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September 7, 2007

Twenty20 World Cup 2007

Asif's thigh, Shoaib's end?

Kamran Abbasi
Shoaib Akhtar during practice at the National Stadium, Karachi, August 1, 2007
 © AFP
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Shoaib Akhtar hit Mohammad Asif in the thigh but he shot himself in the foot. There can be no excuse for striking anybody let alone with a cricket bat. That you would attack a colleague under the glare of the international media is an extreme misjudgment, the behaviour of an individual who is incapable of self-control, unwilling to accept the bounds of common decency, and delusional about his own importance.

One reason why Shoaib continues to transgress, of course, is that he keeps getting away with it. He has rescued his career repeatedly. Hyperextension, unprofessional behaviour, dismal fitness, and performance enhancing drugs have failed to halt him. Whenever he returns it is with a surprising arrogance, blind to any of his weaknesses and the blame placed on others.

Shoaib has always mustered support. His extreme speed and attacking approach is an exhilarating spectacle. Like many others I have believed his madness could be harnessed into a valuable role for Pakistan cricket. But perhaps I and many others must now accept that we got it wrong. Shoaib has become uncontrollable and there is no success in sport without discipline, not even for wild men.

Shoaib will grovel, apologise, make some feeble excuses for his behaviour--and there may have been some diabolical provocation--but nothing predicts behaviour like behaviour, and when it comes to Shoaib we all must have run out of patience at the ongoing damage to Pakistan cricket.

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

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Posted by Sat Anlage on (December 31, 2010, 1:43 GMT)

awesome blog, do you have twitter or facebook? i will bookmark this page thanks. jasmin holzbauer

Posted by Sharmeen on (September 11, 2007, 7:27 GMT)

What lengths does a person have to go to in order to be in the limelight? And to what end - he's ended up defaming himself and his country in the process. He's lost it, and he only has himself to blame.

Posted by Arsh on (September 11, 2007, 1:56 GMT)

All these controversies, his speed, his passion, his ego is what makes him. Shoaib Akhtar is the amazingly bad boy of cricket. Everyone loves seeing him destroy batting line-ups with toe crushers but right now, Mohammad Asif is what PCB needs to think of. They need Asif for future, even if at Akhtar's cost.

Posted by Calgary Highlander on (September 10, 2007, 23:16 GMT)

Well, well, well. Shoaib strikes again. Oops, I think he's already used up all of his strikes. It's time to do away with this guy. His excuse has to be the worst- "I accidentally hit Asif" Good one Shoaib, better then the comics in the paper at least.

It's a shame that for a over a decade, such talent is wasted. He could have been the best bowler in the world.

As much as I love Asif, his story has about as much iffy as Shoaib's. "I smiled and he came and hit me". I think Shoaib must be banned and Asif sent home for the rest of this Twenty20. If, infact, Afridi did make an inappropriate comment then he too should be suspended. Nobody is above the game.

Posted by Manhar Patel, Toronto. on (September 10, 2007, 21:55 GMT)

Shoaib Akhtar does not deserve lifetime ban. He is little more aggressive than other members of the team. Make him apologise to Mohammad Asif and take him back. Give him final warning but give him another chance. I am sure the Pakistani investigators will be fair to Akhtar. There is no bowler in Indian sub-continent like him. Come on guys, forget and forgive.

Posted by Imran on (September 10, 2007, 21:03 GMT)

Come on guys/gals..Banned for life? That is too much of a punishment. He should be punishedwhere it hurts, money. Once you start doing that to anybody, believe me, that will fix them right up. I would say fine him a hefty amount for doing this, and ban him for a few matches.

That will straighten him up. This should be protocol used in all cricket boards. This protocol is used in all professional sports.

Posted by Noor on (September 10, 2007, 20:30 GMT)

I am watching cricket since my childhood. I have seen players like Asif Iqbal, Mushtaq Mohammad, Zaheer Abbass,Imran Khan and Asif Masood.

There are hundreds of fast bowlers playing inside & outside Pakistan but I have never seen anyone like Shoaib Akhtar. He is hot-tempered and disrespectful to his team-mates ,board and the nation.

The beauty of his personality is that he does not even regret anything . All these great names have no scratches on their careers but look at him. Troubles are invited by him. He wants to be in the limelight all the time.

He thinks he is indispensable. As if Pakistan needs him. Not at all, he needs Pakistan.

He should be banned and the media should not give him any importance. I do agree with all the friends who have written against him because he asked for it . Whether he apologises or not does not make a difference.

Posted by Dr. ZUBAIR AHMED on (September 10, 2007, 20:00 GMT)

I think Shoib should not have been taken for the Twenty20 tournament in the first instance. He was not ready to come on the international stage.Abdul Razzaq, who is born for the Twenty20 set-up, should have been included.

If he was a good guy from the beginning, he should have been ruling the world of fast bowlers at this stage. May Allah give him some sense. I have always loved to watch his bowling.The Pakistan v England series in Pakistan was the last time he really performed. Lets hope for the best. He is presently spoiling the name of the country & should be penalized immediately.

Posted by Reehan on (September 10, 2007, 16:30 GMT)

This one is for Javed Khan from Montreal.

Thanks for reply to my post, much appreciated. Whilst I’m glad you share my view on the weakness, and specifically the non-appearance of Shoaib Malik, and the weaknesses of the PCB, I can’t believe you endorse that Shoaib should be sent home.

There is no point in quoting legislation in Canada. The alleged offence occurred in South Africa and what is the point in citing the maximum offence. Only a repeat offender would get something approaching the maximum. The point is that this incident happened in the context of sport. It has always had exceptions.

If you have ever played sports, you know it can get a bit touchy. To all you fake fans of Pakistan crick- have you forgotten when Shoaib has won matches. I don't care about his personal life, I don't care that he’s reckless or disrespectful. Have you forgotten the moments when he did the opposite, when he single-handedly snatched victory? I support him and I urge you all to do the same. Talents like his are rare. True fast bowlers are almost extinct, he gives Pakistan what the whole world envies on a cricket pitch - raw speed.

I just can’t believe the PCB keeps shooting the Pakistan team down. They have precipitated one catastrophe after another. Shoaib is a mismanaged talent.

Forgive me, but all you who say Shoaib is the cause for shame, are short-sighted and have fallen for the PCB's ploy of making you look elsewhere for the team's failings. Genius deserves exception; if Shoaib was Australian, do you think his board would have told the world about his failings.

He's human, listen to him, because he is a genius with the ball in his hand, lest all success-starved fans forget it. Maradona had failings but no one forgets his genius, so forgive our Pakistani genius and pray that PCB lets him play one major tournament before his body gives way.

Posted by Shahzad Khan, Calgary, Canada on (September 10, 2007, 16:23 GMT)

Another controversy by an irresponsible cricketer called Akhtar. How many times Pakistan saved his career? Better he should have realized that,. I think it is the best time to ban him for life time to make an example for the young players. We do not want such indisciplined players in our team. Bye bye Akhtar.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

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