-terminator.

    vikas, delhi

  • Yasir Wahab on February 21, 2007, 8:51 GMT

    Shoaib Akhtar is a very very experience bowler.Without Shoaib the bowling attack of Pakistan is very weak.Mohammad Yousaf,Inzamam,Younas and Shoaib Akhtar are the main players of Pakistan so in absence of these players winnig of World cup is impossible.In my opinion Imran nazir and Shoaib malik are the best openers for Pakistan along with Yasir Hameed is well.

  • Wajahat on February 21, 2007, 8:50 GMT

    Well ... I think Shoaib will be found soon in the Bollywood ... Hope he has the same controversial time there as well ... Asif ... If he is not there in the Carribean ... Who cares ... It is not One Man Show ... I think Fazl-e-Akbar is a great swing bowler ... He should have been checked! Also Muhammad Irshad is a regular 90+ bowler and still not been in the sight!

  • imran peshawari on February 21, 2007, 8:40 GMT

    very tuff time for pakistan team.this last WC for inzi as well for shoaib .i dont think that they will play after WC.so we need shoaib despiertly for this WC at any situation.b/c pakistan has not a best back up bowlers.Asif is a very good bowler but not in the death overs.only shoaib is the best at that time.so hopley will shoaib in the Wc.all nation pray for him this crushal time .

  • Dr Ali on February 21, 2007, 8:26 GMT

    I would like to see him banned for life who always brought a bad..bad reputation to a gentleman's game. He is no good to himself except womanising, drinking and shouting at others. He is a very low class sportsman who is the WORST bowler in the history. GET RID OF HIM AND HIS ABUSE.

  • sohrab on February 21, 2007, 8:23 GMT

    hey marty boy dont lets forget ure very own micheal atherton rubbin some vaseline or somethin on the ball eh!

  • AAMIR JADOON on February 21, 2007, 8:11 GMT

    Well I read the comments of allmost every person some persons have realy given the stupid comments about the Shohaib Akhtar. Actually they dont have the cricketing brain as well as awareness about the dope tests. They are just the sentimantal fool.Why should we do the wrong step, Why shohaib is under the punishment of the cricketboard, the board is in the hand of stupid people, We saw in the England series when they just did the step at the wrong time, Now every writer is pressing the Shohaib Akhtar, Its not the time to do that. I remember in 1999 world cup when Pakistan team was playing very good and in the final they suddenly got out under 200 just becuse of the stupidity of the media and writers and those writers did not belong to the other countries infact they belong to Pakistan. They demoralized the Pakistani team by giving there comments about the match fixing, and in a way Pakistani players didnot bear the pressure of that and lost the match. Now every one is blaming Shohaib, just demoralizing the whole team, despite the fact that in westindies only that team will win who have the strong bowling line. And shohaib can give Pakistan the win by his bowling. Just stop these stupidity and let him to play in the worldcup if the court allowed him to play then who the hell you are to give the comments on the shohaib Akhtar. Dont give such a stupid and Rubbish comments on the Shohaib Akhtar, He is not my relative and neither I am his big fane but I just talk on the basis of justice and the justice tells us that he deserves to play. And every country knows that how dangerous he is.

  • farzal on February 21, 2007, 8:10 GMT

    don't you think there are private tests going on in the background of all this? and if those private results are encouraging, then PCB will make them go through public tests?

  • Azam Farooqui on February 21, 2007, 8:08 GMT

    Well this whole doping issue is yet another saga in the whole shoaib akhtar legend. I say whatever the result is, it better comes out fast and everyone moves on. I'm no medical expert and i cant only quote what i've read in the reports about Nandrolone. The board is stalling the tests which means there is a high probablity the traces of Nandrolone are still present, it's time that Shoaib comes clean, not just for the world cup but for his own sake, i dont say that he's guilty or not, but to be honest it's hard to deny when some new controversty crops up virtually everyday. Shoaib is a match winner but what good is one if he dosent plays fair and square, i seriously dont know what to say, weather i'm making sense here or not....i dont know, but i guess i'm in the same position as PCB and the rest of the pakistani nation. God bless us.

  • Yousaf zia bhatti on February 21, 2007, 8:05 GMT

    actually green tighers are unpredictible if they are commited then they can kill any team.They got best math winner tighers

  • Imran on February 21, 2007, 7:59 GMT

    The only match winer Pakistan have got is Shoaib Akhtar. If he is not playing who will be: Rana - look at his perfomance in SA he got crushed. Rao, I dont think so and Umar Gul - not fully developed yet . SO Shoaib is the key to Pakistan wining the world cup!!

  • Harru Iyris on February 21, 2007, 7:50 GMT

    DOpe test positive or negative, I think Pakistan can ill afford to take chances with injury prone and temperamental Shoib.He is of doubtful integrity. His record in WC shows that he can leak runs in crucial matches. Moreever he is terribly out of match practise.He does not share good rapport with captain. Pakistan shall perform well minus Shoib. Asif is doing really well, I think he is innocent ans shall come clean. Asif-Gul-Kaneria-Sami attack is also high class.

  • Alex Farooque on February 21, 2007, 7:27 GMT

    I said before...Let's root for England. They are going to be a fun team with players like KP and Collingwood and Flintoff who needs to see Akhtar or Razzaq or even Inzi. Yousuf bhai no problems with u though!

  • Osman M on February 21, 2007, 7:26 GMT

    Kamran i really cannot understate the extent to which I, and hopefully the entire nation are in agreement with you. Asif does not bother me for some reason... and with Shoaib the worry goes to the extent of detecting yet another substance. If it Shoaib's test falls to the wrong side of the grey area a life ban seems like a light punishment. Rather he should be publicly flogged at Kalma Chowk Lahore for having let a country down. I am sure there will be ample wanting to loosen their armn before the get a chance to throw a stone at the devil during Haj. And heck it seems unlikely that many will find a diablo of the same claibre.

  • Hussnain on February 21, 2007, 7:24 GMT

    The most important question in this regard is that ,why the PCB is insisting for the tests after all the trial they had already done on the two of Pak Cricket's match winning players? Does PCB not aware of the results? I think they have already planned the whole new episode of the drams which had already brought disgrase to Pakistani Cricket. The management of PCB is surely just doing the unplanned, nonsense and stupid kind of things and not at all learning from their mistakes. Knights of Pakistani Cricket once again in process of producing a new thriller .I think every-one knows the sad ending of it.

  • mohamed sharief casssim on February 21, 2007, 7:24 GMT

    dear sir i agree with your comment what differance would it make if shoaib takes a leak or not .the point no pun intended is what is his frame of mind is he focussed on the game or not.we all realize that he cannot be a role model so take a leak sir and go and do what it is he does best i.e acting.i am unfortunately reaaly pissed-sorry sir

  • Daniyal on February 21, 2007, 7:22 GMT

    I have been wondering the past month with all the talk about life bans if the tests to be conducted would take into consideration the fact that these atheletes tested positive around six months ago for a banned substance. I think the real question here is: is the PCB smart enough to raise this point?

    Its common sense that if these atheletes tested positive the substance will not disappear overnight unless they take some masking substance. However does the PCB have enough collective brains to point out to the world this particular fact and to hilight that levels of the drug have dropped in both the bowlers by a certain amount (proportional one can only hope) which in turn justifies their inclusion ibn the World Cup. If the levels found are below the accepted levels we see no problem however even if higher by 0.1% does the PCB have the smarts to explain this to the ICC or WADA? Further if they do test positive, however with lower levels in their systems, will the PCB still be able to argue that the players have been cleared locally pending an appeal and till the appela hearing takes place any action taken against them can not be justified.

    We know they tested positive and are pending an appeal so they shouldn't be tested infact the only reason they can play is because of the ICC law which permits a player to play before his appeal is heard and a decision taken so wouldn't testing them be a futile or fruitless exercise? End of the day does it even matter how they test? they are waiting a hearing to decide on their guilt or innocence.. if found innocent then regardless of the amount of banned substances in their bodies ICC or WADA can not prevent them from participating in any competition.. so why are we making such a big deal about this?

  • Salman Butt on February 21, 2007, 7:21 GMT

    Agree with Kamran. Too many conspiracy theories floating around which cannot be good neither for the morale of the team nor the nation. We hear Shoaib is in London - then someone sees him in a party in Karachi this last weekend. Where ever he is - I'm sure glass bottles are readily available. So Mr. Akhtar - We're fed up of this embarassing crisis. It's time to go take a leak.

  • Shahrukh Khan on February 21, 2007, 7:20 GMT

    It seems people have lost interest in Cricket or are they are mentally preparing themselves for the prospective debacle at the world cup?

  • Shahid Khan on February 21, 2007, 7:15 GMT

    Interesting article! I can see why Shoaib and Asif have not yet given the sample but what surprises me is how Pakistani politics work and they have put Afridi there as a scapegoat so PCB can have excuse that all 3 are out of the country for various reasons.

    As a Pakistani I hope for the best and that is no more headaches from Shoaib at this point and finally a chance to deliver after all the money that PCB invested in him. I can see this is his last chance. Shoaib are you IN or OUT!

  • mohamed sharief casssim on February 21, 2007, 7:12 GMT

    dear sir i agree with your comment what differance would it make if shoaib takes a leak or not .the point no pun intended is what is his frame of mind is he focussed on the game or not.we all realize that he cannot be a role model so take a leak sir and go and do what it is he does best i.e acting.i am unfortunately reaaly pissed-sorry sir

  • Hasan Anwer,UAE on February 21, 2007, 7:09 GMT

    BTW sorry for not any comments relating to the current entry but I guess the way you have summedit up doesnt need any commentary. Hey and good job for this blog and keep up the good work

  • Hasan Anwer,UAE on February 21, 2007, 7:05 GMT

    Hi, its the first time i am writing on this blog the other day i was reading the comments on here and to be fair and lenient some of them are downright disgusting.How the hell and who gave us the right to criticize the Pakistan cricket team. How good fans are we,especially the ones living in Pakistan.How many stadiums do we fill.How many of us do go to a test match. How many of us actually buy Pakistan kits?How many of our kids have posters of Pakistani players at home.How many of us have DVDs of Pakistani triumphs.HOw many of us went to the airport to congratulate this team when it came back from the INDIA tour.How many of us have praised them when they win and on forums.The answer To all would be close to zero.Look at how Indians treat their cricketers.They treat them like Gods when they win and then they fully have the right to criticize them when they lose.Have we earned that right.For Gods the IndoPak series in Pak is sponsored by an Indian Company how much do we directly contribute to what they earn.Heck some people here call the 1992 victory lucky because of the England game. Why are we becoming a country of losers because of this attitude,Never praise anyone else but jump the bandwagon when they are criticized. Shame on us.

  • Tauheed R.Syed on February 21, 2007, 7:05 GMT

    I think that both Shaoib & Asif should not go for the test if they and thier physcian are not sure that whether the banned substance is still exists in thier bodies or not? because I feel that missing world cup is a still a better option then banned for life

  • Shahriyar Ahmed on February 21, 2007, 7:05 GMT

    The test will prove that Shoaib Akhtar is a druggie. He can run all he wants, threaten to sue everyone in sight - but the facts speak for themselves. I'm pretty sure he went to London to get a secret dope test done from a non-wada affiliated lab - if the test came back negative then he would have rushed to Lahore and have his test done by the PCB - BUT as expected Im 100% sure the test came back positive and so Akhtar is continuing to look for excuses to avoid the drug test. One thing is clear, Akhtar is a cancer that will kill Pakistan cricket. The sooner he is tossed out on his ass, the better it would be for Pakistan cricket and for future generations of Pakistani cricketers.

  • azam on February 21, 2007, 7:03 GMT

    why are they not giving the bloddy urine sample, they are attracting more eyes by behaving like such a loosers.

  • Gohar on February 21, 2007, 6:58 GMT

    yes, Mr Kamran u are right, but their is fear factor due to shoaib's attitude, all the PCB officals doesn't trust on him. this Fear makes them uncompfortable. Also as u seen in India they are not taking Dope test of their players, that shows the real confidence. Lets C what will be the results, Hope that all of Cricketers will pass it otherwise it will dim the charm of World Cup

  • Tauheed R.Syed on February 21, 2007, 6:58 GMT

    I think that both Shaoib & Asif should not go for the test if they and thier physcian are not sure that whether the banned substance is still exists in thier bodies or not? because I feel that missing world cup is a still a better option then banned for life

  • Haroon Syed on February 21, 2007, 6:53 GMT

    I dont see the point of testing these two players.They might have some amount left over from before,so is our board deliberately trying to end him now,how dare he pick a fight with the coach?and ofcourse the captain?

  • harish s n on February 21, 2007, 6:52 GMT

    it was very shocking to see that shoaib and asif had been allowed to play cricket a couple of months after the doping scandal.if pcb was playing so safe with shoaib and asif at that time,then what is the point of conducting a dope test just a few months after the incident as it is pretty obvious that traces of the drug will still remain in thier bodies.pcb should have handed the incident over to the icc as they would have taken appropriate action. harish,bangalore,india

  • Rashid on February 21, 2007, 6:52 GMT

    I will be the first one to say, I think Shoib should have been banned long ago,The drug incident just not acceptable.But How on earth, You are going to convict a person twice for the same reason.That is just not fair,unless it is proved that he took it again.Pakistan medical team and cricket board is responsible for Asif's case.No drug education and a company like Shoib can be bad.Cricket is not everything ,Shoib is a very bad example for our youth.

  • muhammad mahmud butt on February 21, 2007, 6:50 GMT

    now that inzimam has stated in his recent interview that inclusion of asif and shoaib would be the most important thing, so that settles that there is no conspiracy. and looking at the pakistan bowling in southafrica i ahve to say it that akhtar and asif are the primary bowlers(others being tids bits)

  • mohammad Masood on February 21, 2007, 6:44 GMT

    Shoaib & Asif should not take the risk of a lifetime ban by taking the dope test. Pakistan, in its present make up, does not stand a chance of making to the last four, let alone winning the world cup. The way I see it, Inzamam, Younis Khan, Abdul Razzak, Kamran Akmal, Rrna Naveed, Mohammad Sami and Mohammad Yousuf are not likley to be fit for the next world cup. In fact it is quite possible to see new and young players repalcing some of these players. It would be more beneficial for Shoaib, Asif and Pakistan to have him play with some of the new players for the next couple of years rather than be out of the team completely.

  • Farhan Arif on February 21, 2007, 6:44 GMT

    I agree there with you Kamran, Shoaib's behaviour is unbecoming any cricketer from Pakistan for probably a long time if not ever. I realise he is (or should I say was) a superb talent for Pakistan cricket and that he is the fastest bowler in the world, but his drug tests have put a question mark over his own ability without any drug abuse to bowl as fast as he has uptil now. I would not classify him as a champion bowler, in terms of averages, or records, just as the "fastest" bowler in the world. I think after seeing his latest concotions in dawn, I must say he is not deserving of any place in the Pakistan team, under Inzamam or post Inzamam. His allegations that the racist abuse was in front of the rest of the pakistan team is unbelieveable, as its a huge question why the rest of the so called "blackies" in the team did not protest over that abuse. Positive or not, his drug tests would only prove his own innocence. It would not make any difference to the Pakistan side unless the selectors put him into a place he does not deserve. Shoaib is good as a player, but as part of the Pakistan team, he has proven himself to be a bad team player. Thank you Shoaib for all your efforts and you deserved all you attained, As far as I am concerned, until there is drastic change in your attitude, you are history. PCB treated Shoaib like a king when they could have spent all that effort on Saqlain Mushtaq's rehabilitation. Sadly, our beloved Saqy is going to be playing for another country because of the mistreatment handed out to him. Umar gul, Asif, Sami, Shabbir, Rana, and a big quandary of others means we dont really need Shoaib. He can go to Bollywood now. :)

  • Sridhar on February 21, 2007, 6:40 GMT

    With each passing controversy, the image of Pakistani Cricket sinks further. As an Indian Cricket fan, I have long admired Pakistan for the number of great players they keep churning out. While talent is unquestionable, the cricket administration is the worst in the world and has no credibility whatsover. I am sure we are going to witness another cloak & dagger episode in Pakistani episode.

  • Muhammad ILYAS from Dammam, KSA on February 21, 2007, 6:40 GMT

    I love reading your articles and you are always hitting the right targets. I am great fan of Inzamam & Shoaib and undoubtedly they are best in business when they are in sound conditions. I am wondering whether they are still capabale of handling pressure situations specially Inzamam. I strongly belive that he should prove is critics wrong by batting at no 3 position in world cup and that is the best place for him. He should stop sending youngsters up the order and should hold his young guns for the hitting. This is the best thing can happend for Pakistan team. I will add one more thing that Pakistan can only win World Cup provied Asift,Shoaib & Gul are fit or atleast two of them, if not then we should not have any realistic hope for good showing in World Cup.

  • H.Malik on February 21, 2007, 6:29 GMT

    Mr Abbasi , This derailed person is bwtter to be called now " KHATARA MAIL " rather than what he has been given the so called nickname . I do not quite Agree with your last sentense , in my humble opinion he MUST stop the act of pissing around and realised that the Pampers of Gen TZ & his croonies are gone and if he does not piss properly under the given rules , he will only have more dirty linens around him . I must say again , this Primadonna Pampered soul must be shown the gate for ever and there is no better way to do it ,, TEST His own intakes and give him a kickback and shown the gate if he proves Positive again , or wrap him anotrher pamper & hope that he delivers the good for the full period of the WC 2007 , there is no middle road I am affraid , else the whole country & the nation will be looked at a loughing stock ...

  • arshad on February 21, 2007, 6:23 GMT

    As a pakistani team supporters we can just pray for Shoaid and asif.And if they would clear from dopping issue then no doubt we will go into the world cup as a favourite team..

  • MOHAMMED on February 21, 2007, 6:22 GMT

    Absolutely i agree with u mr. kamran i think shoaib shud stop talking and let his bowling do all the talking. he is no doubta an essential component if pakistan r to win the world cup and he shud realize that cricket and his supporters have given him so much.may GOD give him enoughf brain to think of this and work hard and finally i feel that whenever an asian is involved in any scandal the icc seems to target it.i think that icc shud not interfere too much in these issues and i strongly feel that what ever may be the report for the dope test for shoaib and asif both of them shud paly as they have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

  • Asad Anwar on February 21, 2007, 6:21 GMT

    I think the issue was mishandled right from the word go, but unfortunately it had the judicial touch of Pakistani system, which is really not acceptable anywhere else in the world. I am of the opinion that we should just drop the idea of playing Shoaib and Asif in the world cup and go on with the game.

  • KamrAN on February 21, 2007, 6:19 GMT

    I dare to say Mr. Abassi you've picked up a few tricks from Shoaib here and there...

  • Kashif on February 21, 2007, 6:12 GMT

    I am a bit confused. I did talk to few medical specialists down here in Brunei Darussalam. They were telling me that the nandrolene takes about 2-3 months to get away from the body. We were discusiing the Shoaib and Asif case and they came to the conclusion that it will be impossible that the test will be positive if they are being tested now. Is there any expert who have more information regarding this? Please share with us.

  • SHAHID GUL on February 21, 2007, 6:08 GMT

    Dear Kamran. It is still "an internal test" conducted by PCB itself and PCB, we know, can do anything it wants with the results. There is still some time when the players would be tested by the ICC during the World Cup and thats where it matters. Pakistan has done the "Worst Possible Preparations" that someone cannot even think of for the world cup. After all these problems, I think that its the players' duties to the nation to get some pride back. They owe it to us. I will back my team. Lets's see what comes out. What amazes me is this! When Pakistan lost the world cup 1999, players were blamed and thrown away. In 2003 again most of the players were kicked away. We have never heard of the PCB officials being held responsible. Afterall they are the selectors and they are supposed to "MANAGE" things and matters. Actually its the PCB that causes differences among the players and I personally think that this present regime of PCB should be thrown away. Totally.

  • Masroor Ahmed Khan on February 21, 2007, 5:59 GMT

    The all fuss has been created by PCB itself since they have not been able to manage the selection and top tier of pakistan team including the coach. Had we got some good players as replacements then every body could have been tight enough to think only cricket. We rely on those who creatre more troubles. Mr. coach seems to be more thinking over his sojourn to England now and is least interested. Shoiabs exclusion from the side would be the last nail in the coffin.

  • King0fHearts on February 21, 2007, 5:56 GMT

    Yeh that should be the case. If amount of nandroline is less and going down compared to previous test, they should continue to play as the case is currently filed in Sports Court. And as long as the case is there, they cant be guilty so you cant blame a player guilty unless proven guilty.

    Amir.

  • Marty on February 21, 2007, 5:52 GMT

    Whether Shoaib Akhtar is found to have taken any banned substances before the world cup or not I find irrelevent, he has already been busted once, so why hasn't he been banned? In England last year Pakistan walked off the ground sparking all sorts of controversy involving Darly Hare and the PCB getting most upset that they had been accused of cheating. Well, has it not been proven over quite some time that they do cheat,take for example the scuffing of the pitch incident that occurred in Pakistan, again against England straight after the Pepsi drinks carrier exploded sending people scurrying everywhere for fear of a terrorist attack, meanwhile a certain Mr Afridi was scuffing up the batsmans crease and if not spotted by Kevin Peitersen then this would have gone un-noticed, is that not cheating? I for one am a little tired of the sub continent national cricket sides getting there own way in most matters involving the ICC. I understand that the Sub Continent sides are a force to be reckoned with in international cricket but enough is enough we must have rules that apply to everyone not just some that choose to abide by the rules. After all, Warney got banned. And he didn't even do it, it was his Mum!!

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on February 21, 2007, 5:48 GMT

    Dear Kamran Bhai,

    Yes, I agree with you that Mr. Akhtar should stop taking the piss.

    By the end of the month when the results of their test will come out, I am sure, there would also some controversy creep up as Nandrolone metabolites will be there in the body of two duo as per the experts. It is a catch two 2 situation for Pakistan Cricket. The batting is definitely a worry for the team and their strenghts have been in the bowling department and if the duo not cleared, they the chances of winning the world cup is bleak. Inzi is also out of form. Not to mention in the last world cup he was horribly out of form and was not aware what to do. I suspect he is feeling pressure of WC, but in the first appearance he had done a wonderful job for the nation. He should believe in himself, bury the hatchet with Mr. Akhtar. Nation first....

  • Saurabh Kumar on February 21, 2007, 5:46 GMT

    how does it even matter if he is proven guilty of taking prohibited drugs. Pakistan cricket board will still allow him to play. Since the effect of this test is nothing. there is no point in performing these test. Let him take drugs and play.

  • Armughan on February 21, 2007, 5:46 GMT

    I think it is another silly step by the Cricket Board to delay the Dope Tests of Shoaib Akhtar and Muhammad Asif. This will keep the air of uncertainity prevailing over the team. They should try to get over with it as soon as possible, for the betterment of the team. As for Shoaib's future, it will largely depend upon the test results and his attitude and performance in the world cup. We can just hope for the best, but perhaps need to prepare for the worst!

  • Sohail on February 21, 2007, 5:45 GMT

    First of all, I would like to say that how stupid were these two (Shoaib & Asif). Shoaib is a veteran now and he should have abstained from taking (desi Kushtay) nandrolone. Asif is also playing at international level. They should have known the pros and cons of taking such drugs. And the House of Fools is really the Pakistan Cricket Board. What kind of Non-sense and illiterate people are the people of PCB. Since the tour of England, a series of non-stop, non-sense comedy is being televised live all over the world courtesy of Pakistan Cricket Board. I never played "hard ball" cricket all my life, but I know that if a team depends upon fast bowlers for its bowling attack, then if they do have a bowling coach, they should go for a former fast bowler. In that case, it was waqar younis but they opted for Mushtaq Ahmed who was a great leg-spin bowler. This is one of the non-sense act of PCB. There were several others, I donot need to mention it. People like salim altaf who never had such brilliance in their bowling like waqar, imran or waseem, express their frustration of life by trying to insult great bowlers like waqar. About Inzi, well in my opinion he is a great batsman but his leadership skills are zero. He is not dynamic, he just have a static plan which he doesnot want to change according to the current requirement of the game. Pakistan is a very talented team. All that is required is to gather together and play for the nation's pride. And please "House of Fools", no more non-sense at least for next 3 months.

  • Habib Arshad - Dubai on February 21, 2007, 5:43 GMT

    Yes, it is really rediculus that they can banned be for life....there is no such law in the world which can justify to punish a person for the same offence for which he have previously been acquitted...PCB should have clearly stated tht we are testing weather the levels have decreased to the acceptable levels..we are not checking them that they positive or negitive....it is really embassing tht PCB is dealing with things so poorly..GOD help PCB and Pakistan cricket..

  • Shahbaz Faheem on February 21, 2007, 5:42 GMT

    Irrespective of his drug test result. He must be kept out of team for life.

    There are many good reasons other than drug test to debar him for life from playing any class of cricket.

  • zain kazmi on February 21, 2007, 5:38 GMT

    This has been a hot issue for the last 2 months and now its on its peak which is understandable.

    Shoaib knows that his blood still contains nandrolone thats why he is releuctant to give urine sample thats why he went to uk to meet a specialist sports medicine physician. and iam sure that he must have given him some kind of medicine to shoaib to wash out the remaining particles of nandrolone(same case applies with asif, as he is also in uk)and if the doctor approve that now its ok than pcb would be able to send his urine sample to malBut aysia.

    My question is ,incase if he would be able to play after clearing from this dope matter, the controversy of bob woolmer saying racist comments to him, dont u people think that this will disturb the whole dressing room environment especially shoaib's performance( if he play).???

  • Daud on February 21, 2007, 5:37 GMT

    Things have come to a sad pass. For all his outlandish behaviours over the years the road is fast coming to an end for Shoiab. Some mess are too hot to handle, even for people like Shoaib who like it hot. Pakistan should not be "pissed off" by the fact that it looks likely it will have to play the World Cup without Asif and Akhter. They should give their best, no matter what resources they have on 13 March. Robert Frost, the American poet, once said the only reality about life is that, "it goes on".

  • Niaz Hussain Jagirani on February 21, 2007, 5:37 GMT

    Pakistan cricket has lot of problems since 1992 world cup, such as politically, fitness and teamwork. Now days with shoaib akhter and Mohammed Asif has fitness problem. If shoaib and asif will fail in testing, its mean that Pakistan Cricket will have worst time. We have seen that no one player (Sindhi or Balouchi Speaking) in squad for 50 years, it’s called political problem. More than 70% player coming through money, so how we can think that Pakistan is perfect team for world cup, I called it a team without law.

  • FarooK on February 21, 2007, 5:32 GMT

    First of all, I am sure you meant the bitter failure of 2003, for 1999 is still termed a success notwithstanding the embarassing final. Also, I am curious to see how the next few days leading up to the World Cup unravel for it is a soap opera really when it comes to Pakistan every time. Hoping to see Shoaib Akhtar though, as he will be a key to Pakistan's success even if he only plays a couple of games (just need to make sure they are the big ones) and lets hope that the next controversy regarding him is about how he sipped chai from the cup before inzi.

  • Mahek on February 21, 2007, 5:24 GMT

    Since the tests are being conducted by the PCB once again,isn't there a possibility of them once again exonerating the players as they are crucial to the team's World Cup chances?

  • Khurram Khan on February 21, 2007, 5:17 GMT

    I totally agree, Mr. Akhtar should end the ongoing debate whether he'll play the World Cup or not, if he is aware that new test will again be positive he better avoid it. Its better to miss the World Cup and play therafter for few more years rather than facing a BAN.

  • robert bascus on February 21, 2007, 5:16 GMT

    Pakistan simply cannot win without shoaib. I pray to God that all goes well and he makes it to the West Indies. Then we can look forward to and exciting world cup, with batsmen with fear in their eyes, with the likes of Shoaib, Lee, bond and Tait coming for the kill, look out Lara and company. Please be good Shoaib, I am your numbeer one fan and i want to see you.

  • Shabhir khan Milo on February 21, 2007, 5:13 GMT

    Is it not obvious that both shoaib and asif are guilty of drug taking. I mean it does not take sherlock holmes to relasie they and the PCB are purposely delaying the tests and keeping their fingers crossed that the drugs have no traces left. The pointers simply point to the obvious. 1) PCB asking for time to delay declaring the WC squad. 2) Asif and akthar running all over the world on one pretext or the other ,but not having just about 10 minutes to give some urine sample for the dope test. It is clear that PCB know that ICC dope test will reveal their coverup last time and so all this delaying tactics.

  • Faizaan Sami on February 21, 2007, 5:10 GMT

    This becoming ridiculous. All of us die hard fans are having to watch our cricket side going down to the ground. Its amazing how things change. A few months ago Pakistan looked like the team who would take the World Cup this year but how far backwards have these events taken us?! 3 Resignations, 3 Bans,2 of them under influence of drugs, and that Hair incident. Everyone behind the curtain need to be slapped.

    Meanwhile we just wait...and wait....and wait...

  • Jessi on February 21, 2007, 5:09 GMT

    What is the ICC policy if you fail the test, but the levels of the substance are in line with what you would expect of someone that tested positive a few months ago? i.e. is testing positive an issue even if there is no proof that you've been at it again, after the previous test?

  • aziz ahmed on February 21, 2007, 5:09 GMT

    I have some interesting comments on Shoaib's drug test but read this before teh drug issue. The SOS by the chairman Dr. Nasim Ashraf inviting the past greats is simply a political stunt.

    The invitation is a bit too late says Jawaid Miandad. However,. he has volunteered to help and advise anyone who calls him and ask for help in his batting technique.

    Wasim Akram has welcomed the invitation. Imran is non- committal but he has been critical of selection sying there was no strategy or planning.

    It may be noted that they will also invite Hanif, Mushtaq and Zaheer but they have omitted Waqar Younus and Sarfaraz Nawaz. Both of them have been active in training the fast bowlers, while Waqar was under contract with the board, SARFARAZ was helping Shabbir probably on his own and helped with his action the get the ban removed from him.

    It is my conclusion that Dr. Ashraf and the board is clearly run on likes and dis-likes with the Imported English coach playing his very English-like role of divide and rule. He has avoided to invite people who have been openly critical of him. Like Waqar, Sarfaraz, Moin Khan, Rashid latif and Aamir Sohail. Both Shoaib and Asif will pass the dope test, even if there are minor traces of the banned substance they can determine that they have not taken any more banned substance after the last test. It is my reasoning after the test Shoaib may have to take the steroids as it will help him to regain fitness and back to his speed. ICC will conduct some random tests and all the previous defaulters like Shoaib, Asif and Shane Warne are on thier list.

    What a sorry mess this is.

  • Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on February 21, 2007, 5:07 GMT

    Others settling into a fast lane (less team Pakistan): ---------------------------------------------------------------- Dear Kamran:

    Like all team supporters, you are keen to see the Pakistan team wear a settled look, earlier the better. There can be no two opinions about that.

    However, it is disappointing to see matters lingering on till the very last. This could lead to chaos within the camp and less than a purposeful playing eleven towards the end.

    PCB chief and others concerned with team selection are showing poor organizational skills when we see how other teams are settling into a fast lane and ready to fire off.

    It will be of little practical use for team supporters to make any speculative guess here about the residual effects of concerned drugs such as Nandrolene or whatever.

    The PCB hierarchy should take the best suitable course of action and utilize full resources including medical experts available at their disposal to ensure that key players affected previously come clean.

    Just in case, the situation does not rectify itself, soon - the team has to move on like the stern reality in life (to see the demise of some key players).

    Team supporters would have to accept this eventuality and come to terms with it.

  • Saaib Uppal on February 21, 2007, 5:04 GMT

    Never has a man's piss been so important.

  • Dr. Hasan Rizvi on February 21, 2007, 5:03 GMT

    There's a difference between self-pride and arrogance,assertiveness and aggression,having a good time after winning and doping up / partying,unfortunately he is guilty of all the latters ,start looking in other directions and towards 2011 Dr. Kamran Abbasi,Shoaib is done for!

  • Robert on February 21, 2007, 4:59 GMT

    Tricky one this. I don't think they should have been alowed to play again until they proved pretty much 100% negative.

    True they will be able to tell if they have since used the substance. But performance enhancing is performance enhancing. They should both have been "asked" to sit out remaining international fixtures until proven clean. Surely this is the honourable thing to do?

    Although I must say that I am surprised that Shoaib bothered taking it at all, as he is always injured. Asif however is in great shape.

    Real question is, who else might prove positive? And if so, what will the steps be?

  • ammar ahmad on February 21, 2007, 4:55 GMT

    there is surely something not right that is why PCB is delaying shoaib and asif's dope test. It is time that we pakistani team need to look outside Shoaib after this World cup. He is not a team man and he doesn't play all the matches because he is unfit all the time. Kick him out of the team now before or after world cup for the sake of our cricet!!!

  • CO Jones on February 21, 2007, 4:54 GMT

    I wouldn't be surprised if Shoaib starts a new career as a TV commentator. He would give good company to Rameez 'slipper' Raja. Having said that, Akhtar could easily continue in International Cricket as an Elite umpire. We haven't seen or heard the last of Shoaib Akhtar - what a superstar!

  • Faridoon on February 21, 2007, 4:44 GMT

    Well put Kamran!!

    The Pakistani public has been accused of not lending enough support to the World Cup team, being too critical and not standing by their men no matter what. Well, I think in order to lend support to your team you need to know who the team comprises of.

    I just hope that all the drug test results are in soon and that all teh injuries are healed quickly so that we can know who has finally made the cut. Then we can start supporting them.

    Most Pakistanis won't mind if Shoaib is banned if he is still found to have traces of the drug substance but the loss of Asif would be a greater setback.

  • A.N. Other on February 21, 2007, 4:43 GMT

    Both the bowlers have failed the drug test and it is unfair that they play.

  • nwak on February 21, 2007, 4:40 GMT

    "It is a time for total commitment!!" kamran, thats the last thing i expect from these disoriented and self-centered individuals called the pakistani team. personal agendas are always high on their list so im not really sure if shoaib would stop throwing his silly tantrums around. As for the results of the tests, whatever scientific theories might prevail,the truth is,they tested positive the first time around and they're still part of the picture so it goes without saying that those tests dont really count much. lets just wait and see wat drama PCB can conjure up this time. im waiting....

  • the rev on February 21, 2007, 4:37 GMT

    Nandrolone stays in the system for up to a year, with people often testing positive after twelve months. The fact is, you don't take nandrolone by accident. Though it is often used to help increase healing rates, and to make the rehabilitation more quickly, everyone knows that it is the hardest anabolic steroid to get out of your system. I know this because I was prescribed nandrolone deconate for a shoulder injury sustained while training as a pro fighter. The silly reasoning behind this poor individual being unclear on the rules makes him sound like an idiot, and as we all know an idiot he is not. He got caught cheating, and a corrupt system let him off because they need him to bowl.

    rev

  • kashif on February 21, 2007, 4:36 GMT

    I'd say ...piss off Shoaib, the sooner we get the "he is extremely important to us" mentality, the better.

  • ahad on February 21, 2007, 4:36 GMT

    I totally agree with you. I cant see pcb sending these two bowlers if they are not cleared from that test. I dont want to wake up during the world cup and read on cricinfo that Shoaib and Asif were found possitive for drugs. If they have it in their body, then please dont take them

  • Amanzeb Khan on February 21, 2007, 4:30 GMT

    Now that both were exonerated not for not taking nandrolone but for lack of knowledge and procedure, it is accepted that they are bound to have some traces. If the level is higher than WADA acceptable limits they should simply be withdrawn with a statement that the levels indicate no new intake but are not within limits yet. Sending them to the World Cup with unacceptable levels will give ICC the opportunity of testing them under WADA rules which will prove fatal to their careers. Lets hope it does not come to that and their tests come out clean.

  • Saqib on February 21, 2007, 4:29 GMT

    AOA

    Well there is not time to fight each other its time to play like a team like a fighting unit. Like a team of 1992 our team has to gel together and should fight like cornered tigers INSHALLAH they will succeed

    ALLAH HAFIZ

    saqib

  • Taimur Huk on February 21, 2007, 4:27 GMT

    shoaib akhtar will probably fail the drug test. thats why he isnt offering to give his urine sample. i dont like him and its time that we move on without him. same with inzaman. he is a great batsman but as a captain he has been inconsistent and now it is evident from the team's recent tours to england and SA that he isn't cut for the job. in order to be a successful captain, you need to have strategy when you play matches and execute those strategies well. inzaman doesn't have that in him; he doesn't any strategy for the team. he will most likely retire as he is 36 yrs old and will be finished with his career after this tournament.

  • RSN on February 21, 2007, 4:27 GMT

    The whole affair seems to be shady. getting banned,appealing, ban gets revoked; the process seems not so transparent and gets uglier and uglier.

    Nandralone can get into the system even with some prescription drugs for cold etc. but ignorance of law is excuse to no one.

    But what is staggering is the reluctance of the players to get subjected to further tests. If they are not guilty, they don't have anything to hide.

    your last statement, sums up the scenario pretty well!

  • Saif Abbasi on February 21, 2007, 4:20 GMT

    Salam Mr Abbasi, Blood test will only judge the existance or otherwise of the banned substance, but how can we be sure that he will not let his country down with his silly rtaher ridiculous behaviour. I Think its the time to take some bold decisions, he should not be selected becuase he is sort of a disease which will cause problems when ever you will let him in,so get rid of him once for ever. He does more harm then good to the team.

  • S M AZMAT SHAH on February 21, 2007, 4:06 GMT

    Much already have been said and more will be said in future as well about Shoab's attitude etc but one thing which can make People of Pakistan forget his behaviour and other aspects of his personality by Winning us world cup.Go Shoab Go, crush toes of opposition batsman, We need that world cup again. No one will pinpoint any weaknesses in you, this nation is die heart patriotic,but win a world cup for them.

  • Ashaq on February 21, 2007, 2:27 GMT

    "stop taking the piss and start giving it." Well finally Kamran it seems you have lost patience with the poor misunderstood, mishandled, mismanaged, matchwinning, Shoaib Akhtar. The question I want to know is what took you so long.

    I think the media and journalists in pakistan have had a large part in creating the situation with shoaib Actor. They have not only tolerated his excesses but proactively condoned. Everytime any form of punishment or penalty is threatened. They rise up in his defence not only him but also other so called useless Matchwinners.

    For these Well Educated Enlightened journalists Shoaib represents the acceptable and modern face of Pakistan. No doubt they feel very upset that there are players who have beards and represent an Islamic outlook. Shoaib for them is the perfect icon a James Dean Rebel With out a Cause Personality. And westernised lifestyle. I think what is needed is a cricket team and board with a professional attitude. And Journalists who dont have an Inferiority complex about Pakistans religious and Cultural heritage.

    The main thorn in the Pakistan side has been lack of player discipline. Also the failure to punish any Misbehaviour by the P.C.B.

    In the words of Mudassar Nazar "To stay in Power the Administrators befriend the players and use and manipulate them. They try to keep the players happy. So if the players revolt against a coach, who is being tough with them he is sacked."

  • Ghalib Imtiyaz on February 21, 2007, 1:59 GMT

    Shoaib's loss can be managed by someone who is more accurate and economical than he is. West Indian grounds are small and 300+ totals will be the norm not the exception. So we dont need Shoaib to be hit around the park like Mcgrath has been in his recent outings, we would like Afridi and Nazir to fire and score quickly. If you can not score 350 and defend it you can not go too far in this world cup.

  • Sami Syed from Toronto on February 21, 2007, 1:51 GMT

    Very harsh Kamran sahab, very harsh on Shoaib indeed. Especially with the last line in the comment.

    Nonetheless, it's a cumulative effort by the team, coach, captain and the board to delay the test as much as possible, so whatever decay curve you are talking about with the drug level is given its longest run possible before the inevitable drug test.

    In other news, India unveiled their Jersey and Australia's dismal performances with the ball has taken eyes off of Pakistan for the moment. (Although Australia were still amazing with the bat). SA has taken #1 spot thanks to in part by PAKISTAN since they lost the ODI series. Had we won, we would be taking over top honours, maybe, I think!!!... So for South Africa, thank Pakistan first before you thank Newxealand.

    My thoughts on the WORLD CUP, it'll be tight!!! I mean the way Australia is finally falling from grace, India is building up, South Africa's balanced team aside from no spinner, and the heroics of Newzealand, well anything is possible. Let's not rule out Sri Lanka and West Indies either.

    Where I put PAKISTAN in the mix, I don't know??? At this time, we ESSENTIALLY have an undecided squad of 15 and mostly unsure of who will actually be playing.

    All things different but one thing remains the same. Pakistan is SHADY team. And a from FOREST GUMP "[Pakistan team] is like a box of chocolates, you neven know which one you are going to get?"...

    Let's hope, while hope is still alive!

    SAMI SYED from Toronto

  • Pak Fan on February 21, 2007, 1:49 GMT

    Clearing the dope test is just the first step. Next is to see if he is injury free. Thereafter the biggest challenge would be his fitness. No point taking a half fit Shoaib !

    A fit and available for all games in the WC Shoaib is certainly an asset to the team.

    Keeping him motivated is what the Captain, Coach and perhaps the board have failed to do.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Pak Fan on February 21, 2007, 1:49 GMT

    Clearing the dope test is just the first step. Next is to see if he is injury free. Thereafter the biggest challenge would be his fitness. No point taking a half fit Shoaib !

    A fit and available for all games in the WC Shoaib is certainly an asset to the team.

    Keeping him motivated is what the Captain, Coach and perhaps the board have failed to do.

  • Sami Syed from Toronto on February 21, 2007, 1:51 GMT

    Very harsh Kamran sahab, very harsh on Shoaib indeed. Especially with the last line in the comment.

    Nonetheless, it's a cumulative effort by the team, coach, captain and the board to delay the test as much as possible, so whatever decay curve you are talking about with the drug level is given its longest run possible before the inevitable drug test.

    In other news, India unveiled their Jersey and Australia's dismal performances with the ball has taken eyes off of Pakistan for the moment. (Although Australia were still amazing with the bat). SA has taken #1 spot thanks to in part by PAKISTAN since they lost the ODI series. Had we won, we would be taking over top honours, maybe, I think!!!... So for South Africa, thank Pakistan first before you thank Newxealand.

    My thoughts on the WORLD CUP, it'll be tight!!! I mean the way Australia is finally falling from grace, India is building up, South Africa's balanced team aside from no spinner, and the heroics of Newzealand, well anything is possible. Let's not rule out Sri Lanka and West Indies either.

    Where I put PAKISTAN in the mix, I don't know??? At this time, we ESSENTIALLY have an undecided squad of 15 and mostly unsure of who will actually be playing.

    All things different but one thing remains the same. Pakistan is SHADY team. And a from FOREST GUMP "[Pakistan team] is like a box of chocolates, you neven know which one you are going to get?"...

    Let's hope, while hope is still alive!

    SAMI SYED from Toronto

  • Ghalib Imtiyaz on February 21, 2007, 1:59 GMT

    Shoaib's loss can be managed by someone who is more accurate and economical than he is. West Indian grounds are small and 300+ totals will be the norm not the exception. So we dont need Shoaib to be hit around the park like Mcgrath has been in his recent outings, we would like Afridi and Nazir to fire and score quickly. If you can not score 350 and defend it you can not go too far in this world cup.

  • Ashaq on February 21, 2007, 2:27 GMT

    "stop taking the piss and start giving it." Well finally Kamran it seems you have lost patience with the poor misunderstood, mishandled, mismanaged, matchwinning, Shoaib Akhtar. The question I want to know is what took you so long.

    I think the media and journalists in pakistan have had a large part in creating the situation with shoaib Actor. They have not only tolerated his excesses but proactively condoned. Everytime any form of punishment or penalty is threatened. They rise up in his defence not only him but also other so called useless Matchwinners.

    For these Well Educated Enlightened journalists Shoaib represents the acceptable and modern face of Pakistan. No doubt they feel very upset that there are players who have beards and represent an Islamic outlook. Shoaib for them is the perfect icon a James Dean Rebel With out a Cause Personality. And westernised lifestyle. I think what is needed is a cricket team and board with a professional attitude. And Journalists who dont have an Inferiority complex about Pakistans religious and Cultural heritage.

    The main thorn in the Pakistan side has been lack of player discipline. Also the failure to punish any Misbehaviour by the P.C.B.

    In the words of Mudassar Nazar "To stay in Power the Administrators befriend the players and use and manipulate them. They try to keep the players happy. So if the players revolt against a coach, who is being tough with them he is sacked."

  • S M AZMAT SHAH on February 21, 2007, 4:06 GMT

    Much already have been said and more will be said in future as well about Shoab's attitude etc but one thing which can make People of Pakistan forget his behaviour and other aspects of his personality by Winning us world cup.Go Shoab Go, crush toes of opposition batsman, We need that world cup again. No one will pinpoint any weaknesses in you, this nation is die heart patriotic,but win a world cup for them.

  • Saif Abbasi on February 21, 2007, 4:20 GMT

    Salam Mr Abbasi, Blood test will only judge the existance or otherwise of the banned substance, but how can we be sure that he will not let his country down with his silly rtaher ridiculous behaviour. I Think its the time to take some bold decisions, he should not be selected becuase he is sort of a disease which will cause problems when ever you will let him in,so get rid of him once for ever. He does more harm then good to the team.

  • RSN on February 21, 2007, 4:27 GMT

    The whole affair seems to be shady. getting banned,appealing, ban gets revoked; the process seems not so transparent and gets uglier and uglier.

    Nandralone can get into the system even with some prescription drugs for cold etc. but ignorance of law is excuse to no one.

    But what is staggering is the reluctance of the players to get subjected to further tests. If they are not guilty, they don't have anything to hide.

    your last statement, sums up the scenario pretty well!

  • Taimur Huk on February 21, 2007, 4:27 GMT

    shoaib akhtar will probably fail the drug test. thats why he isnt offering to give his urine sample. i dont like him and its time that we move on without him. same with inzaman. he is a great batsman but as a captain he has been inconsistent and now it is evident from the team's recent tours to england and SA that he isn't cut for the job. in order to be a successful captain, you need to have strategy when you play matches and execute those strategies well. inzaman doesn't have that in him; he doesn't any strategy for the team. he will most likely retire as he is 36 yrs old and will be finished with his career after this tournament.

  • Saqib on February 21, 2007, 4:29 GMT

    AOA

    Well there is not time to fight each other its time to play like a team like a fighting unit. Like a team of 1992 our team has to gel together and should fight like cornered tigers INSHALLAH they will succeed

    ALLAH HAFIZ

    saqib

  • Amanzeb Khan on February 21, 2007, 4:30 GMT

    Now that both were exonerated not for not taking nandrolone but for lack of knowledge and procedure, it is accepted that they are bound to have some traces. If the level is higher than WADA acceptable limits they should simply be withdrawn with a statement that the levels indicate no new intake but are not within limits yet. Sending them to the World Cup with unacceptable levels will give ICC the opportunity of testing them under WADA rules which will prove fatal to their careers. Lets hope it does not come to that and their tests come out clean.