The drugged cricketer July 2, 2007

WADA and out: no winners in the drugs scandal

Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif can heave a massive sigh of relief
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Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif can heave a massive sigh of relief. You can be sure that if their case had been heard at the Court for Arbitration for Sport their plea of ignorance would not have been received sympathetically.

In truth, though, there are no winners. Shoaib and Asif will have to endure snide remarks for the rest of their careers. The ICC has been shown to be impotent beyond events that it officially organises, a sorry state for a sport's governing body. WADA flexed its muscles and discovered that they are no bigger than those puny bumps possessed by Montgomery Burns. And the PCB has bizarrely claimed a triumph when it set off this whole farce with a badly executed hearing and then staged a pantomime over the appearance of Shoaib and Asif in the World Cup.

There is no place for performance-enhancing drugs in sport but we don't want miscarriages of justice either. The PCB, ICC, and WADA have all contributed to this failure of process. It can't be allowed to happen again but it will unless all three organisations make sure their processes are aligned.

I wouldn't bet on it.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Salman on July 20, 2007, 10:46 GMT

    This is for Ramesh who has astonishingly compared Lee with Akhtar and called the former as better! Well, he is better advised to check Lee's Test record - his averages and strike-rate and compare with Akhtar; also in the area of fielding support and the mountain of runs the Aus batting forms up for their bowlers to bowl with. To my knowledge, Akhtar has always been ranked higher than Lee in ICC Test ratings despite missing so many matches. what's the use of being fit when you cannot perform to the required elite standards?

  • ubaid on July 12, 2007, 1:36 GMT

    Well said Omer admani. Enough of the conspiracy theories. Also some people have been using the word Vindicated which means,absolved, clear, cleared, exculpated, exonerated in the wrong sense. I guess they wanted to say vindictive. It was extremely confusing.

  • Tay'yab-Ali Malik on July 11, 2007, 15:52 GMT

    Khansahab(A.A.Khan. You have mention on two occasions that Shoaib has broken the 100mph unoficially. I recall his delivery to Nick Knight during the 2003 WC in SA was officially clocked over 100mph.

  • vik on July 11, 2007, 13:05 GMT

    Every single player is responsible for what goes in their body. Asif and Akhtar dodging this ban is ridiculous and bad for world and Pakistani cricket.

    Ultimately their honor is in question and their reputations tarnished. If they has served out their bans and then come back then they would have gained the respect of international cricket and no one would question them further. As it is now, every game they play will carry the taint of doping whether it was done intentionally or not.

  • Omer Admani on July 11, 2007, 6:30 GMT

    Javed Khan, This is nonsense, sorry. It is not that the whole world is conspiring against two Pakistani players so that Pakistan looses to Ireland or West Indies (and so on). Bringing WADA into this is a step further towards lunacy. The simple fact is that even if our players were cleared earlier by the CAS, they still wouldn't have played in the World Cup as the ICC would have target tested regardless.

  • Richard on July 9, 2007, 17:01 GMT

    Awas, I think you make common mistake in saying:

    “What Wagg, Botham, Giddins etc took was illegal substances in most countries for which there is a punishment in law. So called “performance enhancing drugs” are not illegal but merely banned by regulatory bodies. So taking cocaine by those mentioned was definitely not “much lesser sporting offences”. If ordinary Joe Blogg can be punished for taking cocaine then sporting heroes who are supposed to set an example should infact be punished harder.”

    Ask yourself two things. First, what authority, legal or moral, does a cricket board have for punishing players by enforcing country-wide laws? (though I do notice you conveniently forget to reference Spencer!) Sure, we can agree that illegal substance abuse affects the image of the game and should be strongly deterred through cricket laws, but what legal punishment did these players receive? (e.g. did the legal punishment finish their careers). What other laws should cricketers be banned for breaking – speeding, drink driving, littering? Second, ask yourself what harms the game of cricket more – recreational or performance-enhancing drug taking? If your answer is the former, and I suspect that the PCBs might be, then you’re clueless or do not care about the game of cricket. As I said before, I’ve always loved watching the talent the Pakistan team fields, regardless of any off-field antics, but for the foreseeable future I will always wonder if the next great talent had a little assistance along the way…

  • Awas on July 8, 2007, 20:17 GMT

    JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA (…of North America, The World, Earth, Galaxy, Universe) but I still can’t figure out where exactly you live ;-). Sorry I am just being silly as there is nothing much to write for now, I am in that sort of mood right now. After all, one of the regulars, our good old (I don’t mean “old” literally) friend khansahab(A.A.Khan) has recently added some more letters after his name!!!

    If I can borrow this from you “I am agree with you” and from someone else “100 percent” ;-) on the quality of this thread. And would add…Pak spin is definitely the best….it spins much better than other spins…and yes other than very good thoughtful pieces from usual regulars, many non Pakis cant help chipping in either, which is all well and good. Its ok…no I wasn’t seeking an apology ;-). It’s good to get people’s reactions though on what you write. On the matter of quality, your last piece putting together “chain of events” was amazing, very thorough and how it took CAS six months to decide, thought provoking.

    khansahab(A.A.Khan)

    Talking about Shoaib Akhtar’s obsession, it seems as though the showman that he really is, his goal is still to be remembered as a 100 mph barrier breaker. Nice though this milestone is, it would be better still if he can bowl a bit longer than just for a couple of days, once in a year.

  • Ali Asim - Saginaw, Michigan USA on July 6, 2007, 18:34 GMT

    A lot have been said and written on this topic already. And I'm still puzzled in between. I support my team and my board. Their stance was somewhat correct upto some extent, but there were some rules that were exploited. Then again who does'nt do that these days, enough examples were given and dicussed. Having said all that, I still believe that Shoaib and Asif should have served that ban and if they did, they would have been playing in upcoming tournaments with no fuss and drama. Apart from all that, I do agree with Mr. Javed regarding the issue he raised about severe biase being employed by ICC regarding Asian countries. I simply cannot ignore the fact that ICC made it almost impossible for Pakistan to play this wolrd cup. Moving onto another topic, I've heard that most of our senior players have registered their discomfort regarding the appointment of "want-more" as the new coach. I think they finally see what I saw. I've already talked about this matter in my comment on that(Whatmore) blog. I'll just repeat a few of my words. He lacks professionalism, he is unfit for the job and he sold us out when asked for the job and ran after indian board just to embarass himself. His stint with Bangladesh was a complete disaster and I believe Bangladeshi players were better off with Miandad. He was successful with Srilanka only because of the high profile presence of Mr. Rana Tunga, who led Lanka like no one else did so far in the game. I hope PCB recognizes the concerns raised by our players and decides wisely. Aaqib would have been the best choice, but I guess Lawson can be a better option from the current choices. I hope Mr. Kamran writes some more of his expert views on this issue and gives us some more room to discuss it further.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on July 6, 2007, 12:30 GMT

    I concur with the learned Awas when he mentions about the choice of lifestyle being a personal choice in the hands of God to judge.

    Speaking of lifestyle Shoaib Akhtar, after the revelation of the dropping of WADA’s appeal, is again targeting the 100 mph mark. One must ask why he wants to strain his body so much at this stage? He has already achieved that plaudit, albeit unofficially. That makes him the fastest bowler in the world although he has stern competition from people like Brett Lee and Shaun Tait.

    Shoaib’s dangerous obsession with pace again evokes arguments about his commitment to the team. At his current age he should be thinking about serving his country as much as possible for whatever years of cricket left in him. I don’t think he can carry on for another four years, as he states. Since he has not got a long time left, he should think about ending his career playing as many matches for Pakistan as possible.

    I again agree with Wasim Saqib when he states that Malik is lucky to benefit from the services of Asif and Shoaib. Pakistan should adopt a rotational policy as far as fast bowlers are concerned and Shoaib Akhtar should not be risked in a less important match. In fact I think Shoaib must be used intelligently against India especially, because he often loses the plot and distorts his line and length, often being smacked mercilessly by the likes of Sehwag and Tendulkar. Pakistan is lucky to have bowlers like Abdul Rauf, Mohammad Irshad, Anwar Ali, Shahid Nazir who are more than capable to perform when acting as Shoaib’s or Asif’s replacements.

    People have spoken about whether performance enhancing drugs should be made legal. The idea might be sensible. There should not be any “middle way”; either drugs should be made legal or *any* performance enhancing materials should be prohibited. The reason for the abolition of this “middle way” is that, there is confusion about the permissible levels and there is also confusion about how the level (if at all) can be controlled. What has happened with Shoaib and Asif, forms a bad precedent on the rest of the world’s cricketers and cricket boards who have spotted this loophole in jurisdiction and want to exploit it. On the contrary, if performance enhancers are allowed, we may see a disproportionate increase in the level of performance by cricketers who belong to developed countries. Their health and fitness can be monitored more effectively by their health professionals and dieticians. These cricketers will also find that these performance enhancing materials are more easily accessible to them. Conversely, cricketers from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean will not be able to exploit this performance-enhancing regime as fruitfully. If we say no to any form of performance boosting materials (so as to achieve a level playing field again, as the earlier argument about a universal allowance of these boosters, attempts to achieve) then we must consider how far do we want to go ahead with this prohibition? Does it extend to energy-inducing fizzy drinks which are meant to revive you from natural tiredness or stiffness? This latter argument may seem ludicrously radical, but it is sensible in spirit. The essential question is, how far do we want to go if we implement a prohibition?

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on July 6, 2007, 5:13 GMT

    The news "CAS dismissed WADA's appeal and cleared Shoaib and Asif" is a welcoming one, since the time I have read it I was asking this question, how come it took more than SIX months for CAS to announce it publicly that it has no jurisdiction over the case of Asif and Akhtar? What was stopping them from making this announcement earlier? Shouldn't an international organization of such caliber and stature know what is within their purview or jurisdiction?

    I started reading their constitution, articles, memorandum, rules and laws on their website and they have very explicitly explained about the time limit, scope and jurisdiction etc. So, how come this straight forward case was prolonged for such a long time? What is the reason behind it? Is it a conspiracy theory that was designed by the ICC and WADA i.e., to drag this issue by collaborating with CAS, so that they can keep Shoaib and Asif out of the World Cup?

    I wouldn't pass a judgment on this case so soon. I want some of you to read the chain of events below which I have extracted from the case from their website under ref. CAS 2006/A/1190 WADA vs.Pakistan Cricket Board & Akhtar & Asif. I want you to read it and decide for yourself whether I am right in thinking what I am thinking or am I being paranoid and suspicious?

    After the appeal from Shoaib and Asif, the PCB cleared them, which wasn't welcome by the ICC pundits, they showed their resentment towards the PCB and asked WADA to file an appeal with CAS and put these two culprits on trial. On December 21, 2006, WADA filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the decision of the PCB Appeals Committee on clearing Shoaib and Asif.

    On January 05, 2007, the President of the Appeals Arbitration Division confirmed that the deadline for WADA to file its appeal brief was suspended until the question of CAS's jurisdiction had been resolved. (They all knew that CAS has no jurisdiction over this case, as the tests were not conducted by the ICC or at any of the ICC events, but it was a national event organized by the PCB. Yet, the ICC wanted this case to be taken to CAS through WADA as they cannot do it themselves.)

    On January 09, 2007, WADA at its Head Quarters in Montreal, Canada agreed that the Panel should first render a partial award on the issue of CAS's jurisdiction only and then proceed accordingly by creating a panel.

    On January 10, 2007, CAS invited the parties each to file a submission solely addressing the issue of CAS's jurisdiction in the case.

    The CAS Panel, consisting of Mr Peter Leaver QC and Mr Jan Paulsson (as the party-appointed arbitrators) and Mr David W. Rivkin (as the President of the Panel, appointed by CAS), was duly appointed, and its constitution was notified to the parties)

    On January 19, 2007, CAS, wrote to Akhtar and Asif to put them on notice of the agreement between WADA and the PCB that a CAS Panel would be appointed to decide the issue of CAS's jurisdiction. CAS provided Akhtar and Asif with a copy of the submissions and correspondence. Neither Akhtar nor Asif has taken any active role in the proceedings, as the PCB had prevented them from doing so. (very unlike of the PCB's other decisions)

    On January 24, 2007 the PCB filed its submission on the issue of CAS's jurisdiction.

    WADA filed its submission on the issue of CAS's jurisdiction on February 06, 2007.

    The PCB filed its submission in response to WADA's submission on the issue of CAS's jurisdiction on April 12, 2007.

    WADA submits that this dispute is subject to the jurisdiction of CAS, according to the terms of Article R47 of the Code of Sports-Related Arbitration (the "CAS Code"). WADA contends that, according to CAS's precedents and to the case law of the Swiss Federal Tribunal, a global reference to a document containing an arbitration clause in favour of CAS is sufficient ground to establish CAS's jurisdiction, so long as the arbitration clause is customary amongst the parties involved or with respect to the issues to be dealt with.

    Therefore, the Panel shall decide the dispute according to the applicable regulations and the rules of law chosen by the parties or, in the absence of such a choice, according to the law of the country in which the federation, association or sports-related body which has issued the challenged decision is domiciled or according to the rules of law, the application of which the Panel deems appropriate. In the latter case, the Panel shall give reasons for its decision.

    It is important to note that the doping tests did not occur during an ICC Event, but during a national event organized by the PCB. The terms of Article 16.1 therefore cannot create an obligation or agreement to allow appeal to CAS in these circumstances.

    It is clear from the facts that the testing of Akhtar and Asif did not take place during an ICC event or under the ICC Code. Therefore, even Article 15.2 cannot provide a source of CAS jurisdiction in this case.

    * In order for CAS to have jurisdiction to rule on an appeal, Article R47 of the CAS Code requires that a direct reference to CAS be contained in the statutes or regulations of the body whose decision is being appealed. * The PCB Regulations do not provide for a right of appeal to CAS. ("luckily you know") * The ICC Code does not provide for a right of appeal to CAS of decisions of the PCB Appeals Committee. * The ICC Code contains no provision which obliges the PCB to allow a right of appeal of its decisions to CAS. * If the PCB were subject to such a mandatory provision, no right of appeal to CAS would exist until the PCB amended its statutes or regulations to incorporate such a right of appeal. (imo should never do that)

    * The PCB submits that, while the State of Pakistan has signed the 2003 Copenhagen Declaration, the PCB has not done so. (again, should never do that) * The fact that the Pakistan Government has signed the Declaration creates NO enforceable rights against the PCB to the benefit of WADA. Further, the terms of the Declaration do not mandate the explicit incorporation of the WADC into the Rules of the PCB. * The PCB therefore submits that the signature by the Pakistan Government of the Copenhagen Declaration does not confer jurisdiction upon WADA to appeal domestic decisions of the PCB to CAS. * There is no specific agreement between the parties to allow CAS to rule on the merits of this particular dispute. * CAS therefore, does not have jurisdiction to rule on the appeal filed by WADA in the present arbitrable proceedings. * The Panel reaches this conclusion with some considerable regret that the case of Asif and Akhtar is beyond their jurisdiction. * It is the responsibility of the ICC to ensure that its members promulgate anti-doping rules which are consistent with the WADC, and which enable either the ICC or its member or WADA to appeal against what might be termed “rogue” decisions.

    So my friends & foes doesn't it look like the whole case was cooked? They all knew that there is NO case and from the very beginning I was saying that they have NO case and they are trying to delay the process......click on the link below and read my post: December 24, 2006 1:28 PM. Point number 4 which says: "4. Apparently, at ICC's instigation they (WADA) are appealing it and trying to go to the arbitrator. This is only a ploy to delay the process so that the players are kept away from playing the world cup 2007."

    http://blogs.cricinfo.com/pakspin/archives/2006/12/wada_yadda_yadda.php#comments

    Six months ago, it was my opinion or my understanding of the situation BUT now, as the time has unfolded the events the truth has come out in black and white and its not different from what I had thought or understood it, so now it looks more like a fact and now I believe that it was indeed a conspiracy theory! A conspiracy to keep Asif and Shoaib out of the World Cup! Mr. Kamran Abbassi you are wrong, the ultimite winner is the ICC. Shouldn't we all congratulate them?

  • Salman on July 20, 2007, 10:46 GMT

    This is for Ramesh who has astonishingly compared Lee with Akhtar and called the former as better! Well, he is better advised to check Lee's Test record - his averages and strike-rate and compare with Akhtar; also in the area of fielding support and the mountain of runs the Aus batting forms up for their bowlers to bowl with. To my knowledge, Akhtar has always been ranked higher than Lee in ICC Test ratings despite missing so many matches. what's the use of being fit when you cannot perform to the required elite standards?

  • ubaid on July 12, 2007, 1:36 GMT

    Well said Omer admani. Enough of the conspiracy theories. Also some people have been using the word Vindicated which means,absolved, clear, cleared, exculpated, exonerated in the wrong sense. I guess they wanted to say vindictive. It was extremely confusing.

  • Tay'yab-Ali Malik on July 11, 2007, 15:52 GMT

    Khansahab(A.A.Khan. You have mention on two occasions that Shoaib has broken the 100mph unoficially. I recall his delivery to Nick Knight during the 2003 WC in SA was officially clocked over 100mph.

  • vik on July 11, 2007, 13:05 GMT

    Every single player is responsible for what goes in their body. Asif and Akhtar dodging this ban is ridiculous and bad for world and Pakistani cricket.

    Ultimately their honor is in question and their reputations tarnished. If they has served out their bans and then come back then they would have gained the respect of international cricket and no one would question them further. As it is now, every game they play will carry the taint of doping whether it was done intentionally or not.

  • Omer Admani on July 11, 2007, 6:30 GMT

    Javed Khan, This is nonsense, sorry. It is not that the whole world is conspiring against two Pakistani players so that Pakistan looses to Ireland or West Indies (and so on). Bringing WADA into this is a step further towards lunacy. The simple fact is that even if our players were cleared earlier by the CAS, they still wouldn't have played in the World Cup as the ICC would have target tested regardless.

  • Richard on July 9, 2007, 17:01 GMT

    Awas, I think you make common mistake in saying:

    “What Wagg, Botham, Giddins etc took was illegal substances in most countries for which there is a punishment in law. So called “performance enhancing drugs” are not illegal but merely banned by regulatory bodies. So taking cocaine by those mentioned was definitely not “much lesser sporting offences”. If ordinary Joe Blogg can be punished for taking cocaine then sporting heroes who are supposed to set an example should infact be punished harder.”

    Ask yourself two things. First, what authority, legal or moral, does a cricket board have for punishing players by enforcing country-wide laws? (though I do notice you conveniently forget to reference Spencer!) Sure, we can agree that illegal substance abuse affects the image of the game and should be strongly deterred through cricket laws, but what legal punishment did these players receive? (e.g. did the legal punishment finish their careers). What other laws should cricketers be banned for breaking – speeding, drink driving, littering? Second, ask yourself what harms the game of cricket more – recreational or performance-enhancing drug taking? If your answer is the former, and I suspect that the PCBs might be, then you’re clueless or do not care about the game of cricket. As I said before, I’ve always loved watching the talent the Pakistan team fields, regardless of any off-field antics, but for the foreseeable future I will always wonder if the next great talent had a little assistance along the way…

  • Awas on July 8, 2007, 20:17 GMT

    JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA (…of North America, The World, Earth, Galaxy, Universe) but I still can’t figure out where exactly you live ;-). Sorry I am just being silly as there is nothing much to write for now, I am in that sort of mood right now. After all, one of the regulars, our good old (I don’t mean “old” literally) friend khansahab(A.A.Khan) has recently added some more letters after his name!!!

    If I can borrow this from you “I am agree with you” and from someone else “100 percent” ;-) on the quality of this thread. And would add…Pak spin is definitely the best….it spins much better than other spins…and yes other than very good thoughtful pieces from usual regulars, many non Pakis cant help chipping in either, which is all well and good. Its ok…no I wasn’t seeking an apology ;-). It’s good to get people’s reactions though on what you write. On the matter of quality, your last piece putting together “chain of events” was amazing, very thorough and how it took CAS six months to decide, thought provoking.

    khansahab(A.A.Khan)

    Talking about Shoaib Akhtar’s obsession, it seems as though the showman that he really is, his goal is still to be remembered as a 100 mph barrier breaker. Nice though this milestone is, it would be better still if he can bowl a bit longer than just for a couple of days, once in a year.

  • Ali Asim - Saginaw, Michigan USA on July 6, 2007, 18:34 GMT

    A lot have been said and written on this topic already. And I'm still puzzled in between. I support my team and my board. Their stance was somewhat correct upto some extent, but there were some rules that were exploited. Then again who does'nt do that these days, enough examples were given and dicussed. Having said all that, I still believe that Shoaib and Asif should have served that ban and if they did, they would have been playing in upcoming tournaments with no fuss and drama. Apart from all that, I do agree with Mr. Javed regarding the issue he raised about severe biase being employed by ICC regarding Asian countries. I simply cannot ignore the fact that ICC made it almost impossible for Pakistan to play this wolrd cup. Moving onto another topic, I've heard that most of our senior players have registered their discomfort regarding the appointment of "want-more" as the new coach. I think they finally see what I saw. I've already talked about this matter in my comment on that(Whatmore) blog. I'll just repeat a few of my words. He lacks professionalism, he is unfit for the job and he sold us out when asked for the job and ran after indian board just to embarass himself. His stint with Bangladesh was a complete disaster and I believe Bangladeshi players were better off with Miandad. He was successful with Srilanka only because of the high profile presence of Mr. Rana Tunga, who led Lanka like no one else did so far in the game. I hope PCB recognizes the concerns raised by our players and decides wisely. Aaqib would have been the best choice, but I guess Lawson can be a better option from the current choices. I hope Mr. Kamran writes some more of his expert views on this issue and gives us some more room to discuss it further.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on July 6, 2007, 12:30 GMT

    I concur with the learned Awas when he mentions about the choice of lifestyle being a personal choice in the hands of God to judge.

    Speaking of lifestyle Shoaib Akhtar, after the revelation of the dropping of WADA’s appeal, is again targeting the 100 mph mark. One must ask why he wants to strain his body so much at this stage? He has already achieved that plaudit, albeit unofficially. That makes him the fastest bowler in the world although he has stern competition from people like Brett Lee and Shaun Tait.

    Shoaib’s dangerous obsession with pace again evokes arguments about his commitment to the team. At his current age he should be thinking about serving his country as much as possible for whatever years of cricket left in him. I don’t think he can carry on for another four years, as he states. Since he has not got a long time left, he should think about ending his career playing as many matches for Pakistan as possible.

    I again agree with Wasim Saqib when he states that Malik is lucky to benefit from the services of Asif and Shoaib. Pakistan should adopt a rotational policy as far as fast bowlers are concerned and Shoaib Akhtar should not be risked in a less important match. In fact I think Shoaib must be used intelligently against India especially, because he often loses the plot and distorts his line and length, often being smacked mercilessly by the likes of Sehwag and Tendulkar. Pakistan is lucky to have bowlers like Abdul Rauf, Mohammad Irshad, Anwar Ali, Shahid Nazir who are more than capable to perform when acting as Shoaib’s or Asif’s replacements.

    People have spoken about whether performance enhancing drugs should be made legal. The idea might be sensible. There should not be any “middle way”; either drugs should be made legal or *any* performance enhancing materials should be prohibited. The reason for the abolition of this “middle way” is that, there is confusion about the permissible levels and there is also confusion about how the level (if at all) can be controlled. What has happened with Shoaib and Asif, forms a bad precedent on the rest of the world’s cricketers and cricket boards who have spotted this loophole in jurisdiction and want to exploit it. On the contrary, if performance enhancers are allowed, we may see a disproportionate increase in the level of performance by cricketers who belong to developed countries. Their health and fitness can be monitored more effectively by their health professionals and dieticians. These cricketers will also find that these performance enhancing materials are more easily accessible to them. Conversely, cricketers from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean will not be able to exploit this performance-enhancing regime as fruitfully. If we say no to any form of performance boosting materials (so as to achieve a level playing field again, as the earlier argument about a universal allowance of these boosters, attempts to achieve) then we must consider how far do we want to go ahead with this prohibition? Does it extend to energy-inducing fizzy drinks which are meant to revive you from natural tiredness or stiffness? This latter argument may seem ludicrously radical, but it is sensible in spirit. The essential question is, how far do we want to go if we implement a prohibition?

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on July 6, 2007, 5:13 GMT

    The news "CAS dismissed WADA's appeal and cleared Shoaib and Asif" is a welcoming one, since the time I have read it I was asking this question, how come it took more than SIX months for CAS to announce it publicly that it has no jurisdiction over the case of Asif and Akhtar? What was stopping them from making this announcement earlier? Shouldn't an international organization of such caliber and stature know what is within their purview or jurisdiction?

    I started reading their constitution, articles, memorandum, rules and laws on their website and they have very explicitly explained about the time limit, scope and jurisdiction etc. So, how come this straight forward case was prolonged for such a long time? What is the reason behind it? Is it a conspiracy theory that was designed by the ICC and WADA i.e., to drag this issue by collaborating with CAS, so that they can keep Shoaib and Asif out of the World Cup?

    I wouldn't pass a judgment on this case so soon. I want some of you to read the chain of events below which I have extracted from the case from their website under ref. CAS 2006/A/1190 WADA vs.Pakistan Cricket Board & Akhtar & Asif. I want you to read it and decide for yourself whether I am right in thinking what I am thinking or am I being paranoid and suspicious?

    After the appeal from Shoaib and Asif, the PCB cleared them, which wasn't welcome by the ICC pundits, they showed their resentment towards the PCB and asked WADA to file an appeal with CAS and put these two culprits on trial. On December 21, 2006, WADA filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the decision of the PCB Appeals Committee on clearing Shoaib and Asif.

    On January 05, 2007, the President of the Appeals Arbitration Division confirmed that the deadline for WADA to file its appeal brief was suspended until the question of CAS's jurisdiction had been resolved. (They all knew that CAS has no jurisdiction over this case, as the tests were not conducted by the ICC or at any of the ICC events, but it was a national event organized by the PCB. Yet, the ICC wanted this case to be taken to CAS through WADA as they cannot do it themselves.)

    On January 09, 2007, WADA at its Head Quarters in Montreal, Canada agreed that the Panel should first render a partial award on the issue of CAS's jurisdiction only and then proceed accordingly by creating a panel.

    On January 10, 2007, CAS invited the parties each to file a submission solely addressing the issue of CAS's jurisdiction in the case.

    The CAS Panel, consisting of Mr Peter Leaver QC and Mr Jan Paulsson (as the party-appointed arbitrators) and Mr David W. Rivkin (as the President of the Panel, appointed by CAS), was duly appointed, and its constitution was notified to the parties)

    On January 19, 2007, CAS, wrote to Akhtar and Asif to put them on notice of the agreement between WADA and the PCB that a CAS Panel would be appointed to decide the issue of CAS's jurisdiction. CAS provided Akhtar and Asif with a copy of the submissions and correspondence. Neither Akhtar nor Asif has taken any active role in the proceedings, as the PCB had prevented them from doing so. (very unlike of the PCB's other decisions)

    On January 24, 2007 the PCB filed its submission on the issue of CAS's jurisdiction.

    WADA filed its submission on the issue of CAS's jurisdiction on February 06, 2007.

    The PCB filed its submission in response to WADA's submission on the issue of CAS's jurisdiction on April 12, 2007.

    WADA submits that this dispute is subject to the jurisdiction of CAS, according to the terms of Article R47 of the Code of Sports-Related Arbitration (the "CAS Code"). WADA contends that, according to CAS's precedents and to the case law of the Swiss Federal Tribunal, a global reference to a document containing an arbitration clause in favour of CAS is sufficient ground to establish CAS's jurisdiction, so long as the arbitration clause is customary amongst the parties involved or with respect to the issues to be dealt with.

    Therefore, the Panel shall decide the dispute according to the applicable regulations and the rules of law chosen by the parties or, in the absence of such a choice, according to the law of the country in which the federation, association or sports-related body which has issued the challenged decision is domiciled or according to the rules of law, the application of which the Panel deems appropriate. In the latter case, the Panel shall give reasons for its decision.

    It is important to note that the doping tests did not occur during an ICC Event, but during a national event organized by the PCB. The terms of Article 16.1 therefore cannot create an obligation or agreement to allow appeal to CAS in these circumstances.

    It is clear from the facts that the testing of Akhtar and Asif did not take place during an ICC event or under the ICC Code. Therefore, even Article 15.2 cannot provide a source of CAS jurisdiction in this case.

    * In order for CAS to have jurisdiction to rule on an appeal, Article R47 of the CAS Code requires that a direct reference to CAS be contained in the statutes or regulations of the body whose decision is being appealed. * The PCB Regulations do not provide for a right of appeal to CAS. ("luckily you know") * The ICC Code does not provide for a right of appeal to CAS of decisions of the PCB Appeals Committee. * The ICC Code contains no provision which obliges the PCB to allow a right of appeal of its decisions to CAS. * If the PCB were subject to such a mandatory provision, no right of appeal to CAS would exist until the PCB amended its statutes or regulations to incorporate such a right of appeal. (imo should never do that)

    * The PCB submits that, while the State of Pakistan has signed the 2003 Copenhagen Declaration, the PCB has not done so. (again, should never do that) * The fact that the Pakistan Government has signed the Declaration creates NO enforceable rights against the PCB to the benefit of WADA. Further, the terms of the Declaration do not mandate the explicit incorporation of the WADC into the Rules of the PCB. * The PCB therefore submits that the signature by the Pakistan Government of the Copenhagen Declaration does not confer jurisdiction upon WADA to appeal domestic decisions of the PCB to CAS. * There is no specific agreement between the parties to allow CAS to rule on the merits of this particular dispute. * CAS therefore, does not have jurisdiction to rule on the appeal filed by WADA in the present arbitrable proceedings. * The Panel reaches this conclusion with some considerable regret that the case of Asif and Akhtar is beyond their jurisdiction. * It is the responsibility of the ICC to ensure that its members promulgate anti-doping rules which are consistent with the WADC, and which enable either the ICC or its member or WADA to appeal against what might be termed “rogue” decisions.

    So my friends & foes doesn't it look like the whole case was cooked? They all knew that there is NO case and from the very beginning I was saying that they have NO case and they are trying to delay the process......click on the link below and read my post: December 24, 2006 1:28 PM. Point number 4 which says: "4. Apparently, at ICC's instigation they (WADA) are appealing it and trying to go to the arbitrator. This is only a ploy to delay the process so that the players are kept away from playing the world cup 2007."

    http://blogs.cricinfo.com/pakspin/archives/2006/12/wada_yadda_yadda.php#comments

    Six months ago, it was my opinion or my understanding of the situation BUT now, as the time has unfolded the events the truth has come out in black and white and its not different from what I had thought or understood it, so now it looks more like a fact and now I believe that it was indeed a conspiracy theory! A conspiracy to keep Asif and Shoaib out of the World Cup! Mr. Kamran Abbassi you are wrong, the ultimite winner is the ICC. Shouldn't we all congratulate them?

  • EAMIRAN on July 5, 2007, 17:16 GMT

    Paul G: Loan us your 2 opening batsmen (I assume you are Australian) and Pakistan will dismantle Australia's dominance of the game in considerably less time than 400 years!

    Please provide the link which claims Asif's admission to drugs. As far as I know Asif has always claimed ignorance, and because of his relative inexperience, lack of understanding and "worldliness", he was handed a lighter sentence. I cannot imagine Cricinfo writing otherwise. As for BBC, that bastion of truth, the Holy Bible of news reporting -----.

    Finally, I think you are being overly pessimistic when you say that cricket will be segregated along racial lines. I doubt that will ever happen,unless, ofcourse, the ACB and the ECB decide they should compete for the Ashes every 3 months!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on July 5, 2007, 15:23 GMT

    I think this particular thread is so far one of the best in terms of productive and constructive thought provoking ideas and suggestions and, some of the regulars on this blog have contributed some very useful, interesting and important suggestions and highlighted them very nicely. Wasim Saqib's point about 'who says Shoaib & Asif walked out unpunished .....? This is a very valid point with a very good explanation. You ban someone for a year when there isn't much cricket played during that time and then you compare it with someone else's ban for a few months, where they've missed out all the major tournaments that takes place once in 4 years! Who is more at loss? It is so obvious and we don't need to mention names. Also, his observations about Brett Lee's last moment omission and then Andrew Symonds and Jacob Oram's quick recoveries have raised quite a few eyebrows and its a shame that these players got away without any random testing.

    The second interesting point came from Awas about the intake of performance enhancement drugs and whether it really helps the player to improve the technicalities and the skills of his game? And his example, whether Tiger Woods can increase his birdies and eagles? Its a point that should make the 'so-called law makers' think twice. Because, its been proved time and again that cricket is more of a mind game than a physical one. And, Awas I don't remember chiding you in support of someone else who may have passed personal comments on Asif's lifestyle, it could be something else, some other context may be but, honestly I don't remember. Are you expecting an apology from me? ;-)

    khansahab your views about Shoaib Akhtar are personal but, it appears that you don't like him personally hence you don't like to see him in the team! I have said this before so many times that, I don't like his tantrums either but, when I see him as a bowler I am more lenient and flexible rather than biased and one sided in forming an opinion based on my personal likes and dislikes. Yes, you are right that, Pakistan has done without Shoaib in the recent past but, whenever he re-joined the team he has won a match for Pakistan (a series at home against England and a lone test match against SA in the recent tour to SA). If you say they have done without him then, they have also done without so many of their past heroes. But, the fact is, a fully fit Shoaib is a terror among the opposition and he plays the mind games and adds up pressure on their opening or top order batsmen. I think the combo of Shoaib and Asif works very well for Pakistan, as Shoaib creates the mental pressure and also take wickets and, Asif is more accurate and takes advantage of the situation and they both work very well in tandem. What Pakistan needs to do is, give Abdul Razzaq some rest and keep a four pronged pace attack by including Rao ifti in his place. Rao is a very under rated and unassuming bowler, he too is very accurate and he can chip in some very useful runs as a tail-ender. And Umar Gul has the ability to swing the ball both ways with the same action and he deceives the batsmen. They should be the second change bowlers for Pakistan.

    Finally, a point to ponder. Both teams, India and Pakistan are currently without a coach and both are doing well. Pakistan has won against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi. If India's achievements, the recent series victory against Bangladesh is not appreciated or approved by many, then they have to think twice before saying nothing on how they played and won against South Africa in Ireland and that too, without their "Guru Chappell." So, the point I am making here is, do these teams really need a coach? Do they really need a cricket mercenary from another country? Why not stick to the same old policy of keeping a local hero, a senior, respectable player in the dressing room called a "coach cum manager"?

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on July 5, 2007, 12:43 GMT

    This is for Mr. Javed A. Khan.

    Absolutely correct situation drafted by you on Asian Blocks and I am in agreement with you more than 100%. The failure at WC in WI for Pakistan was due to ICC. Shahid Khan Afridi is our one of the best and fittest player in the squad and he was served ban for 4 ODI on unwanted ground. Had he played in WC neither WI would have won the matche nor the minnows. It is not cool but a very hot issue that the best umpires has been banned for Twenty20. It is shame on ICC. Why the ICC could not ban Mr. Speedwho works at speed. There has been enough miscarriage of justice and it is high time to give LAGAAM on these people and therefore, your article is up to the mark and it has been written from the bottom of your heart. My sincere thanks for writing this on this blog, which reflects my sentiments too.

  • WASIM SAQIB on July 5, 2007, 7:34 GMT

    Robert- You wrote:

    PATHETIC!!

    Either you are guilty or you are not. The tests are positive or they are not. The players are clean or they are not. Are your views the same about Ian Thrope's case? After all he also tested positive and never got punished.

    Omar Admani:

    I have written the same about Brett lee in a previous thread, it is the policy of ASDA not to send the name of athlete with the sample they only give a sample number so you never know who the sample belongs to, that's how Ian thrope's case remained hidden for quite some time and surfaced only after his retirement and it is interesting to note that he retired at an age of 24. The whole Australian nation supported and stood behind Ian thrope, Australians call Muralitharan a chucker and they regard Shane warne as the greatest spinner of all time,if ICC had any jurisdiction over Test cricket I can bet you Warne would have never played any test match after 2003.

    ICC should conduct direct dope tests of all the players from all playing nations at least twice a year only then anti doping efforts will prove to be successful,currently regular tests are conducted by the respective boards every year but on random basis,and ICC also tests some players on random basis before WC and champions trophy they say the process is random but in the last WC they only targeted Pakistani players.

    I think they should have targeted Andrew symonds and Jacob Oram both of them recovered in a very short time miraculously from some pretty serious injuries. But with all the designer steroids and masking agents available to the athletes of some countries some analysts are of the view that the drug manufacturers are always ahead of the detection curve. So in reality unless these advanced countries stop producing these illicit designer drugs the menace will never be fully eradicated.

  • Aftab Qureshi on July 5, 2007, 7:22 GMT

    No doubt, there are no winners in the Shoaib-Asif doping scandal. No doubt ICC members, ICC and WADA should align their policies and procedures. But dont single out Pakistan. Pakistan has been in the doping news because it has a testing system in place. Who knows who else of what team does what?

  • Nauman on July 5, 2007, 5:27 GMT

    Shoaib & Asif should have served the ban, regardless of what their justifications were. Ignorance is an excuse to foil against wrong-doing, it is not a legitimate justification. The 2nd commission (which over-turned the ban) could have used "Ignorance" and reduced their bans to may be half the lengths of their original bans. The entire episode is inconsistent. You either don't perform the tests voluntarily, or if you choose to do so then be prepared to punish the ones found guilty. It appears that PCB launches its own private effort to assure its players are clean, but when the plan backfires, it tries this ugly move of defending its players by using the legal systems' differences b/w WADA, ICC and PCB. Unfortunately, PCB is part of the same system as other organization in the country, it lacks a checks and balance system ... its a shame that players had to suffer (not just those 2 but the entire team composition). To wrap it up, when Mr.Kamran says there is no winner, I would argue that there was a winner, the "Ignorance" factor was the eventual winner, although I stronly insist that it was the most undeserved victory.

  • Awas on July 4, 2007, 22:58 GMT

    Yes…..PCB’s handling of the doping saga was quite farcical culminating in ludicrous claim for victory. Embarrassing. It was comedy of errors right from the beginning till the end of their last statement.

    The previous poster MNF – London was perhaps more correct than many others by mentioning how the system works in Pakistan and that the players are not well informed about this.

    JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA

    Dman was somewhat right when he said “……but this time you’re well off the mark”. Not much wrong with that though as once in a while we all get a little over zealous. It was good of you to say about Shoab Akhtar that “…and in this matter also I have always raised a voice against those who have vindicated him with personal comments and criticized his personal lifestyle”. It was definitely complete nonsense from Intikhab Alam criticising someone’s lifestyle especially when it had no relevance to the case.

    I do wish to remind you though that previously when I made a similar comment upon someone mentioning Mohammed Asif’s alleged likeness for Whisky, I raised voice against that person who criticised his personal lifestyle but I was chided by you. So, surly what you said about Intikhab Alam is no different to what I said then?

    Mind you your second piece is more your usual self, well thought and written, in your usual cavalier way. However, previously when I said performance enhancing drugs don’t make cricketer a better cricketer I got the same treatment from as mentioned above from a righteous soul.

    Lifestyle is a personal matter to all. We shouldn’t judge people on how they appear to us from the outside. What I do criticise is people who show off their religiosity for that purpose alone rather than concentrating on the job on hand. Whether it be our bhola bhala looking ex-captain who ruined the cricketing culture or the baton yielding, gun firing Lal Masjid fanatics enforcing their will with might. I do also criticise people who brand someone a “sinner” or criticise their lifestyle simply because they don’t approve it. Its better let God be the judge of such people’s piety than us.

    Paul G

    How do “anabolic steroids provide limited advantage to leg spinners unlike fast bowlers”? Do you mean it doesn’t make Warne bowl a better googly but would make a fast bowler make the ball reverse swing? Perhaps you are insinuating it makes fast bowlers run faster. Well, a run up for a fast bowler is a matter of generating a controlled rhythm. It’s not a matter of winning 100 metres sprint that faster you run faster the ball. If that was the case then all 100 meter gold medal winners would take up fast bowling.

    Warne was infact protected by its board by them taking the matter in their own hands and giving him a lighter punishment as CAS/WADA would have come harder at him had they not. They had no choice here but to give him half punishment due to the fact the Australia is signatory to WADA. PCB did no different but to protect their players as well.

    Richard

    What Wagg, Botham, Giddins etc took was illegal substances in most countries for which there is a punishment in law. So called “performance enhancing drugs” are not illegal but merely banned by regulatory bodies. So taking cocaine by those mentioned was definitely not “much lesser sporting offences”. If ordinary Joe Blogg can be punished for taking cocaine then sporting heroes who are supposed to set an example should infact be punished harder.

    On the subject of “performance enhancers”: Generally there has been a lot of criticism by most bloggers and most thought they should have been punished. The fact is that among all the arrogant, petty-minded interfering bureaucracies such as ICC and some cricket boards that make life difficult for sportsmen, the ones that cause most misery are the likes of WADA and CAS. Steroids are prescribed quite legally by doctors for certain injuries and illnesses. I suffered from frozen shoulder trouble for quite some time. Having had all kind of treatments including physiotherapy nothing worked until I was given steroid injections. When we are ill we all want to get better ASAP by taking whatever medicine is best. Why not sportsmen? I can see why in certain sports “performance enhancers” can improve performance of say a boxer, wrestler, athlete etc. It cannot however make a batsman play a better cover drive, a fast bowler bowl a better out-swinger or a spinner bowl a better googly. In certain sports, drugs like these make no difference to their ability. In Golf for example, would it make Tiger Woods score more Birdies and Eagles if he took drugs?. I guess not. I hope you get my point.

    Such steroids are taken by cricketers simply to get better quickly. Don’t we all like to get better quickly? When players such as Ashley Giles, Michael Vaughn, Shane Bond were absent for a long time recuperating; who is to say for sure they had not taken steroids and were waiting to return only until drugs completely flushed out of their system. I am not saying that they did but do we really know? Pakistan might have done better by doing the same instead of playing silly games. I often wonder how weight lifters get an amazing body that they do without the aid of “performance enhancing drugs”. I suspect they do and wait for it to be flushed out of their system before they appear for a major competition. Not impossible is it?

    Crux of it all is that ICC should come down from their moral high ground and revisit nonsensical bureaucratic rules.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on July 4, 2007, 16:01 GMT

    It seems that the ICC has targeted Pakistani players and want to destroy them by hook or by crook. Since they have the authority to make or amend the rules as it suits them, after the CAS declaration that Shoaib & Asif cannot be tried and convicted due to the jurisdiction restrictions, the ICC is amending their rules. Here is something very new the ICC has announced: "In line with the amendments, the ICC now has a right of appeal if a member that is not WADA - compliant makes a decision which is inconsistent with the WADA code. Furthermore, while such an appeal is pending, the relevant players can be target tested by the ICC up to 60 days before one of our events."

    It means that Malcolm Speed & Associates are making an all out effort to keep Shoaib and Asif away from the game. I think it would be the right time for the Asian Block to step in and put their foot down to stop this dictatorial nonsense. Malcolm Speed used his arbitrary power of authority in suspending Shahid Afridi, based on the fine prints of the ICC Holy Gospel rules, where the ICC Chairman (who wasn't even at the site at the time of the incident) has the power and the authority to suspend a player even when a time barred situation occurs. He has extra time at his disposal to take action against anyone (but that is only meant for Asian countries, otherwise he pretends that he is not looking at the problem, or he is not there) and whenever he wishes he takes action. Based on a video tape footage and without knowing or hearing the entire case, he banned Afridi for 4 ODI's, knowing how badly it will affect the Pakistani team in the WC where Shoaib and Asif were already not there. They achieved what they wanted. There is also a rumour and it may have some truth innit, that Greg Chappell's appointment to coach team India before the WC was also a part of the greater plan i.e., to destabilize the Indian team and thats what we have witnessed.

    The other interesting thing is, the ICC has messed up the Caribbean World Cup in every aspect, not only in staging it at different venues and making it a financial disaster by keeping the ticket price so high and then the format or fixtures of the tournament was such that both India and Pakistan were out of the WC that was a very badly planned tournament, probably the worst ever in the history of cricket. Then, the handling of Bob Woolmer's case and the last minute confusion about the game and the power failure etc., all of this has been ignored and they made the umpires escape goats. Aleem Dar and Steve Bucknor have been suspended from umpiring the twenty20 world cup, wow thats so cool isn't it? Why don't they (the ICC) take the blame on themselves? Why shouldn't Mr. Speedy Gonzales take that blame and resign? Its a shame that there are always two set of rules in the ICC Gospel where teams from the sub-continent and players from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are always targeted and victimized and an organized attempt is made to halt their progress. Thats why I would like to emphasize my point of Asian Block to step in and create a balance and check on these power hungry dictators. After all, the bulk of the money is coming from the viewing rights and India's contribution is the highest innit. Also, an India - Pakistan match is always a sell out not only on the ground but all over the globe.

  • Euceph Ahmed on July 4, 2007, 15:38 GMT

    Anyone who believes this to be a vindication of some sort has no sense of perspective. First, this was never a legal issue to begin with. Morality can never be fully legislated. The players have not been exonerated, they simply cannot be tried because of a legal technicality. Second, the damage this has done to Pakistan cricket is immeasurable. The humiliation at the World Cup, the death of a coach, and the shameful end to a wonderful career of a great player (Inzamam)can all be attributed to Shaoib and Asif staying away from the World Cup for fear of being caught. Nothing to speak of the mockery the PCB made of itself and the country in front of the whole world.

    Kamran, I'm glad you have (for once) maintained some sort of a balance in your writing. Just how did the demagogue in you keep you away from hailing this as an outright victory all wrapped in the Pakistani flag is worthy of some appreciation. I also find it amazing, and perhaps amusing, how people follow your line of thought no matter what you write. I used to think it was the other way around. So, it's refreshing to see most people here, with the exception of one or two famous jingos, maintaining some balance here following your lead.

  • Robert on July 4, 2007, 14:57 GMT

    PATHETIC!!

    Either you are guilty or you are not. The tests are positive or they are not. The players are clean or they are not.

    Guess now everyone who has ever commited a crime should be let off with the excuse "They didn't know that was wrong!"

    Honestly... What a load of rubbish! All of it!

  • Kevin on July 4, 2007, 13:39 GMT

    The bottom line is both players are professional sportmen who are constantly coached in the right way to train, eat, play and behave on and off the field. There is no plausible excuse for tking the drugs. They got lucky but at the same time have set a very bad example to young cricketers.

  • talha on July 4, 2007, 10:56 GMT

    i am a pakistani but i do admit that the pakistn cricket is unfortunately a joke. i was very happy with the bans of shoaib and asif which were unfortunately overturned later.whatever they have done is totally unacceptable.this message is actually posted to show that not all pakistani people support drug cheats even the cheats are their own cricketers and sportsmen

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on July 4, 2007, 10:26 GMT

    I was reading Shoaib Akhtar’s interview where he again stressed that he did not “knowingly” take drugs. I think he should come forward and apologise now in the light of this development in the doping scandal. Now that it has been confirmed he cannot be banned, he should admit he made a mistake and state that he will not do it again. But confession and repentance are functions of decent and humble individuals, not egotistical daredevils who like living on the edge.

    The essential question is, can we do without Shoaib Akhtar? Time has taught us that yes, we can. When he is around he is a bonus but luckily we do have reliable pacers who do the job without being such a pain. If Mohammad Sami improves his form we have a pacer who can regularly bowl at 90 mph. Well, it certainly looks like Shoaib will be around for a while so I guess we can bank on his talent whenever he is fit.

    As far as Shane Warne is concerned, people started to perceive him in a negative light after the discovery of his drugs abuse. Warne was banned and he served his ban which made a tremendous difference.

    People have spoken about the deplorable state of Pakistan cricket. Unless we have a system of effective and stable institutions that conduct checks and balances on persons with authority, we will not have stability and long term improvements. The problem is not just with the PCB. The problem is with the entire nation and Pakistani people. We need to look within ourselves first and then look at others. The people who form our government, our police, our armed forces, our law making institutions etc are not different to us. They have not come from a different planet. People make bland statements like, “Pakistan need to improve their domestic structure”. Sure they need to do that. If we need to improve our domestic structure we need stability and accountability. More than anything we need to make decisions and implement them without any biases or prejudices. We again come to the common problems that have plagued development and prosperity in Pakistan: corruption, nepotism, regionalism, parochialism and lack of foresight within people. Some of these problems are “dumbed down" and are not brought in front of the public but if we want to eradicate those problems we need to bring them into the public forum first. It is a vicious circle which cannot be tamed overnight. It needs thought, discipline, fortitude and action.

  • sumit on July 4, 2007, 7:29 GMT

    Shame on PCB! After it manipulates the enquiry so that the 2 players get exonerated, it shouts about its vindication from the rooftops!!! And shame on all the above viewers who have hailed this, just so that their 2 best bowlers can play.

    The moral of the story is "Lets get our 2 best bowlers out of jail, even if they are 3rd grade cheats, as we can't win without them."

    I request Cricinfo to really rally against this decision, as I have observed your site and its articles make a difference.

    Shame shame shame!!!

  • Omer Admani on July 4, 2007, 6:52 GMT

    Wasim Saqib, I have always wondered about Brett Lee's mysterious injury before the world cup. Lots of people are of the view that drugs should be allowed because it is simply a fact of life for sportsmen (especially fast bowlers). If the Aussies can hide it once, they can do it again. But can't blame them for not thinking like the doctor.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on July 4, 2007, 6:20 GMT

    Ref. Mr. Rahman's post July 4, 2007 1:09 AM

    Mr. Rahman how can you say that Intikhab Alam was right in passing those snide comments about Shoaib Akhtar? Perhaps you have not read those comments made by Intikhab, its more like a character assassination of Shoaib Akhtar by Alam. First, you please read his comments by clicking on the link below, read at least the second last paragraph and then pass a judgment. I believe if it was Imran Khan in place of Shoaib Akhtar, he would have sued Intikhab Alam for sure. I wonder why he was let off and why Shoaib is not suing him? Anyways, please read Intikhab's comments.

    http://content-www.cricinfo.com/pakistan/content/story/266665.html

    And what do you mean by "Asif is immature about these things"? What is the age of maturity? I don't think Asif carries a feeder with him. Perhaps you mean he is ignorant? I am not talking about his maturity, ignorance or paindoism but, my point is whether the positive test of Nandrolone can scientifically be proved that it was due to the exogenous intake of Nandrolone in the form of a pill or an injection or what? If scientists all over the world are baffled by the behaviour of this substance and cannot determine why and how the levels are increased, that means there is an element of doubt and it cannot be proved. Hence, all other famous athletes were cleared on that basis. If you wish to read more about Nandrolone and the names of those world class athletes, read both my posts in the relevant thread by clicking on the link below and you will get all the answers, I have substantiated my claims with proper references.

    http://blogs.cricinfo.com/pakspin/archives/2006/11/can_there_be_justice_without_l.php#comments

  • Paul G on July 4, 2007, 6:01 GMT

    Eamiran - I was a little harsh on Qadir - he was a fine bowler and I did love watching him bowl. Mustaq is also a fine bowler and I cannot fathom why Kaneria was preferred several years ago. At the time of Warne's ban the ACB was not a signatory to the WADA code and could set it's own punishment and did. Immediately thereafter the Australian government suggested to the ACB that it would be in their best interests to immediately sign up to WADA or lose government funding. They duly did. Any Australian cricketer who now fails a drug test gets a mandatory two years. The ICC should show some leadership and make all member countries sign up or remove their Test status. I suggest you review of the BBC and Cricinfo archive on Asif's failed drug test and then tell me whether he or his doctor didn't admit the charge (hence his reduced initial sentence). The Roman Empire did last some 400 years. Unfortunately I think the game will be segregated along racial lines (Asian bloc, Aus/Eng,NZ bloc, WI and SA either bloc) long before Pakistan will be able to seriously challenge Australia's current domination of the game.

  • WASIM SAQIB on July 4, 2007, 5:17 GMT

    BTW who says that Shoaib and Asif walked out of this issue unpunished, Warne served one year ban if you look at Shoaib And Asif they missed WC and champions trophy,due to their absence Pakistan suffered heavily, Shoaib during the last year has played only one match,and he might never play another world cup in his career.So In my opinion they have already served their punishment. If anybody has to be blamed for the issue it is BOB woolmer and the foreign trainer and physio who testified that they didnt imparted any education to the Pakistani cricketers on the banned substances yet it was BOB WOolmer who ordered these tests in one of his statements during the champions trophy he said ""The buck stops with the coach. You judge us by what we do on the field. I can only say that I initiated the idea of the drug test. It was done at the end of September and I take responsibility for what has happened," said Woolmer.

    When Pakistan Team Coach Robert A. Woolmer, was shown the WADA 2006 Prohibited List and the Athlete Guide by the ADC(Anti doping commission), he did not recognize the same as having been provided to him or the players.

    The Pakistan Cricket Team’s Fitness Trainer, Murray Steveson stated before the ADC that “I tell players about the diet that they should follow but not about any dietary supplements for which I have no responsibility. I have no responsibility in matters relating to drug and anti drug regulations.”

    The Physio Darryn Lifson conceded that “I have myself not given any formal lecture to the players about the drugs or the Anti Doping Regulations. It is within the scope of my duties to advise them about drugs and the Anti Doping Regulations. I have discharged this duty in the manner described above and by telling the players not to take anything that is banned or prohibited. As regards the use of dietary supplements, this is part of scope and duties of the trainer Murray Steveson.”

    Shoaib was tested at least twice before in his career and he was never found guilty of using any banned substances.

    Javed A Khan and I, we have been stressing all along that PCB should hire local coach and coaching staff they will have better communication with the players and at least a local coach will be more sensitive and committed as far as such issues are concerned.

  • haris khan on July 4, 2007, 4:49 GMT

    I believe drugs should be allowed in sports. We've known so many "legends" from the past astonishing the world with their stunning performances and whats the guarantee that they never took any performance enhancing drugs? Its good to see shoaib and asif back. though PCB did their almost best to finish their careers by taking a drug test for no good reason and embarrassed the whole nation. Our boys are back and thats all that matters. HARIS from IL USA.

  • Rahman on July 4, 2007, 1:09 GMT

    MR javed khan , I agree with you all the time you write on this blog because you write the truth and exact pictures of pakistan cricket. But this time you are not right as far as shoib and asif is concern how important they are too pakistan ( which i believe they are ) we should ban them for atleast 6 months or fine . Intikab Alam is also right in saying that shoib is a mature person which all knows and how can he not know about drugs or thing he ate. Asif i can say might be immature about these things but i know in pakistan anyone who go to trainng centre or exercise club know about these things even though he illeterate. So whether or not COAS turned down wada appeal they mention in there decision that only due to they not have jurisdation they are taking decision otherwise shoib and asif should be punished.

    "Point 8.8 of the CAS award states that 'The panel reached this conclusion with some considerable regret. The fight against doping will be severely hampered if international federations, such as the International Cricket Council (ICC), and national governing bodies, such as the PCB, do not ensure that their anti-doping rules are able to avoid unsatisfactory decisions as the majority decision of the PCB Appeals Committee in this case.

    "That decision was inconsistent with a long and invariable line of CAS' decisions which hold that it is the athlete's duty to ensure that what he or she ingests does not contain a prohibited substance, and with the World Anti-Doping Code which is to the same effect'.

    "Furthermore, the panel stressed that 'it is the responsibility of the ICC to ensure that its members promulgate anti-doping rules which are consistent with the World Anti-Doping Code and which enable either the ICC or its members or WADA to appeal against what might be termed as 'rogue' decisions'

    so u should know how bad to country. we are right in inzamam case at oval but we are wrong in shoib and asif case.

    bye.

  • WASIM SAQIB on July 4, 2007, 0:32 GMT

    This is not the first time in the world of sports that a miscarriage of justice happened in an anti doping inquiry.

    Ian Thrope the famous Australian Swimmer who has 5 olympic gold medals was tested positive for banned substances in May 2006 the tests were conducted by Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority they kept the results completely secret and the copy of the results which was sent to FINA ( The worlds swimming governing body did not had the name of the athlete on the report only the sample number,finally after six months the report somehow leaked in the French press and FINA became aware of the case and they filed a petition for reopening of the case which was closed by the ASADA for lack of scientific evidence,Thrope had already retired and finally CAS also rejected the case. The argument in his defense was that he had a fever and a hand injury before the tests that might have resulted in higher level of testosterone level in his body.

  • WASIM SAQIB on July 3, 2007, 22:44 GMT

    Why shane warne never Played ODI cricket after testing positive for drugs? If you look at the ICC code for Doping it does not apply to test matches and applies only to champions trophy and World cup as these are the only Events owned by ICC. He could have used all the drugs in the world without having the fear of getting tested again.

  • shabut on July 3, 2007, 20:56 GMT

    The fact is that (whether anyone likes it or not) today's cricket is not just about the game between a bat and a ball, it is also about politics and ICC is to be blamed for this.

    It is true that Australia banned Shane Warne for one year but that action was not to punish him but rather save his career. Had they not banned him the case would have gone to WADA where punishment would have been harsher so in a way they used a loophole and avoided a more expensive penalty. On the other hand PCB did the same to save his players by using yet another loophole but their way of handling the whole case was a bit messy.

    No matter what certain people are going to label Shoaib and Asif but the reality is they will be playing for Pakistan and destroying the oppositions in the coming years so be ready.

  • Ali Bukhari on July 3, 2007, 18:55 GMT

    I believe these incidents (Dope tests, World Cup loss, Inzimam being too powerful, dealing of Woolmer murder case, selections etc) are just the indicators of state of Pakistani Cricket.

    I believe that all of the issues are part of the big problem and that problem is adhocism in Pakistani cricket. We need to have elected cricket and other professionals that run the game in Pakistan with transparency and accountability. Unless until this adhocism is removed, I don't see any change and these things would keep coming up!

  • Brian in Toronto on July 3, 2007, 18:55 GMT

    Hello Pakistani cricket fans, Another fine mess and lucky escape for the PCB and Asif and Shoaib. How about this one? Last year in the summer, the Pakistani cricket authorities knew that Asif and Shoaib were using illegal steroids to boost healing and enhance their performance. The authorities also knew that there would be random testing at the Champions Trophy. So to avoid embarrassment, the PCB conducted an internal drug testing to publicize, humiliate and ban these players from the Champion Trophy. They succeeded and then realized that without these two players the team was a joke in the Champions tournament. Asif and Shoaib were lucky in that after their hearing where they were found quilty and banned, Mr. Alam (as one of the panel of judges) screwed up in his public statement about Shoaib (thereby giving public support to Shoaib), and on their appeal, which the PCB supported, had their judgement and ban overturned based on loop-holes. Shoaib and Asif knew they were guilty as hell, otherwise they would have asked for the B sample to be tested. Unfortunately for Pakistan, they need Asif and especially Shoaib to win matches for them (as seen in the one test against South Africa where Shoaib only played may be one day, and Pakistan still won). The Pakistani cricket authorities, realizing the usefullness of these two players could not risk these two testing positive in the World Cup and getting banned and humiliating Pakistan, removed them until they showed no traces of this steroid in their system. And now WADA and the ICC cannot do anything based on loop-holes and technicalities, so that these two can further their careers and play for Pakistan. So what probably originally was intended to humiliate these two players has been a total circus and a bloody joke for the world to see. Only in Pakistan can this happen, where the cricket team were humiliated on the field in the Champions Trophy and so badly in the World Cup, and still the PCB can boast triumph about the WADA withdrawal. Best wishes to the Pakistan cricket team and hopefully they, and their loyal fans, never have to go through this kind of torture ever again, CHEERS, Brian in Toronto

  • Faraz Zaidi on July 3, 2007, 18:02 GMT

    Its quite disappointing actually since all 3 parties(PCB, ICC, WADA) have shown no intent to allign their policies properly. I actually feel it would've been better if they hadnt appealed. THey missed the WC anyway, atleast after serving their bans, they could've played their cricket with a clear mind. THey have to live with the taint now. *sigh*

  • Richard on July 3, 2007, 15:55 GMT

    The whole saga is a real pity – as long as I can remember Pakistan has consistently produced some of the most watch-able, fascinating cricketers, and now this joy is tarnished by the knowledge that PCB considers taking performance-enhancing drugs as being ‘no big deal’.

    I think the PCB has yet again shown how far behind the curve they are – just look at other associations who have set a precedent for arguably much lesser sporting offences: Piper (cannabis), Warne (a diuretic), Spencer (post-operation steroid), Wagg (cocaine), Botham (cannabis), Giddins (cocaine) etc.

    Let’s face it, one year bans apiece for Akhtar (i.e. a one year reduction) and Asif, and a little contrition, would have seen them back in action this October after missing only a handful of Test matches ready to start with a mostly clean slate.

  • EAMIRAN on July 3, 2007, 13:20 GMT

    MB and Paul G:

    If you read my piece carefully, you will find that I never claimed Qadir was better than Warne. In terms of quality, Warne is certainly superior to Qadir. All I wrote was that Qadir is the true torch bearer of leg-spin. He revived the art of leg spin, not Warne! And he did so with considerable skill and success. Remember the time line sequence - Qadir, Mushtaq, and then Warne. Somewhere in there is Kumble. May I remind you that all cricketing skills do not develop in Australia.

    Why didn't Australia follow WADA rules where the ban would have been for 2 years and not the 1 year that Warne served? And Paul, why do you give Warne the benefit of the doubt for his motives when you write that it was done to look good, and then question Shoaib and Asif's statements. Double standards maybe? Wasn't Warne struggling with a shoulder injury at the time? Anabolic steroids do help with injuries and pain, so saying that they would not benefit a leg-spinner is factually incorrect.

    FYI - Asif never admitted to the drug charge.

    Finally, I do agree with you on one note - Pakistan cricket is a joke, thanks to the PCB. Here's to the joke that will demolish Australia one day! Don't laugh - remember the Roman Empire!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on July 3, 2007, 11:48 GMT

    When people say I am biased, they make me smile. The truth is, yes I am. But, who isn't? Be honest and ask this question to yourself, answer it and tell no one. In my previous post, I said, the case is closed and the chapter is closed. But, once again the wind is turning the pages of the book and I don't know how many times we need to tell some of these simpletons that the case of Shoaib & Asif is a different one from Shane Warne's. But, they keep on sulking, brooding, lamenting and crying that Shane Warne was banned for one year so why not them?

    I think it hurts them more when EAMIRAN wrote: "Fat boy Warne, who on his mummies advice took diuretics to shed some weight. That is laughable. Steroid and masking agents are the two words that come to mind immediately." We don't need to discuss this again and again but, what they are unaware is, Warne did not take Nandrolone, he took other anabolic steroids and he knew it, so he tried to hide it by using masking agents and when that didn't work, he blamed his mom for giving him a diuretic pill to reduce weight. That was so stupid and laughable. Unfortunately this thing doesn't get into the thick skull of a few so they don't like to go into the detail and keep arguing and asking the same old question, if he was punished why are they not being punished? Its not the technicality on which Shoaib and Asif were cleared but, its the law that cleared them. It is the scientific proof that Nandrolone levels can increase within the body endogenously that means even if you do not take it exogenously like a drug pill or an injection, even then it can increase and that is the mystery that baffles the scientist all over the world and they are trying to solve it. And it is for this reason, not only Shoaib and Asif, but so many other athletes have been cleared. Therefore, those who call Shoaib and Asif as druggies and cheats, please clear your own head and learn more about Nandrolone and how it can increase endogenously within the human bodies. OK?

    "I am agree" with EAMIRAN on the subject of making the performance enhancement drugs legal, it will give equal opportunity for all. After all the multi vitamins, lecithins and other dietary supplements helps in recovering from illness and injuries and, drugs like Tylenol, Bruffen or Ibuprofen, Advil, Aspirin are all pain killers and reduces inflammation and help the players recover fast, so why are they not banned? Why do they use protective gears like, pads, helmets and gloves and why don't they play without them? I really don't understand that on one hand the multi-Billion industry is making all these performance enhancement drugs or the so called anabolic steroids and they are not banned from manufacturing them. Au contraire, they are openly sold in the market and even prescribed by doctors yet there is a controversy. Is it only to create more demand or what? Its like the street hash which has more value in money 'coz its illegal, make it legal and the drug lords are outta business.

    Seems like the rain gods will not let us enjoy the future friendship cup, what a shame!

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on July 3, 2007, 11:33 GMT

    This is one of the balanced articles of Mr. Abbasi on the news that WADA has dropped the doping case against Mr. Akhtar as well as Mr. Asif. Some of our fellow writer has been very happy with the news and harping on this issue and feels that this is the victory of the players and PCB whereas the fact is that on technical flaws they are escort free. It is a well known fact that the duo is drug tainted and they should be punished and there is no place of drugs in the sports. To free from drugs in the sports particulary in Cricket - PCB, ICC and WADA have failed to curb this issue since there is no clear direction. All the 3 organizations have messed the situation and it has become a laughing stock for all over the world. I definitely agree with Mr. Abbasi that it is good example of "failure of process" and therefore, I too will not bet on this issue.

  • Nip on July 3, 2007, 11:21 GMT

    EAMIRAN: You say all these things against shane warne. Yes he took drugs, but he was banned for this. So similarly, I think shoib and asif need to be punished in a similar manner for their actions.

  • Kevin on July 3, 2007, 11:20 GMT

    There are no winners here. The players claim not to know what they were taking"Not Likely". The PCB has been shown up as a bungling bunch of mis fits and the ICC as a toothless dinosaur.At the end of the day lets hope it is not an advert to youngsters with top flight cricket asperations thinking that it is ok to do drugs. Unfortunately that is the message that has been sent to them.

  • MNF - London on July 3, 2007, 10:58 GMT

    This is the first time ever I am going to be commenting on anything. Hopefully I will make sense and put things in perspective especially for ppl in the west. I dont know how many of you guys have ever played professional cricket in Pakistan but I know a few personally who have. Most of the ppl who make it to the pakistan cricket team are from the rural areas of pakistan they cannot even read properly, only get access to a proper coach when they are in U19 or Pakistan A. Most of the players of an English second league team will be much better informed than these players in Pakistan cricket team. PCB had this drugs policy and circulated a notice to all its players about what to do and what not to do. Once & thats it! All blame rests with PCB.. they should have proper workshops with the players to let them know what does that mean! Make the players aware and if they do it even then... punish them! These policies should be for the players and not for ICC!

  • Yawar Khan on July 3, 2007, 9:19 GMT

    Well, The doping test were actually internal so ICC or WADA had no right to intervene anyway. However I must say that the PCB Chairman made a mess of the situation which could have been handled more delicately. He had made Pakistan Cricket a laughing stock, first declaring guilty then not guilty. At most occasion i think the Chairman should keep his mouth shut!

  • Omer Admani on July 3, 2007, 6:41 GMT

    My initial stance on the matter was that both Shoaib and Asif are at fault. They should have been banned. I thought Asif's ban sould have been 6 months and Shoaib's 1 year. Unfortunately, now, both would be tainted for life. If Asif goes on to become a very good bowler, then the reversal of the ban would have been to his detriment as six months would have passed out just like that. Meanwhile, Shoaib only bowled once in the past year and will probably bowl once or twice in this one. Both should have carried out the ban.

    When people make decisions with prudence, considering goodwill and all the pros and cons, quantifying them (as it were) like a financial engineer, they would get it right more often. Random statements, such as being 'vindicated', only hurt that goodwill. Now the players' reputation haan been compromised, the PCB's and the game's, and Pakistan's. To no avail, except for the doctor perceiving a 'vindication' of sorts.

  • Anam Ahmed on July 3, 2007, 5:37 GMT

    So we are finally over it...That is very true that Shoaib and Asif would have to live with the snide remarks for the rest of their lives but hey its better then actually being named as a "drugee" (if they were found guilty of it)...anyway Akhtar is back and i love the way he bowls, yells, shows agression, and sway his arms in the air...we all just love him...dont we? =D

  • Rahman on July 3, 2007, 3:43 GMT

    I dont think releasing of wada appeal from COAS will wash the humiliation that shoib and asif brought to the pakistan even though they are good bowlers there bowling is very very important factor in pakistan cricket. Pakistan cricket board atleast have some fine or some 5-6 month ban on them to make other feel that even though you are big names you are not above the law.

    dont know anyone agree on it. bye

  • Swami, Singapore on July 3, 2007, 3:28 GMT

    I fail to understand why this case is so complicated. The two cricketers were found to have consumed nandralone and thats cheating. They must have been punished for the offense appropriately. By not doing so, the credibility of Asif/Shoaib, PCB are damaged for ever. Even if Asif takes 800 wickets in his career, he is a drug cheat. ( Look at someone like Marion Jones .. once a great athlete, now reduced to a third rate cheat ). No one has proved that the two players have not consumed the drugs, the institutions are only playing around with technicalities around legal jurisdictions to throw out the case. The lawyers have won, while the sport, PCB and the two players in question have lost badly.

  • Mustajab Ali from Khanewal, Punjab, Pakistan on July 3, 2007, 3:20 GMT

    Wish I could write detail essay here like my fellow bloggers but I would keep my Comments short and simple.

    Yeah! its been sad story since the word go. PCB blew the matter out of proportion. Yeah Shoaib have problems. Yeah we all hate PCB chief But we please move on now..this drug issue is no more interesting.

    lets hope we kick some jazz tomorrow.

  • Paul G on July 3, 2007, 2:54 GMT

    Eamiran - Warne tested positive to a diuretic, which may or may not have been masking an anabolic steriod, pleaded guilty and was given a one year suspension. My recollection is that Asif admitted taking anabolic steriods, served about a three month ban and was cleared on a technicality. Shoaib at least had the good sense to deny all charges. Warne at least did a year for his transgression (WADA would prescribe two). Anabolic steriods provide limited advantage to leg spinners unlike fast bowlers especially those with a history of injuries. It doesn't matter what Warne says the diuretic was for - it is a banned substance (although Warne being the show pony he is it was likely to look good). To let off Shoaib and Asif is a joke - mind you the rest of Pakistan cricket is a joke (see World Cup) so I suppose it is fitting. Comparing Qadir to Warne is like comparing Ryan Sidebottom to Wasim Akram.

  • Dman on July 3, 2007, 2:07 GMT

    Mr Abbasi; very well put. It's a pity only that you didn't expound further in this particular post -- for once, I'd have liked more of your own thoughts on this.

    To EAMIRAN: Australia is a signatory to WADA and the international Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Shane Warne took diuretics (and possibly other things masked by the diuretic; who knows?), but here is the critical difference in these cases: he was banned from cricket for a period of time, Cricket Australia upheld the ban, he served out the ban. If Cricket Australia had set up a Mickey Mouse tribunal designed to let him off for some flimsy excuse, WADA and CAS would have had the jurisdiction to force him to serve the ban, and possibly to increase his sentence as well. Why? Because Australia and Cricket Australia are signatories; they have agreed to be subject to the jurisdiction of the international bodies. The PCB was not, and as far as I'm aware, still isn't. Whether Pakistan in a larger sense is a signatory to WADA, I don't know.

    That's why Asif and Akhtar (who I still admire a great deal, by the way) are free to continue playing, without serving any kind of ban: because the PCB didn't sign up as a signatory. Not because of innocence, or the excesses of their doctors, regardless of what the truth of the cases might be. They are free to play because the PCB prefers not to be part of an international body aimed at policing drug use in sport. If either or both of these players had served out the original bans, and had the physical ability and strength of character to come back to international cricket, we might be admiring them right now, not looking on them with suspicion and the PCB with contempt.

    Javed A. Khan, I've usually found your posts to be sensible, but this time I think you're well off the mark. Why should people not continue to claim that Akhtar and Asif took performance-enhancing drugs? Because CAS ruled that they don't have the jurisdiction to hear the case? The two things are not even remotely connected. I agree that nobody should be making public comments about players' lifestyle choices, but not because some legal technicality demands it.

    If it truly is 'a sigh of relief...for Pakistan as a nation' that this case will never be heard by an independent tribunal, then I am saddened. Surely Pakistanis who are interested in upholding the reputation of Pakistan for fair play and decency can't be happy that the PCB side-stepped independent scrutiny of the drug-taking issue in this way? It harms Pakistan's sporting reputation much more deeply than having access to any two bowlers can make up.

    As for the PCB performing drug tests before the ICC made such tests mandatory, you seem to think the PCB was either being open-minded about the issue and wished to demonstrate that to the world, or that it was done out of a desire to anticipate the ICC's desires in order to score points for being 'the teacher's pet'. My belief is that the PCB, knowing it's not a signatory to CAS or WADA, did the testing so that it could control the process and the outcome. Whether they intended to set up a bogus review tribunal before they did the tests or afterwards, I (obviously) have no idea. I suspect the PCB knew about the drug use, or suspected it strongly, and did the tests on the suspect players before anyone else could, in order to keep the results under their sole jurisdiction.

    There's no reason why Pakistanis can't run the PCB, and do it fairly, openly, and with no tolerance for drug cheats. You just have to pick the right ones.

  • Peter on July 3, 2007, 2:04 GMT

    EAMIRAN,

    You are very correct in saying that Shane Warne tested positive for banned drugs.

    He was then suspended.

    Akhtar and Asif should have had the same punishment dished out to them, rather than being excused of ignorance. Especially since it's known that they took performance enhancing drugs, whereas it's only speculated that Warne did.

  • Anjan on July 3, 2007, 1:18 GMT

    Kamran, what I don't understand is why Ashraf and a lot of Pakistani supporters think that the court dropping the case vindicates PCB's decision. The court dropped the case because it has no jurisdiction over the test and the decisions - not because Asif & Akhtar were proven innocent. I guess PCB's press release claiming a victory comes off as a poor gaffe!

  • aftab on July 3, 2007, 0:06 GMT

    Dr. Abbasi, rest assured that the matter would be handled differently had it been ACB proceedings. Even the Cricinfo does not fail to remind that /The CAS panel said in a statement that the conclusion had been reached "with some considerable regret". / PCB never had an official point of view except what its committees found out. But I commend its stance over WADA+ICC challenge. It should stand by its players within the legal framework, which I believe it did. I don't see why Shoaib and Asif should be the OJ Simpsons of cricket. Why can't they be the lucky ones to have been reprieved due to a controversial process. And believe me this is not going to be repeated by PCB committees if another player comes out tainted. It's not a free ride, just pure luck. Shoaib and Asif should enjoy it and the rest should enjoy the game.

  • Ramesh on July 2, 2007, 23:01 GMT

    This is for Mr. Javed A Khan from Montreal. Whatever you say Mr. Khan but the fact remains that Shoaib Akhtar is bad boy of cricket. He is never disciplined in whatever he do nor he is fit enough ever to play a full series leave alone the season. His lack of fitness is his addiction to drug which ironically he would have taken to improve his fitness levels! I am not saying so coz I hate him, as a bowler I have always loved him, there is no better sight than Shoaib running with full throttle & sending tremors to the opposition but whenever I have compared him against Brett lee he has disappointed me a lot...Lee is just a wonderful athlete who is not just bowling 100 milers but also fielding & batting with the same fire! There is always a question mark on Shoaib's commitment to his team...if you would remember the then Pak captain Inzamam raised serious question marks over shoaib during one off the Test's against India when he couldn't bowl due to injury but batted like he never got one! I like Asif & pak should invest in him more. Shoaib's best is over now & Pakistan must look to move on.

  • Jamie Dowling on July 2, 2007, 22:30 GMT

    I will not change my stance on Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif. They are, in my opinion, drugs cheats. They have been "cleared" on the thinnest of technicalities by a governing body which is itself considerably less than a good example of how to govern a national team and passed over for judgement by an organisation that has suddenly been disembowelled for they lack the guts to do the right thing.

    This has nothing to do with race, colour, religion or anything like that. It has to do with professional standards and justice. Shane Warne is a drugs cheat. And I tell younger players at my club he's a great bowler but an idiot in other areas.

    All professional athletes - cricketers included - should be held 100% responsible for everything they take into their bodies. As an archer I am and I accept that. Little me, who plays a minority sport. I know about drugs in sport, so why the hell don't Shoaib and Asif, who are supposed to be professional sportsmen playing at the highest level?

    There are no winners in this. Had CAS heard the case and judged that Shoaib and Asif were not guilty then I would have accepted their judgement. CAS chickened out and in doing so has left one hell of a mess.

    All involved in this are now slurred. The PCB have yet more mud sticking to them, as do the ICC. WADA wanted to do the right thing but fell foul of the eunuchs in the ICC and CAS.

    Nobody comes out of this with their reputations enhanced. The PCB need to put their house in order. Anyone saying "our stance is vindicated" in this has got their head jammed up their backside and is failing to see the wider picture.

    Shoaib and Asif still have a lot of persuading to do. They can start rebuilding peoples' trust by taking public tests and having the results made public and confirmed by an independent body.

    Then the ICC needs to get its head out of its backside and implement immediate and widespread testing. But that takes guts, of which the ICC appears to have very little.

  • WASIM SAQIB on July 2, 2007, 22:29 GMT

    It is a pleasant surprise, both Asif and Shoaib are free from the drug charges, I was not expecting this to happen but I think both of them got a lucky escape, I hope that such an incident never re-occurs in Pakistan cricket and ever body learns from their mistakes. Shoaib Malik so far is proving to be lucky as the inclusion of these two fast bowlers back in the team on regular basis will considerably increase the strength of Pakistani team, I believe that we should use Shoaib and Asif intelligently in future,with so much cricket going on fast bowlers should be given an occasional break and Pakistan should rotate its fast bowlers in future to avoid injuries and to develop a strong bench.

  • mb on July 2, 2007, 22:06 GMT

    EAMIRAN: You are right, Abdul Qadir was a great leg spinner, but for whatever reason he did not have the same effect in capturing people's minds as Warne. We in Australia do love Warne, mostly because he is a great bowler, but also because we as a people love to take the mickey out of our hero's when they show faults. If they can come through the ribbing with a smile on their face and at least be contrite about their mistakes, then they have earned a second chance (and a third, fourth, fifth.....). There will always be arguments about whether Warne, Qadir, or Murali is the greatest modern spin bowler but lets face it, they are all different bowlers who had vastly different techniques and strike weapons. It is like comparing apples with oranges, and good for it too, it will keep the debate going. What you need to remember is that Warne was tested by the ACB not WADA or the ICC when he was caught, and the ACB sent him home and banned him for two years. He was as important to us as Shaob or Asif is to Pakistan but at least the ACB had the courage to sideline him for their own integrity and that of the game.

  • Rashid Khan on July 2, 2007, 22:01 GMT

    It is so weird that so many people criticise the decision of PCB not to have played Shoaib and Asif in world cup or to blame their absence on fitness. Although I'm not a fan of PCB as they seem to mess up every thing they touch, I think this is one of the best things that PCB could have done in the interest of these men, the game of cricket as well as the reputation of Pakistan Cricket. It is clear that these men tested positive and it is also presumed that the traces of drugs would remain in their body long enough that they could test positive again in the world though they may not have taken any substance since they were last tested. There was absolutely no point in sending them to the world cup as they would have surely tested positive again and that would tarnished the image of the country and the game. This is the best that PCB could have done not to spoil the world cup for others and to provide an opportunity to these men to save their faces. Now both Shoaib and Asif need to take this quietly and leave it behind them if they want to continue to have an impression on the game - sometimes the best talk is not to talk about it anymore - and let their performance do the talking.

  • Sarim Ali Toronto on July 2, 2007, 21:41 GMT

    I hope that these two are in full form against india in the odi vs scotland. This Pakisran's chance to prove them self against an indian team that just defeated south africa. The task is really tough Pakistan will need these two bowlers to deliever and an captains innings from shoiab malik

  • Johny on July 2, 2007, 21:28 GMT

    It was fantastic phrase that you used "Miscarriage of Justice". Over all it’s a shameful episode for PCB. I wonder why did they start the whole thing to begin with. Like so many occasions in the past player have been quietly pulled off the tours, Shoaib & Asif could have been excluded from the squad without announcing the reason if their internal tests were positive. Why PCB publicized it in the beginning and then staged the drama of appeal tribunal. Shame for PCB really, and also for the players who are claiming innocent under lame cover of ignorance (They are professional sportsmen...huh)

  • Sally Lazar STAMFORD CT on July 2, 2007, 20:52 GMT

    I totally disagree with you Mr JAVED A. KHAN from MONTREAL. You are totally biased. They tested POSITIVE. Unless people like you stop supported people like them there will always be roid ragers in sport.

  • Osman Parvaiz on July 2, 2007, 20:28 GMT

    It is refreshing to hear an unbiased Pakistani voice condemning the Pakistani cricket process. Keep it up Mr. Abbasi!

    Asif and Shoaib's unjust repreive will only lead to future cases of drug abuse with in the Pakistani cricketing infrastructure. In a culture fraught with bribary and nepotism, young cricketers will grow up believing that star power supercedes justice. How long can a system run on a prayer, hanging by the thread of raw talent? How long will Pakistan be able to sustain a competitive cricket team in such a poorly run system? Its no exaggeration that a newly graduated MBA student could run Pakistan Cricket better than the incompetent managers currently at the helm. Unfortunatley with zero management skills and zero accountability, our greatest cultural export will be relegated to laughing stock.

  • RehmanRulZ on July 2, 2007, 19:28 GMT

    Its really suprising how atheletes can walk scot free after taking performance enhancing drugs, and a board who makes that very athelete a vice captain.... baffles me...

  • Jerry on July 2, 2007, 19:16 GMT

    Nothing to be proud of, but then again, there was a loophole that was sued to get out of the mess. Thats nothing that has not been done before. Aussies did it with Mark Waugh and Shane Warne, England with Mick Atherton's infamous ball tempering. Pakistan cricket needs to learn from there mistakes, but I see a lot of pessimism in both Kamran's blog and the comments, I see this as a step forward that PCB aligned its regulations with WADA as well. I think its a wake up call for sportsmen to be more aware of what they take, whether it was intentional or not, it was shameful, so I hope it doesn't happen ever again.

  • Shahid on July 2, 2007, 19:13 GMT

    Mr Javed A. Khan needs to get his facts straight. First off, Shoaib and Asif were never "cleared from doping", they got off on a stupid technicality. There is still circumstantial evidence to suggest that they did knowing take steroids, but that accounts for naught. They should thank their lucky stars. And as far as the rant about PCB being the teacher's pet, maybe Mr Khan would have preferred that ICC had done the test themselves at the Champion's trophy and had REALLY banned these guys for doping. At least by doing the test themselves PCB was able to circumvent all international laws and reinstate their star players against all sense of sporting decency. At least Mr Khan did say something right when he criticized Intikhab Alam. That statement from Alam about Shoaib Akhtar's lifestyle was one of the stupidest things, and how DARE you Mr. Alam, how dare you? Who exactly made you the judge of these things? I would really like an apology come forth on that too, but it would be stupid of us to expect an apology like that. Its just not in our culture to do that.

  • Ahsan Chaudhry on July 2, 2007, 19:11 GMT

    Javed sahab has been very blatantly patriotic. I think its not always right to blame PCB or ICC for everything. Those players were tested positive and should have served a ban. No doubt they are the backbone of our strong bowling dept but justice has to be served as it was in the case of shane warne. We should think like a neutral on cases such as these. And yeah intikhab should'nt have done that. And by the way court decided against their appeal because of jurisdiction problems and not because they were not guilty.

  • Sharukh Khan on July 2, 2007, 18:47 GMT

    I will make this short and simple.

    Shoaib Akhtar,wether he takes drugs or not, is the most fascinating,loved,entertaining bowler ever produced by pakistan. Plz tell me you dont get excited when shoaib is steamin in to bowl. Wether it gets smacked for 6 or gets the batman clean bowled. its simply amazing.

    Asif is a kid.

    P.S Pakistan to win world cup 2011. Subcontinent pitches FINALLY !

  • Ibrar Mahmood on July 2, 2007, 18:37 GMT

    LMAO ROFL!!!! man this iz jus toooooooooooo funny!!! wat a bunch of jokerz! especially the PCB! wel at least Shoaib and Asif are good to bowl again n thats all i care about ;-D

  • Aamir Akhund on July 2, 2007, 18:27 GMT

    Congrates to Pakistan Cricket for getting out out of this mess unharmed( if we dont count the champions trophy). i have said so many things in the past about our ASS of a Chairman that i dont feel like writing any thing else about his statment on this issue. i hope we can put this matter behind us and continue taking pakistani cricket farword

  • Mike Rosario on July 2, 2007, 18:09 GMT

    In fairness to the sports , all drug abusers /ball tamperers should never be included within the team..ie Shoaib/Asif. Only non drug abusing players should be included.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on July 2, 2007, 17:10 GMT

    Those bloggers who until yesterday have been calling Shoaib and Asif as druggies must chew their words and swallow it as well. My stance from the very beginning have been very clear and very supportive for these players. I don't like Shoaib Akhtar's tantrums and dramay baazi, but I have always supported him as a wicket taking and match winning bowler and in this matter also I have always raised a voice against those who have vindicated him with personal comments and criticized his personal life style. One of them is Intikhab Alam who should not only feel sorry but apologize in public for making that blatant comment about Shoaib's life style. Neither Inktikhab nor anyone else has the right to talk about anyone's private life or his life style in public and criticize them so blatantly, especially when there is no concrete evidence to support.

    Anyways, its a sigh of relief for these two players and for Pakistan as a nation that this chapter is closed and they have been cleared from the doping scandal. It must also be a lesson for the PCB bureaucrats to learn from their silly mistakes which they keep on repeating every now and then. I was flummoxed by the PCB's decision on conducting this doping test voluntarily whereas, there was no such requirement from the ICC when they performed this test voluntarily. First of all, what was the need to conduct the test before the ICC champions trophy? Especially when no other country went ahead to conduct a doping test on volunteer basis and the PCB did. Perhaps they wanted to prove to the ICC that they are teacher's pet and like to do their homework before anyone else and also wanted to announce it publicly. As if they will be decorated with a Victoria Cross and ended up paying a heavy price for that silly mistake and, that too at the expense of the players and denting, damaging and tarnishing their careers and also the image of the country. Without their key bowlers they were out of the ICC Champions Trophy and had a disastrous World Cup. On top of that they were the laughing stock all over the world. Grow up PCB or hire a foreign professional from the western world to run the organization, exactly on the same lines as you want to hire a foreign coach for no reason.

  • Zak on July 2, 2007, 16:16 GMT

    Hope these two bowlers would now play with a fresh and easy mind. It was a hard time and it seems, there were problems with everything & everyone. This situation had`nt been handle correctly in the first place. End of the day, we couldnt afford to miss these two bowlers missing from our front line. We hope now the correct procedure has been in placed and everyone have learnt the lesson as well.

  • EAMIRAN on July 2, 2007, 14:28 GMT

    There is a winner, and it is Pakistan cricket. Without these two players we would have been the whipping boys of cricket. Even with them there is no guarantee of success. Agreed, there will be snide remarks, just like there are about elbow joints "hyper flexing" , ball tampering, match forfeits, and God knows what else. The rest of the World will continue to take potshots at us, refusing to acknowledge that all bowlers have bent elbows when they bowl, all bowlers "work" with the ball, that several captains in the past have either threatened to walk off the field or have done so, for various reasons - right or wrong. Then there is the case of a certain Aussie leg-spinner, hailed by his country man to have revived the art of leg-spinning single-handedly, failing to even mention his predecessor Abdul Qadir as the true torch bearer of leg-spin (Read Ashley Mallets write up on cricinfo). Fat boy Warne, who on his mummies advice took diuretics to shed some weight. That is laughable. Steroid and masking agents are the two words that come to mind immediately. And why aren't all nations part of WADA? Why is drug testing not performed by all?

    Finger pointing from the Western media and it's acolytes in the East will continue. Shoaib and Asif will probably carry this stigma for the rest of their cricketing careers. Their response should be to try and demolish batting line-ups around the world. Sweet sweet revenge! Just ask Murali!

    P.S. I still maintain, as I have done in previous threads, that performance enhancing drugs be made legal and athletes/sports persons around the world reveal the "ugly" truth! That will shut the sanctimonius saints amongst us.

  • ryan on July 2, 2007, 14:03 GMT

    I find it truly spectacular the way in which a player can take a performance enhancing drug, but claim ignorance of the fact. It is every athletes/ sportmans duty to make sure for himself that he knows what he is consuming and placing in his body. I have my sincere doubts that the 2 of them did not know of the steroid, this and the fact that they withdrew from the worldcup really casts suspicion onto their character and their integrity as players. The PCB has also shown itself to have no moral values in its claim to have won the battle, especially when we see how they claimed to also walk the high ground in the Daryl Hair Saga. Ryan, South Africa

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on July 2, 2007, 13:49 GMT

    What a coincidence that I read this brief article which mentions Montgomery Burns a few seconds after watching my favourite “Simpsons” character, Mr Burns, in a hilarious episode [I have all Simpsons episodes in DVD quality on my PC :-), an achievement I am proud of]!

    This is a huge sigh of relief for our drugged cricketers. I would say this is justice’s answer to the unsubstantiated allegations against Pakistanis of ball tampering in the unforgettable Oval Test last year as well as the England tour in early 1990’s.

    I agree with Mr Abbasi and I think he has put himself forth very articulately when he mentions the point about PCB’s poorly arranged hearing.

    I honestly feel this blog is more fun if we can be allowed to say “I am agree” as opposed to “I agree”. I don’t want to suggest anything to or pressurise Mr Abbasi but I hope the majority the posters will agree with me that we should have the freedom to declare what we feel like but we must adopt a civil tone and we must justify our neutrality, i.e. there should be no hint of bias in our arguments. People stating the obvious and repeating what Mr Abbasi says in their own words makes this blog somewhat mundane. When I think about this I realise and appreciate the value of Javed A Khan, the most learned and respected member of this blog.

    I am slightly cheerful in this post because for a long time we were witnessing this blog being updated with a new thread after 7 or more days, but today is a glorious day for we have seen an update after 3 days!

    And by the way, tomorrow’s match is a biggie and India is in terribly good form. Something tells me the zest and raw aggression of Afridi and our youth will overtake the “routine procedures” and “orthodoxy” of our seniors like Yousuf and Younis. India has acclimatised superbly to UK conditions whereas Pakistan has not even had any solid match practice. If Pakistan win this it will be a unique confidence booster for Malik who will feel much more comfortable when Pakistan play in the Twenty20 Cup. The ultimate winner however may be the usual Scotland weather!

    Pakistan and India need to play more often so that all of us can have more exciting lives.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on July 2, 2007, 13:49 GMT

    What a coincidence that I read this brief article which mentions Montgomery Burns a few seconds after watching my favourite “Simpsons” character, Mr Burns, in a hilarious episode [I have all Simpsons episodes in DVD quality on my PC :-), an achievement I am proud of]!

    This is a huge sigh of relief for our drugged cricketers. I would say this is justice’s answer to the unsubstantiated allegations against Pakistanis of ball tampering in the unforgettable Oval Test last year as well as the England tour in early 1990’s.

    I agree with Mr Abbasi and I think he has put himself forth very articulately when he mentions the point about PCB’s poorly arranged hearing.

    I honestly feel this blog is more fun if we can be allowed to say “I am agree” as opposed to “I agree”. I don’t want to suggest anything to or pressurise Mr Abbasi but I hope the majority the posters will agree with me that we should have the freedom to declare what we feel like but we must adopt a civil tone and we must justify our neutrality, i.e. there should be no hint of bias in our arguments. People stating the obvious and repeating what Mr Abbasi says in their own words makes this blog somewhat mundane. When I think about this I realise and appreciate the value of Javed A Khan, the most learned and respected member of this blog.

    I am slightly cheerful in this post because for a long time we were witnessing this blog being updated with a new thread after 7 or more days, but today is a glorious day for we have seen an update after 3 days!

    And by the way, tomorrow’s match is a biggie and India is in terribly good form. Something tells me the zest and raw aggression of Afridi and our youth will overtake the “routine procedures” and “orthodoxy” of our seniors like Yousuf and Younis. India has acclimatised superbly to UK conditions whereas Pakistan has not even had any solid match practice. If Pakistan win this it will be a unique confidence booster for Malik who will feel much more comfortable when Pakistan play in the Twenty20 Cup. The ultimate winner however may be the usual Scotland weather!

    Pakistan and India need to play more often so that all of us can have more exciting lives.

  • ryan on July 2, 2007, 14:03 GMT

    I find it truly spectacular the way in which a player can take a performance enhancing drug, but claim ignorance of the fact. It is every athletes/ sportmans duty to make sure for himself that he knows what he is consuming and placing in his body. I have my sincere doubts that the 2 of them did not know of the steroid, this and the fact that they withdrew from the worldcup really casts suspicion onto their character and their integrity as players. The PCB has also shown itself to have no moral values in its claim to have won the battle, especially when we see how they claimed to also walk the high ground in the Daryl Hair Saga. Ryan, South Africa

  • EAMIRAN on July 2, 2007, 14:28 GMT

    There is a winner, and it is Pakistan cricket. Without these two players we would have been the whipping boys of cricket. Even with them there is no guarantee of success. Agreed, there will be snide remarks, just like there are about elbow joints "hyper flexing" , ball tampering, match forfeits, and God knows what else. The rest of the World will continue to take potshots at us, refusing to acknowledge that all bowlers have bent elbows when they bowl, all bowlers "work" with the ball, that several captains in the past have either threatened to walk off the field or have done so, for various reasons - right or wrong. Then there is the case of a certain Aussie leg-spinner, hailed by his country man to have revived the art of leg-spinning single-handedly, failing to even mention his predecessor Abdul Qadir as the true torch bearer of leg-spin (Read Ashley Mallets write up on cricinfo). Fat boy Warne, who on his mummies advice took diuretics to shed some weight. That is laughable. Steroid and masking agents are the two words that come to mind immediately. And why aren't all nations part of WADA? Why is drug testing not performed by all?

    Finger pointing from the Western media and it's acolytes in the East will continue. Shoaib and Asif will probably carry this stigma for the rest of their cricketing careers. Their response should be to try and demolish batting line-ups around the world. Sweet sweet revenge! Just ask Murali!

    P.S. I still maintain, as I have done in previous threads, that performance enhancing drugs be made legal and athletes/sports persons around the world reveal the "ugly" truth! That will shut the sanctimonius saints amongst us.

  • Zak on July 2, 2007, 16:16 GMT

    Hope these two bowlers would now play with a fresh and easy mind. It was a hard time and it seems, there were problems with everything & everyone. This situation had`nt been handle correctly in the first place. End of the day, we couldnt afford to miss these two bowlers missing from our front line. We hope now the correct procedure has been in placed and everyone have learnt the lesson as well.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on July 2, 2007, 17:10 GMT

    Those bloggers who until yesterday have been calling Shoaib and Asif as druggies must chew their words and swallow it as well. My stance from the very beginning have been very clear and very supportive for these players. I don't like Shoaib Akhtar's tantrums and dramay baazi, but I have always supported him as a wicket taking and match winning bowler and in this matter also I have always raised a voice against those who have vindicated him with personal comments and criticized his personal life style. One of them is Intikhab Alam who should not only feel sorry but apologize in public for making that blatant comment about Shoaib's life style. Neither Inktikhab nor anyone else has the right to talk about anyone's private life or his life style in public and criticize them so blatantly, especially when there is no concrete evidence to support.

    Anyways, its a sigh of relief for these two players and for Pakistan as a nation that this chapter is closed and they have been cleared from the doping scandal. It must also be a lesson for the PCB bureaucrats to learn from their silly mistakes which they keep on repeating every now and then. I was flummoxed by the PCB's decision on conducting this doping test voluntarily whereas, there was no such requirement from the ICC when they performed this test voluntarily. First of all, what was the need to conduct the test before the ICC champions trophy? Especially when no other country went ahead to conduct a doping test on volunteer basis and the PCB did. Perhaps they wanted to prove to the ICC that they are teacher's pet and like to do their homework before anyone else and also wanted to announce it publicly. As if they will be decorated with a Victoria Cross and ended up paying a heavy price for that silly mistake and, that too at the expense of the players and denting, damaging and tarnishing their careers and also the image of the country. Without their key bowlers they were out of the ICC Champions Trophy and had a disastrous World Cup. On top of that they were the laughing stock all over the world. Grow up PCB or hire a foreign professional from the western world to run the organization, exactly on the same lines as you want to hire a foreign coach for no reason.

  • Mike Rosario on July 2, 2007, 18:09 GMT

    In fairness to the sports , all drug abusers /ball tamperers should never be included within the team..ie Shoaib/Asif. Only non drug abusing players should be included.

  • Aamir Akhund on July 2, 2007, 18:27 GMT

    Congrates to Pakistan Cricket for getting out out of this mess unharmed( if we dont count the champions trophy). i have said so many things in the past about our ASS of a Chairman that i dont feel like writing any thing else about his statment on this issue. i hope we can put this matter behind us and continue taking pakistani cricket farword

  • Ibrar Mahmood on July 2, 2007, 18:37 GMT

    LMAO ROFL!!!! man this iz jus toooooooooooo funny!!! wat a bunch of jokerz! especially the PCB! wel at least Shoaib and Asif are good to bowl again n thats all i care about ;-D

  • Sharukh Khan on July 2, 2007, 18:47 GMT

    I will make this short and simple.

    Shoaib Akhtar,wether he takes drugs or not, is the most fascinating,loved,entertaining bowler ever produced by pakistan. Plz tell me you dont get excited when shoaib is steamin in to bowl. Wether it gets smacked for 6 or gets the batman clean bowled. its simply amazing.

    Asif is a kid.

    P.S Pakistan to win world cup 2011. Subcontinent pitches FINALLY !

  • Ahsan Chaudhry on July 2, 2007, 19:11 GMT

    Javed sahab has been very blatantly patriotic. I think its not always right to blame PCB or ICC for everything. Those players were tested positive and should have served a ban. No doubt they are the backbone of our strong bowling dept but justice has to be served as it was in the case of shane warne. We should think like a neutral on cases such as these. And yeah intikhab should'nt have done that. And by the way court decided against their appeal because of jurisdiction problems and not because they were not guilty.