Politics April 1, 2008

Another stupid end to Shoaib's career

Few careers could have finished more often than Shoaib Akhtar's
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Few careers could have finished more often than Shoaib Akhtar's. Ironically, this end is probably the least deserved. A five-year ban for breaching the code of conduct of a cricket board that fails to demonstrate any high standards of its own is farcical. Pakistan's cricket board has lost all perspective if it believes this ban to be reasonable. A five-year ban will certainly end Shoaib's international career and, if it does that, the blame will rest as much with the cricket board's mismanagement as it does with Shoaib's unprofessionalism. This is another sad day for Pakistan cricket, which is now firmly establishing itself as an irrelevance on the international stage. Bravo Dr Ashraf and Co. Way to go.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • zhaohui on June 15, 2010, 5:43 GMT

    wadonxrum981 You can't choose up sides on a round world.

  • shoaib on July 9, 2008, 8:47 GMT

    I like Shoaib Akhter

  • Imran Shirvanee on April 3, 2008, 20:25 GMT

    It is Shoaib v PCB (or is it Nasim Ashraf?) Let us see. The ban has no legal justification, because Article 9 of the Constitution clearly gives Shoaib his rights of free expression. True, that right is subject to law, but then the law says that an employee cannot discuss an employer company's issues in public. Shoaib is not an employee of the PCB. The contracts offered to the cricketers are not employment contracts. No law can come to Dr Ashraf's help. So, PCB, you screwed up here quite bad. As for Shoaib, he is a brat. So let us go back in time and read about other such brats. DK Lillee's violently throwing his aluminum bat, his kicking Javed Miandad, his betting against his own team (and losing the match), his on-field quarreling with his captains, the list can just go on an on. We all loved DK for his fiery self. If aggression is a crime then fast bowling should be banned, not just Shoaib Akhtar.

  • Rauf on April 3, 2008, 13:14 GMT

    This is now turning into a noora kushti. Dr. Ashraf is now suing Shoaib for Rs 100 million for character assasination.

    I think it's time for some higher up in Pak govt to break this up and fire both Shoaib and Dr. Ashraf before it gets ugly. Get rid of the PCB chairman and reduce Shoaib's ban to 1 year. After that, elect (not select) the next PCB chairman and make sure that the person knows about cricket and running a successfull organization.

  • Hari on April 3, 2008, 12:14 GMT

    Does Mr. Abbassi get paid to write 14 lines?

  • Kashif ALI on April 3, 2008, 11:54 GMT

    The point to ponder over is: how far this game of ban and appeal would strectch? This is not the first time, we have heard about Shoaib. I'm very discipline-oriented, personally speaking. Whatever the credentials of PCB led by Musharraf-Buddy, Naseem Ashraf, may be; the matter of fact is that Shoaib Akhtar is an indisciplined person. Professionally speaking, he is no where near our heroes of yester years. A "just good" performance in one or two matches might make a cricketer superstar, but the real competence comes from the ability to maintain the performance and sustain the pressure. There are so many examples before us. I'm personally surprised over the the public support, he has managed to gather. His single stupid act of hitting Asif with a bat should have been enough to get a life-ban slap. Could this be a hint of a collective callous appraoch of us, being a nation, towards discipline?

  • Haroon Sarwar on April 3, 2008, 11:19 GMT

    Storm in a teacup...

  • G N Quadri on April 3, 2008, 10:50 GMT

    While the PCB has come out smelling of s**t, I feel Shoaib is to blame for the harsh sentence passed on him. I read some of the comments, couldn't read all. Our hero is more of a spoilt brat with a swollen head. How many times has he really performed for the team and how many times has he walked off the field due to injuries/unfitness (feigned or otherwise, Allah alone knows). This guy is more interested in behaving like a movie idol rather than a sportsman dedicated to performing for his own sake, his team's sake and his country's sake. He has been spoilt by the previous boards who handled him like he was indispensable. Hasn't the Pakistan cricket team done well without him? I say again, he deserves the ban. Why are we politicing the whole damn issue with two-bit politicians taking up the cudgels on his behalf, probably earning mileage for themselves! May be Shoab will learn a lesson and take up another career, like acting in movies or just dancing away the whole night(s)!

  • AussieRocker on April 3, 2008, 10:26 GMT

    The very fact that most of the ppl in this blog r still cryin over a bad wolf like Shoaib reflects on why ur country remains in stone-age.Had he been an Aussie, we wud hav dropped him a decade ago. But i guess its more a reflection of the society. Under-achievers.

  • anand jakhotia on April 3, 2008, 10:19 GMT

    dear All ! I think PCB took a bold though unpopular decision. He should hav been nbanned for life though d 5 yrs ban virtually does so. What's d use of talent whn it doesn't count. Agred there r less talented pacemen interms of speed than shoaib, but atleast they r humble, dedicated to their teams cause. Shoaib is himself to blame. Look at bret lee, steyn & co, all of thm supertalented yet disciplined. Shoaib thinks he is demigod pacemen. Man let ur talent count, not ur antics. No point in blaming PCB 4 MISMANAGEMENT. u can take ahorse 2 water, cant make it drink. Ofcouse in this case it was a stubborn [pigheaded] cricketer. All those criticsing r shoiab fans not pak cricket's. Grow up guys. Nobody is indispensable.

  • zhaohui on June 15, 2010, 5:43 GMT

    wadonxrum981 You can't choose up sides on a round world.

  • shoaib on July 9, 2008, 8:47 GMT

    I like Shoaib Akhter

  • Imran Shirvanee on April 3, 2008, 20:25 GMT

    It is Shoaib v PCB (or is it Nasim Ashraf?) Let us see. The ban has no legal justification, because Article 9 of the Constitution clearly gives Shoaib his rights of free expression. True, that right is subject to law, but then the law says that an employee cannot discuss an employer company's issues in public. Shoaib is not an employee of the PCB. The contracts offered to the cricketers are not employment contracts. No law can come to Dr Ashraf's help. So, PCB, you screwed up here quite bad. As for Shoaib, he is a brat. So let us go back in time and read about other such brats. DK Lillee's violently throwing his aluminum bat, his kicking Javed Miandad, his betting against his own team (and losing the match), his on-field quarreling with his captains, the list can just go on an on. We all loved DK for his fiery self. If aggression is a crime then fast bowling should be banned, not just Shoaib Akhtar.

  • Rauf on April 3, 2008, 13:14 GMT

    This is now turning into a noora kushti. Dr. Ashraf is now suing Shoaib for Rs 100 million for character assasination.

    I think it's time for some higher up in Pak govt to break this up and fire both Shoaib and Dr. Ashraf before it gets ugly. Get rid of the PCB chairman and reduce Shoaib's ban to 1 year. After that, elect (not select) the next PCB chairman and make sure that the person knows about cricket and running a successfull organization.

  • Hari on April 3, 2008, 12:14 GMT

    Does Mr. Abbassi get paid to write 14 lines?

  • Kashif ALI on April 3, 2008, 11:54 GMT

    The point to ponder over is: how far this game of ban and appeal would strectch? This is not the first time, we have heard about Shoaib. I'm very discipline-oriented, personally speaking. Whatever the credentials of PCB led by Musharraf-Buddy, Naseem Ashraf, may be; the matter of fact is that Shoaib Akhtar is an indisciplined person. Professionally speaking, he is no where near our heroes of yester years. A "just good" performance in one or two matches might make a cricketer superstar, but the real competence comes from the ability to maintain the performance and sustain the pressure. There are so many examples before us. I'm personally surprised over the the public support, he has managed to gather. His single stupid act of hitting Asif with a bat should have been enough to get a life-ban slap. Could this be a hint of a collective callous appraoch of us, being a nation, towards discipline?

  • Haroon Sarwar on April 3, 2008, 11:19 GMT

    Storm in a teacup...

  • G N Quadri on April 3, 2008, 10:50 GMT

    While the PCB has come out smelling of s**t, I feel Shoaib is to blame for the harsh sentence passed on him. I read some of the comments, couldn't read all. Our hero is more of a spoilt brat with a swollen head. How many times has he really performed for the team and how many times has he walked off the field due to injuries/unfitness (feigned or otherwise, Allah alone knows). This guy is more interested in behaving like a movie idol rather than a sportsman dedicated to performing for his own sake, his team's sake and his country's sake. He has been spoilt by the previous boards who handled him like he was indispensable. Hasn't the Pakistan cricket team done well without him? I say again, he deserves the ban. Why are we politicing the whole damn issue with two-bit politicians taking up the cudgels on his behalf, probably earning mileage for themselves! May be Shoab will learn a lesson and take up another career, like acting in movies or just dancing away the whole night(s)!

  • AussieRocker on April 3, 2008, 10:26 GMT

    The very fact that most of the ppl in this blog r still cryin over a bad wolf like Shoaib reflects on why ur country remains in stone-age.Had he been an Aussie, we wud hav dropped him a decade ago. But i guess its more a reflection of the society. Under-achievers.

  • anand jakhotia on April 3, 2008, 10:19 GMT

    dear All ! I think PCB took a bold though unpopular decision. He should hav been nbanned for life though d 5 yrs ban virtually does so. What's d use of talent whn it doesn't count. Agred there r less talented pacemen interms of speed than shoaib, but atleast they r humble, dedicated to their teams cause. Shoaib is himself to blame. Look at bret lee, steyn & co, all of thm supertalented yet disciplined. Shoaib thinks he is demigod pacemen. Man let ur talent count, not ur antics. No point in blaming PCB 4 MISMANAGEMENT. u can take ahorse 2 water, cant make it drink. Ofcouse in this case it was a stubborn [pigheaded] cricketer. All those criticsing r shoiab fans not pak cricket's. Grow up guys. Nobody is indispensable.

  • Reehan on April 3, 2008, 10:12 GMT

    The PCB's loss is the IPL's gain. Personally, I cant wait to see Shoaib ripping in at 93mph again!The ICL has been a great advert for Pak cricket, I expect our lads to do well in the IPL, without the shackles of the PCB. New govt means new PCB borad so I look forward to all our banned players returning to Pak cricket. In the meantime enjoy the 20-20 stuff, because it suits our players mentality so well. The future is bright, the future is 20/20, hopefully without the current PCB.

  • Fatir Malik, Italy on April 3, 2008, 9:48 GMT

    Martin Hook's comment about Pakistanis over-reacting may be accurate, but to think that the English under-react you would have to be living on another planet. Either that, or it is he who has no perspective. Just pick up the newspapers the day after an English victory in any sport and you will see claims of Glory and Greatness. A subsequent loss by the same English teams would invariably be followed by all forms of condemnation in the English media. Surely you cannot be Great one day and Absolute Rubbish the next. So come down to Earth, please Mr Hook !!

  • abdul on April 3, 2008, 8:39 GMT

    See ya Shoiab. Enjoy your life in bollywood or whatever.

  • Asim Khan on April 3, 2008, 8:38 GMT

    The condition of the PCB is also like Pakistan. When a country is on downfall, then every department is on the downfall. I don't know what is the credibility and ability of Dr.Ashraf for being chairman of PCB. Pakistan cricket is on demise and this decision has turned the demise into an exponential one. I don't have any idea when we are going to learn lessons from our mistakes and history.

  • saleem khan on April 3, 2008, 7:50 GMT

    The FIVE year BAN on Shoaib is not justified and is likely to be undone soon by the new regime in power. Shoaib needs to do a favour to himself and the PAKISTANI nation by keeping the sportsmans spirit .He should not indulge in violating the code of conduct for humans and cricket alike .Beating your fellow cricketer is point in this case.As cricket Fan we woukd like to SEE Shoaib should play good cricketand behave like a gentleman both on the field and off the field.PCB needs to tame its players right at the outset. Lets for the sake of cricket and hopes of poor pakistani start a fresh.If appropriate PCB may have psychologist at its pannel for guiding our valued players. pakistan zindabad, cricket paindabad.

  • Aly on April 3, 2008, 5:55 GMT

    Someone should ban this board as all they have done is taken attention off themselves because they cannot even ensure that Pakistan will play any international cricket over the next 2 years. One only, has to look at Pakistan pathetic schedule and realise that they will never stand, a chance to ever be good in test and one day cricket because they wont be playing any of the top teams. I mean, its hard to understand the cancellation of the Australian series but when you know that they were the only 3 tests you were going to play the whole year then why wouldn't you hold that series at a neutral venue? The board lacks direction and is a toothless tiger when it comes to making decisions. Another example is that of the so called one day series between Pakistan and Sri lanka that has pretty much been shunned because the PCB doesn't want to take on the BCCI over the players participating in the IPL! Shame on the PCB for just using Shoaib as a scapegoat as they themselves should be banned for

  • Mohammed Munir - Sharjah, UAE. on April 3, 2008, 5:38 GMT

    In a failed marriage, you can never blame one partner.

    Similarly, PCB and Shoaib both are to be blamed equally for this ‘divorce’.

    I am just getting curious though, who was the playing ‘wife’ in this marriage? ;)

  • Muhammad Asif on April 3, 2008, 5:09 GMT

    Its not sad day who knows it turned out be March9 of cricket. Iwas eagerly waiting for such kinna gaffe from someone in PCB & DNA did it.

    Congratulations DNA you just did it. Cheers to new era of cricket.

  • Waqqas Qavi - Melbourne on April 3, 2008, 4:44 GMT

    Subsequent to my previous post, Shoaib’s talent and abilities are in vain if they have little impact owing to mere 43 test appearances.All those 100mph admirers, why do we live in a world of delusions where it is quite evident that the tyranny of very fast bowling has all but diminished?Harmony with Hamza,it might be fair to anticipate a murder to compel Shoaib’s ultimate destiny.Le on April 2 Mate,I am convinced that if Shoaib were to be a part of the Aussies,he would be exiled in no time. Cricket revolves around commitment and contribution and albeit Shoaib has contributed slightly to this game;the latter has never exceeded zilch, which is a bummer.It is a fine example for players to be mindful that complacency has no extended future apart from the very lucrative IPL and Bollywood.Suffice to say,it won’t be shocking to see Shoaib again as the dilution of PCB,People and Politics has been proven in the past and is quite apparent on Shoaib’s happy crowd face illustrating a speedy recall

  • ehjaz afzal on April 3, 2008, 4:34 GMT

    No matter what we say what we write, PCB has a brain of its own. I still can't comprehend that how come a medical doctor is assigned to run an organization that deals with cricket; en entirely different field. Its like asking me to perform a bypass surgery....well, then again when Mr. mushy can become president and stay in the office even the constitution doesn't allow, then DNA is less gulity....... Sad situation indeed; but is there any end to it

  • Fan on April 3, 2008, 4:26 GMT

    this is the best thing that can happen to shoaib right now... lets hope ipl and icl are here to stay, international cricket is a joke anyways.. 5 day tests in this fast paced world, 10 hr one dayers.. eh.. 20/20 is the future of cricket..

    i can totally see shoaib being the kobe bryant of IPL, full of controversies yet stinkin rich.

    gl shoaib, just stay away from that joke they call pcb

  • sunny on April 3, 2008, 3:04 GMT

    i dunt know if this will be posted coz last time it didnt .. a.w i am totally against shoaib banning as its baseless. This time especially he didnt make any mistake. What he was doing was a term used as Devil adovacy in business, to critize ur manager or employers policies, so that they can make their decision betters as biases can exist in their decisions. This practise is becoming common in sucessful organizations and organizations that blindly follow their CEO or managers decision, have seen decline. PCB has a very mechanist structure, which they have to change to become sucessful in future. I personally request IMRAN KHAN to please take over this PCB board if you have any love for your country . Kamran bhai, i think you can easily convey this message to him or to our politicians if they can request him. I read that you have played with nawaz sharif, so i think he must still remember you for getting his wicket. * also please ppl see shoaib recent interview as its worth watching

  • saptarshi on April 3, 2008, 1:50 GMT

    its just a case of poor management from PCB. I think they need to take a leaf from BCCI'S book about how to look after and stand with their players at time of need. Well I am surprised still no remarks from our broken arrow friend Jan Yusuf (aka philip john joseph)

  • Martin Hook on April 3, 2008, 0:55 GMT

    Shoiab Akhtar was spoiled by PCB to such an extent that this had to happen. I don't think Shoaib cares about this ban too much. It would have hurt him if he was banned from playing in IPL which is the place of action. It is a win-win situation for Akhtar. Pakistani fans are fickle and prone to extreme reactions. People here at this blog represent the cross section of Pakistani society and you would struggle to find a balanced perspective on any issue. It seems hysteria is the language of the nation. Javed Khan is back to his ridiculous and tortuous reasoning. How can he not be ashamed of himself.

  • srking on April 3, 2008, 0:13 GMT

    I cant believe there are people as stupid as Sachin Fan, Florida, usa. Somehow I dont believe that this guy is an Indian at all, I guess this is a pakistani pretending to be an Indian. Anyway whoever this guy is, dude, stop speaking on behalf of Indians and Bollywood, and keep your low IQ sick thoughts with you. Bollywood does not wait to welcome someone. If someone is desperate enough that he is meeting Shahrukh and Salman for roles, then yes we are tolerant enough to grace you with a chance if you have talent. I doubt Shoaib has talent to make it in Bollywood though, it will be a forgotten thingie like that Meeraa or whatever in my opinion.

  • GK on April 2, 2008, 23:18 GMT

    Once a chucker - always a chucker.

  • Gulab Khan on April 2, 2008, 22:50 GMT

    Posted by: Sohail Waqar at April 1, 2008 1:46 PM All players should get together and ban the PCB and start a new cricket board.

    Dear Sohail Players are not together. Malik uncle was the speaker of choiudries govt. Now they are out from parliment. Hopefully Malik will be out from the team on his fitness, performance and scandals. Malik and AKmal should out now.

    Gulab Khan

  • Sarosh Khan on April 2, 2008, 22:30 GMT

    Though I usually disagree with most of your opinion columns, I will have to agree with you on this one. Of all the things Shoaib has done, to ban him for speaking out against the PCB is ridiculous. Their justification is that he was under probation. I am almost positive he did not know that speaking against the board was even a breach of conduct. Nasim Ashraf is truly a stero-typical leader of a Pakistani organization. He seems to be throwin his weight around to let his counterparts and suboordinates know who the boss is. It appears as if the doctor forgot what his job in the PCB is, which if Im not mistaken, is to manage a cricket board and implement decisions which inhance the quality of our domestic an international cricket. Instead, his short tenure has been a disastor. Lets see if we can get a lawyer to replace him. Better yet, why not a typing monkey? I hear they are very intelligent.

  • James on April 2, 2008, 21:47 GMT

    Let's look at his track record: He's taken illegal steroids, assaulted a fellow teammate, caught ball tampering, verbally assaulted other cricketers and shown dissent to his employer. I'd say a 5 year ban is just a collection of a backlog of un-punished or under-punished incidents in his career.

    On ya bike Shoaib.

  • Hamza on April 2, 2008, 21:47 GMT

    This ban need not be discussed anymore since we all know it's going to be overturned. Unfortunately, it is the inevitable.

    Here is what would happen

    "The ban gets overturned, PCB chief and his cronies are replaced by a new PCB chief and his cronies (same difference), Shoaib plays in a match, breaks down in his 1st over (may be 2nd), has a spat with Lawson who thinks he has a negative impact on the team, he spends the next year going through a rehabilitation program ".

    This whole drama would repeat (as it has been for the past 11 years or so) till he murders somebody or somebody murders him. The point is that at this stage,the performances he gives hardly bear any meaning. A year or two later, he won't be even able to bowl a single over without cracking down.

  • Atiq Mutmar on April 2, 2008, 21:32 GMT

    I reckon the ban will be reduced, though would rather it were not. I love Shoaib, but it is the right decision. The Asif-double situ really turned me against the expressman, after all, can you see Brett Lee drugging Mitchell Johnson and then whacking him (having pushed around Tim Neilsen and Ponting?)

  • I hate the 2 K's on April 2, 2008, 21:27 GMT

    Is this really the end? Of course not, though for the sake of Pakistan Cricket I wish it were. Indiagate, Ovalgate, Asifgate, Nandolonegate, Woolmergate, ICLgate, when is it gonna end?

    I would be happy if 'Pindi and the 2 Khan walla's were never discussed on these blogs again

  • Fight da Kaliph on April 2, 2008, 21:25 GMT

    Shoaib has gotta move one, personally with all the ICL cop outs (thank goodness Naved, Shabbir Sami and Shahid have gone) we need to start afresh. I will certainly follow him at IPL and watch his 1st few Bolly roles, but rather hope he does not return to the national team.

  • MuawiyatheSaviour on April 2, 2008, 21:21 GMT

    PCB and government remain concerns for any Pakistani/Cricker Fan and I dread what they will do next. Our country is in civil strife, with Wab's killing my family left, right and centre, no team wanting to tour and a blown up prime minister elect (I did not want her in charge, but neither would hsave wished for her to end this way) still fresh in the memory, lets leave Akhtar be and lets sort our nation/cricket out.

  • Awas http://legslip.com/ on April 2, 2008, 21:12 GMT

    It’s all a Tamasha, a good distraction for public from politics. Give him a 5 year ban for something petty, get a lot of reaction, and then reverse it all later. It’s a Pakistani thriller no doubt.

    I agree with theossa, Pittsburgh, U.S.A. here and do think, the new elected government might change it all very soon.

    Sachin Fan, Florida, usa Yeah, do us a favour; do take him away if you can, blow whatever you can to lure him ;)- I hope you speak for all of India and Bollywood. Wow, you must have some clout man!!!

  • Le on April 2, 2008, 21:12 GMT

    I am amazed at the number of Pakistanis who have turned their backs on Shoaib. If you guys don't want him, he will be more than welcome here in Aussie. Cricket needs characters like him. He makes the game exciting and interesting to watch. We like his energy and we like watching the world's fastest bowler (who cares where he is from - as long as he is fast?) running in and ripping it into the batsmen (even if they are our batsmen). If he were not in the Pakistan team hardly anyone here would be interested in watching games involving Pakistan. The other thing is, you guys really need him in your team. You don't have enough firepower without him. I would have thought that there would be national outrage at the decision to ban him. National strikes, burning of effigies, riots, and general mayhem - until he is reinstated.

  • Ossie was a Ghani on April 2, 2008, 20:54 GMT

    I see the KKK are out in force tonight; Martin Hook 'This ban shows lack of perspective that comes from a society that lacks perspective in other areas as well' as well as AussieRocker - shame the regulars like Khan and Canada missed how our nation is being cussed and disgraced. Of course I could never support India, however would much rather have Sachin as a role model than Shoaib, who in reality is as bad as Martin and Aussie given that he is hardly an ambassador for our team or nation - and every player automatically becomes one once they are picked.

  • abubakr.org on April 2, 2008, 20:53 GMT

    Go on, become a b-grade actor, bowl 2.1 overs and then break down - let some Indian team (and film industry) down for a change. Then again, 13 balls from 'Pindi is better than that ICL discard, Sami, who I can forsee taking no wickets and getting smashed for 100 runs in his 4 overs. The 2 S's, good riddance.

  • UmarkeBund on April 2, 2008, 20:51 GMT

    Easy Solution - If the ban gets overturned/reduced as it surely will be, all that would need to be done is to not pick him, no?

  • 123 par laanat on April 2, 2008, 20:50 GMT

    Kamran you're a good man, no doubt a great Dr. but just a ****-stirrer of Abu-Sufyan levels. I reckon you're sitting on ure laptop giggling at all the comments and write these columns just for the responses elicited (well aside from 'A' Khan....)

  • Rahat Minhas on April 2, 2008, 20:30 GMT

    wow!! this would prob be the worst decision the PCB has ever made and they have made a s** loads of bad decisions.Honestly they can't ban shoaib fer hitting sum 1 with a bat, takin drugs n breakin down in every single match tht he has ever played but u can ban him fer sayin sumthn abt PCB...well then they would have to ban everyone cuz everyone knows how crappy the PCB is...first u get tours cancelled because u lack the ability to delegate, then u ban a few talented players for joining ICL...(I'm only talkin abt Hasan Raza n maybe Imran Nazir cuz the rest of them are has-beens eventhough their performances are exceptional)....then u ban sum1 who in most likelihood would have just faded in the background cuz u weren't selecting him to play anyway!!...how retarded can u be??...If anything Shoaib already has a victim-complex n ur just adding to it....wat will happen now is he is goin to play the victim play up sum sympathy n his ban wud be overturned n PCB would have lost to shoaib again

  • Saad Saleem on April 2, 2008, 20:24 GMT

    I guess this issue can only be resolved once the newly elected government gets rid of this current cricket board. They have done an irreparable loss to Pakistani cricket. Such is the cricketing knowledge of this board that people like Geoff Lawson is our coach and players like Abdul Razzaq and many other ICL players are just forgotten. No doubt the board has got it utterly wrong this time but on the same token, Shoaib only has himself to blame for a career filled with controversies. It always claps with both hands. In the end a comment to Mr Martin Hook´s post that you as English don´t under react but this is a habit of you people to create a buzz out of nothing. I guess the ball tampering controversy in 1992 after getting a thumping defeat by Pakistan in the World Cup and later in the test series has not faded in our memories and the British Media is famous in the world for yellow journalism. The simple fact is that they lack PERSPECTIVE within their own game called Cricket

  • amer husain on April 2, 2008, 20:17 GMT

    I think with this decision the PCB may have just precipitated its own undoing and in my view not too soon. As for Shaoib, an undisciplined but talented maverick, may well yet return. But don't hold your breath for upon his return there will be some commendable performances and perhaps some which are even brilliant littered among all the breakdowns, tantrums, allegations, counter-allegations and all that nonsense that is Shoib. On the other side there needs to be some serious order that is needed in Pakistan Cricket if it is not to disintegrate and dismantle itself. For a start, can they please remove the word 'adhoc' from the title of their goddam selection committee!! On the otherhand, they should leve it there, its very apt and it is there for a reason.

  • Noor on April 2, 2008, 19:21 GMT

    Asalaam Un alykum Kamran Bhai. Although I have been the biggest critic of Shoaib since he has been under microscope,but this punishment is not valid .This is disgraceful to the cricket and spineless Board .Which is been run by another Gen Nasim Ashraf.Shame on you Nasim.You forgot wne you came to New Jersey & what were you doing .I cannot say & write any thisn here but that was shameful.Let me ask you you make $300/day for daily allowance where do U spend that since U R the Gen of the PCB Army U have collected almost Rs 39420000.00 uptill now .Besides the pay & under table cuts & expensive trips & hotels.WHat about Shoaib who is going to bear his earnings.Think for a second one day U gonna die also.U have become the God of Bread & butter of these legends.Wait when Allah will pull the plug on you U WAIT & SEE.To every action there is always equal & opposite reaction.Look around & see what is happening and happend to the Dictators.There is no justification of this ban.

  • nasir on April 2, 2008, 19:20 GMT

    Banning is probably the only way PCB thinks they cn stop hime from playing. Shoaib's playing days are long over.

    They shoould have banned him for 1 year, that would have beenhis end rather than sensationalise the issue with a 5 year ban. Pakistan cricket will not be any worse without him.

  • Saif Aly on April 2, 2008, 19:19 GMT

    PCB is not only a non-entity organization as far as I'm concerned, its a sub-serviant organization to the BCCI now. The BCCI is where all the money is now and it uses The PCB to hurl trash at The ICC. Dr. Naseem Ashraf is nothing but a Musharraf puppet. Behind the scenes, its really the General who's calling the real shots. You might as well have banned him for life instead of just 5 years -what's the difference between these two sentences? Sohaib is nothing more than a one-man show-piece. In his late 30s, he's lost the edge to deliver. He has been thriving on his persona image for the last 5+ odd years. He hasn't really delivered anything significant for Pakistan in the last 5 years and won't produce much for The Kolkata Bengals either in the IPL league. He should have accepted the Bollywood movie deal from Mahesh Bhatt for 5 Crores rupees instead of fighting to stay on the Cricketing field. He would perform better on-screen than on-field. He should have joined The Lahore Badshahis.

  • Azhar on April 2, 2008, 17:13 GMT

    Dear Kamran Abbasi, This open letter is to you. Most of the times I agree with you and I enjoy reading them. However, I could not disagree more with you on this issue (Another stupid..). You are defending this Clown? You really think Shoaib's case has been mishandled? You really think he deserves our sympathies? You really think he deserves a place in Pakistani Team? Come one! You must be kidding me!! Please go back in timeline and see how many times he has been "victimised". From his first tour to S.Africa, Shoaib has been breaking team rules. I wont ever go over them because that laundry list is too long. When are we going to say enough is enough? When are we (as a society) going to put the law of the land infront of individuals? When are going to learn disciopline and enforce it? We Pakistani tend to make a lot of exceptions. Ata-ur-Rahman can be banned but Waseem Akram can not be. List goes on. I would love to get your reply. And please do write to me on my personal email.

  • Azhar on April 2, 2008, 16:59 GMT

    Wow!!! What a reaction for the followers of "Actor". He should have been banned for 10 years five years ago. This guy is nothing but a big crying baby!!! How many times has he said "I have been victimised"? Victimise my foot!!! This guy has broken all team rules, hit a team mate with a bat, left team practices etc etc. I dont have any sympathy for this character. Give a youngster a chance who would appreciate to be a representative of 160 million people. I AM DONE WITH SHOAIB AKHTAR!!!

  • khansahab786@gmail.com on April 2, 2008, 16:55 GMT

    What is ludicrous is whether this ban, which effectively prevents Shoaib from playing for Pakistan for 5 years, actually makes any material difference. We have seen so less of Shoaib that now we all have learned to disregard him from our recent and prospective playing XI’s. Would Shoaib have turned over a new leaf and concentrated so much on his fitness and attitude that he would have actually represented Pakistan in the near future, say for instance, in the forthcoming Asia Cup? The answer probably is a “no”. The PCB is definitely to be blamed and we have all vented our frustrations out on the PCB on copious occasions. But the fact is, that Nasim Ashraf was right today when he said that no one is above the game. This is something Shoaib has still not understood. The fact also is that the PCB, like every other powerful organisation in Pakistan, features rampant corruption, abuse of power, friction between responsible administrators and morally bankrupt managers who are more interested in inexorably holding on to their positions of power without actually serving the game and the Pakistani public.

  • TTU on April 2, 2008, 15:49 GMT

    This ban was on the cards, the amouny of stuff Shoaib has done is huge, BUT where was this ban when he hit Asif or how about when he allegedely argued with and hit Bob Woolmer. It seems that the Pcb dont care when Akhtar hurts others or causes disruption, as long as it has nothing to do with the Paki cricket board. Putting it simply, the cricket board has double standards. In fact they were looking for an excuse to get rid of Akhtar, and found one, completely disregarding the fact that we live in a world were most countries including Pakistan, enable there citizens to have FREE SPEECH. What a bunch of luluus. Incompotent idiots headed by a DOCTOR who doesnt seem to know anything, the only thing for him is money. And now to cover there tracks, they are trying to blood Sohail khan, who i believe is the fastest in pakistan as of now. but lets hot lose hope, remember the dope ban?

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on April 2, 2008, 15:32 GMT

    The photograph of Shoaib Akhtar on cricinfo - riding on the shoulders of his supporters and fans - he appears to be looking very happy and from his statement to the press he seems to be pretty confident of turning the tables in his favour. The expression, 'strike when the iron is hot' suits the situation of his case and he is determined to take advantage of it. The new government wants to bring about a change and, the slogan that we so often hear on cricket grounds: "girti hoi diwaraon ko - ek dhakka aur doh" is echoing for Nasim Ashraf and he must be counting his days along with his comrade in misery - the patron-in-chief. One can very well understand the emotions and sentiments of Shoaib's fans back home but, what amuses me is how this made in India and reassembled in Miami exhaust fan of Sachin squeaks with joy upon the news of Shoaib's ban and stretching his arms and legs in welcoming Shoaib to Bollywood - the land of cowrillas and gorillas. When the fans are old, cranky, rusty and dusty they need overhauling hence we all understand your needs Sachin's fan. May you live in interesting times.

  • tonyp on April 2, 2008, 15:25 GMT

    I like Shoaib but doubt he would be considered for international duty. His commitment is sporadic, his fitness appalliing, & his judgement worse. He's a disruptive influence who can only impact negatively on the team dynamic.

    His match-winning potential was all that spared him the wrath of the PCB & with that removed they saw no reason to protect him further.

    Shoaib should still be serving his drug ban, but let's leave that aside. He was placed on probation & decided to transgress again. To be honest his transgression seems minor, especially in the context of Pakistani cricket, but that's irrelevant too. If you break your probation you receive punishment not only for the most recent mis-deed but also for the incident that provoked the probation. In this case striking another player with a bat.

    Personally, I would ban any player responsible for such an act for life. Players in any team need to know their physical safety is guaranteed, most especially from their team-mates.

  • Pete on April 2, 2008, 14:06 GMT

    In a cricketing nation where time and again it has been demonstrated that you can get away with anything by displaying a shred of talent, Shoaib has broken the one golden rule: "do not bite the hand that feeds".

    You'd think that after all the times the PCB has handed him watered down punishments for far worse transgressions this rule would have been implicit.

  • Abdul Ahad on April 2, 2008, 13:52 GMT

    I dont know why people are criticizing board and chairman. Shaoib was almost absent since last 2-3 years and finally this ban was just to confirm that he wont play anymore.Because in past, every other series use to be in doubt for Shoaib Akhtar. When has been already warned and I think PCB took the right decision. People are going against chairman without being aware of Shoaib's fault.

  • Rauf on April 2, 2008, 13:45 GMT

    To ksm at April 1, 2008 8:23 PM

    ".... Then why is Shoaib special? He should have been shown the door long long time ago."

    I am no big fan of Shoaib's off the field antics but he has talent albeit a bit raw at times. If Shoaib acts like a child sometimes then PCB is supposed to be governed by adults with years of experience in exploring and grooming young raw talent to represent their country.

    You don't beat a wild stallion into submission, you have to gently tame it first and then saddle it's energy to follow your commands. If the collective IQ of the PCB leadership exceeded that of a door knob, I am sure they would have found ways early on in Shoaib's career to tame and groom him.

  • abbas saleem khan on April 2, 2008, 13:12 GMT

    theres a very good reason ive stopped watching cricket and gone back to basbeball after 14 years. pakistan cricket with the advent of dr ashraf has become a joke. why the hell is this assclown still running the pcb is mind boggling?

    yes mr ashraf youve proven yourself to be the biggest assclown with a phd ever. i hope that when someone has the common sense to kick you out instead of you leaving gracefully like you should have after the world cup muck up, you'll be able to add 'ass clown' on your resume along with your doctrate.

  • shankar on April 2, 2008, 12:07 GMT

    great going PCB , come on, keep banning on all the player u ll finally left ll none< BAN FOR % MATCHES IS OK< NOT FOR FIVEYEARS >

  • Dr Zeib on April 2, 2008, 12:03 GMT

    I think PCB have done very rightly what they were supposed to do a few years earlier. Shoaib is and was a frustrated bowler who always failed when faced big teams. Speed is not the objective of a geniune bowler. it is speed + swing+line and length. Don't you all remembe the stupid actions that he used to exhibit on field and off in hotels. He deserves the ban. At least the rest will learn and have an opportunity to show their talent like Sohail Khan, Umerguil, Asif, and many more.

  • SAI on April 2, 2008, 11:49 GMT

    Its reallly sad to see a player who has given his heart and soul to his country being treated so shabbily. He has been clearly victimised by the PCB. Shoaib, don't lose heart .Fight for justice.

  • Rizwan Shah on April 2, 2008, 11:48 GMT

    Elders say, pehlay tolo phir bolo. what happens with PCB is pehlay bolo phir tolo.

    They take decisions before knowing the outcome. As you guys may know, the PM has spoken to NA to review his decision. Thanks.

  • Shoaib Akhtar Fan on April 2, 2008, 11:45 GMT

    Shoaib is one of the best things that ever happened for pakistani cricket. He'll be back. An appeal will overthrow this decision. You can never ban Shoaib Akhtar!

  • Ali Shazad on April 2, 2008, 11:43 GMT

    The Pcb has ruined yet another talented cricketer. What i fail to understand is why they have become members in the board in the 1st place and not retired international crickers such as Imran Khan,Miandad etc. We seem to have people who are set to make themselves bigger than the players and have ruined pakistani cricket. I sincerley hope Shoaib comes back badder than ever and real talent is given the chance they deserve. (No wonder Abdul Qadir didnt want his children in cricket).

    Salaam.

  • Nas on April 2, 2008, 11:41 GMT

    This ban won't last. While it's not quite a restraint of trade, it's blatant victimisation. I mean banned for criticising the Board? Do me a favour. Most of them have never played the game & no doubt deserve any stick.

  • J on April 2, 2008, 11:07 GMT

    Kamran, you are very right. Infact, you have been very polite in choosing the words for Mr. MUSH-RAF. Shoiab has been banned a lot of times and eaxh time I thought it is the end of our EAGLE. I speak for the masses and I am more than confident that he will be back soon. Its just a matter of when Musharaf leave the office. Ashraf, biggest jerk in the history of PCB, will go along with his boss.

    So if Shoaib you are reading this, I want to congratulate you on your comeback in advance!!!

    J

  • Sajjad on April 2, 2008, 10:11 GMT

    Mr Naseem Ashraf he does not know any thing about Cricket, why he is the Chairman? Does he deserve the post? I think everybody will be agree that he does not deserve the post then how any management working under him can take such kind of decisions !!!!! Really stupid things are going there in Pakistan Cricket Board!!! Is anybody there in Pakistan to save the cricket from these people? Imran Khan please come here, in politics anyway you are under achiever but I am sure in cricket you can handle all these problems gracefully and can guide the Pakistan cricket in the right direction, please help we really need you.

  • srivathsan on April 2, 2008, 10:05 GMT

    Though I agree with you as regards quantum of punishment,one cannot totally blame PCB for their aaction.Shoab has been repeatedly warned/cautioned by PCB to improve his behaviour& moderation in public speaking. But he failed to correct himself & is responsible for the present situation.The only fault I find with PCB is that Punishment never fit the crime.When strong action was needed, he was let off easily wwhich perhaps prompted him to indulge in more antics.Even now the punishment is quite harsh to the crime rather I consider NO CRIME now & he is banned for all practical purposes,for LIFE.DEMOCRACY is for talking & no body likes it when it comes to questioning them.BCCI or PCB ,they sail in the same boat.As JAVED A KHAN says,things may get reversed also .WHO KNOWS ?

  • Ami Ahmed on April 2, 2008, 10:05 GMT

    At last!!!....He's gone, so get over it people!! Its over. Finito. History. chutti!!!

  • Faisal Rana on April 2, 2008, 9:40 GMT

    The attitude/performance of the PCB & its management is a separate issue AND Shoaib Akthar's attitude/performce is a separate issue. We must not mix the 2. Shoaib deserves the punishment. Shoaib cannot forever bank on his potential and past performances. He has been given enough opportunities to make amends. He had a golden opportunity to fix the vacuum created by the retirement of Wasim and Waqar. He did not take advantage of this opportunity. Meanwhile, Brett Lee when given the same opportunity, has become the spearhead of the Aussie bowling. Shoaib and Brett are not much different. Both are fast bowlers, both are the darlings of the media and both have a lot of extra curricular activities off the cricket field. But Brett Lee uses his star status positively. The moment of truth is here for Shoaib, he will forever be remembered for his off field antics.

  • Faridoon on April 2, 2008, 9:37 GMT

    Well, Shoaib was already under probation you know. I think Nasimo already knows fully that 5 years is quite harsh, and he also knows that after the appeal the sentence will come down by a few years so in effect the ban will be for a year or two.

    Poor Shoaib, yes he's no angel but fast bowlers of past seem to have gotten away with indiscipline. Imran and Wasim although great bowlers were no angels either but becuase of thier on-field performance the board overlooked other things. Shoaib has had no memorable performances of late to take attention away from his discipline problems.

    As for not giving him a contract, that can be justified by lack of performance, whether injury related or otherwise. Allegedly, he smokes like a chimney and drinks like a fish. How can he not be unfit most of the time.

    I was watching an old match, Shoaib the fresh faced pace sensation was great to watch. Now, he looks like a drug addict, eyes sunk in, dark circles et al. sad sad sad...

  • abdh@hotmail.co.uk on April 2, 2008, 9:31 GMT

    It’s another extraordinary twist in Shoaib’s career which caught the headlines on cricinfo today and even reached the BBC news this morning. We all know that Shoaib’s career has been surrounded by controversy over conduct and discipline both on and off the field. We all know that on many occasions Shoiab has been able to escape the punishment than pay the penealty. The drugs scandal, Asif’s thigh are a few of the incidents were we thought we would see the end of Shoiab but yet he let of the hook. Shoiab said that he will appeal to the court and looking at the facial expression from the pictures uploaded above this thread Shoiab seems confident of regaining his place and authority. But shorly Pakistan can’t let him of this time. I am sick and tired of this indisciplined childish behaviour which doesn’t allow Pakistan to mentain a strategy and plan for the future appropiatley. So I hope the board firmly stamp there authority and ban Shoiab permanently. I hope the say this statemnt clearly without any regrets that Shoiab can appear in Pakistani colours again ” bye shoiab have a relaxing retirement”.

  • Muhammad Taqweem on April 2, 2008, 9:14 GMT

    It all because of the PCB’s poor management they don’t have the discipline in their own lines how they can impose a ban on others. I think new Naseem Ashraf should be banned forever since October 2006 when he take the charge he has done nothing good to Pakistan Cricket whether its ICL , Muhammad Yousuf or doping issue. He let Pakistan down not Shoiab. I want to say that when Tuqeer Zia was the chairman Shoiab have no issues. So it is all because of Naseem Ashraf that Pakistan Team is suffering from worst time in last 60 years

  • Robert on April 2, 2008, 9:05 GMT

    While I have no doubt the PCB has yet again done little more than prove how totally inept they are, I can't help but feel that this was on the cards.

    How many times has Shoaib been in trouble? How many times has he be brought up for discipline issues... how many times has he managed to "get off" ? It really was a matter of time.

    While I think the PCB are a bunch of fools, I can't help but feel that Shoaib has been the biggest joker of all.

  • Yasin_chitown on April 2, 2008, 8:57 GMT

    Kamran Bhai, I want to tackle this issue with a different angle. I think this ploy by PCB is to attract some headlines. PCB is going through some turbulent times, and they want to steer attention from real issues (nobody wants to play in Pakistan; plus awful itinerary for coming years), and announced this very controversial news. They knew this would attract a lot of attention. There is one caveat though..... If PCB is paying all the intention to issues like omitting Shoib Akhtar from the team, then may be it's time to change the management....... - Yasin

  • Matt Hinks on April 2, 2008, 8:54 GMT

    I too believe that Shoaib's recent comments regarding his lack of a central contract were the final straw that broke the camel's back for the PCB. The board seem to have lost patience with an (always exciting but sometimes indisciplined) tearaway. Shoaib seems also to have embellished the truth when recounting the Asif & Shahid Afridi dressing room rumpus. In response, Afridi was very aware of one of the unfortunate features (not just in Pakistan) of contracted player vs board relationship, with the former (employee) effectively gagged from critisizing the latter (employer). Whilst I believe in wages for loyalty, I also believe that in any democracy, you should be able to walk the line between constructive criticism (which encourages debate and reform) and disloyal condemnation (which may result in sanction). When Asif gave a very different version of events that contradicted Shoaib completely, I think the board were thereafter looking for an excuse to remove Shoaib from their plans.

  • Sachin Fan, florida, usa on April 2, 2008, 8:45 GMT

    Shoaib should apply for Indian citizenship and seriously consider stint in bollywood. Pakistanis are bunch of ungrateful people and can never appreciate a genuine fast bowler. Shoaib bro, consider this as blessings in disguise and leave pakistan for good. You were born on planet earth. Now make India your new home which will give you money and fame. Ex- pakistanis like "J(er)K from Canada " , have nothing positive to say about you. If you wanna be a Actor , there is nothing wrong in it too. Bollywood welcomes you with open arms. ;-)

    Sachin Rocks !!! Peace Out !!!

  • vijay on April 2, 2008, 8:09 GMT

    this is just not right..

  • Waqqas Qavi - Melbourne on April 2, 2008, 8:00 GMT

    Whilst I have consensus with your thoughts on PCB, Shoaib appeared as a contagion in the later years of his career. So tenacious was he with his knee-jerk attitude that the most glaring example is his absence from the team in Australia owing to his much outgoing social life. Not only did his behaviour encroach on his performance, his impact on the team has been debilitating. I am not being skeptical about his match winning performances emanating naturally, perhaps his meek approach to the game depleted him of his zealous contributions. A much cluttered Shoaib lacked the vivacity for cricket. PCB regards a certain degree of paranoia as an essential factor of mitigating complacency in the team. Shoaib’s truncated career does not grant him the title of a passable player, let alone the legend tag. Speed is no panacea to all the hitches. Commitment is vital to the game of cricket. Whether he reverts, crashes another top order and recoups my support appears to be a perpetual dilemma.

  • Muhammad Azeem on April 2, 2008, 7:32 GMT

    I think it is a blunder on behalf of PCB.And they seem to be developing habit of making blunders.Shaoib only gave statement about mismanagement of PCB (which I think most of the people would agree) and share his views on why he thinks he was not selected for the national side in the past.Official said all sorts of things about whatever they think of a player ,do not you think a player must have right to talk about what is going wrong in board particularly if he is not under any contract (which may or may not forbid a player to make such a statement).I admit that he made mistakes in the past and got some punishment but this time it is not a miscounduct on part of shoaib, so why he get banned for his career? Nasim ashraf said he is elected according to the constitution of PCB. Well i said he is elected under the constitution he made, elected by the people he himself selected for the post.It's time for the thirsty traveler to settele in America, where first of all he belongs to.

  • Faisal Taquie on April 2, 2008, 7:28 GMT

    Well well well....this is what one should expect when we have a medical doctor and retired generals running cricket in Pakistan. Mr. Ashraf (I have no respect for him to call him a doctor) should be taken to task for all of his unjustified decisions ranging from being (travelling) with the Pakistan team in WC 07 to changing its ad hoc policies.. It seems PCB has a different set of rules for different players....which is pretty much what Mr. Ashraf feels that particular day! President Musharraf imported Mr. Ashraf from the USA (like Shaukat Aziz)...perhaps Mr. Ashraf should go back there....Cricker in Pakistan has been at its lowest ebb under Mr. Ashraf's unelected ad hoc mismanaged rein. People have lost interest in cricket in Pakistan.....would you believe it?

  • Tarak on April 2, 2008, 6:29 GMT

    A v v sad day.Shoaib bhai is a real entertainer.The game needs him lee and Ishant,as muchas we need the tendulkars and the the Afridis.Why is Pakistan in such a haste to shoot out their top stars..Waqar,Wasim Bhai, Inzi Bhai,Moin Khan,all top super stars ,Abdur Razaak ,,Name them all super match winners have been kicked our for what.I think the problem is pakistani management,they think they are the supreme powers.and they can do anything..I feel like suing these guys,they have deprived the world of the pleasure of watching Wasim Bhai ,Inzi bhai and waqar bhai and now shoaib bhai..I just saw Inzi bhai winning the match for Lahore lion single handedly on a not so good pitch against quality player..Now .. wat is that ???Inzi bhai can still win matches..ABSOLUTLEY SHAMEEEEEE

  • Abbas Reza on April 2, 2008, 6:26 GMT

    Good riddance, don't you think?

  • Dr Dora -USA on April 2, 2008, 5:44 GMT

    No one here talking why he got this 5 years ban??? Just to speak truth about pak pitches and pak balls that were used in pak domestic cricket???? i have never seen in my life in any country that to speak a truth and u can get 5 years ban... shame on u pcb... A nonsense chairman should have sent into jail for five years because of using low quality balls and defective pitches that could have dangerous for batsmen's life instead giving punishment to shoaib. In any western country could anyone expect or even think a player can get ban for even 1 day just to say balls and pitches are not good quality.. This show how stupid is this pcb’s chairman. His brain looks like only 2-3 years old kid. I can't believe he had MD degree.

  • M.Saad Durrani on April 2, 2008, 5:43 GMT

    I think 5 yrs is too much it should be 1 yrs max coz i dont think he may play more than 2 yrs so i personally belive that PCB should ban him for 6 months or a yr .

  • Kashif Akhtar Kidwai on April 2, 2008, 5:41 GMT

    Well, the final nail in the coffin has been put in place. I think its curtains for Shoib Akhtar, but for an offence which was far less serious then assulting somebody physically and getting away with a reprimand and a five match ban. If the board was that linenient the other time, why so harsh now? So much so that it certainly puts Shoib's International career out of equation. For the sake of the game and the beauty of the sight of watching Shoib running again to bowl at full throttle from his long runup will not be deprived from us so abruptly. How I wish, better sense will prevail and the ban would soon be revoked. Keep hoping Buddies....

  • AussieRocker on April 2, 2008, 5:32 GMT

    Good riddance to bad rubbish. The next move should be to ban the PCB (and the Pak team) for 10 years. Mebbe after 10 yrs u guys wud learn to play on the field than off it. Only then shud u invite us to play over ther. It wud avoid the ignominy of being whitewashed by rivals like Indians, Aussies and even Bangladesh i wud say!

  • Haider on April 2, 2008, 5:22 GMT

    relax kami, i dont even care abt the PCB anymore. i hope you are watching the Lahore Badshahs whoop everones ass in ICL. and they just announced the ICL world series with countries which means Lahore Badshahs + razzaq + shabbir are going to whoop some more ass. and as far as shabby is concerned he can go and chill in Kolkata in his IPL team.

  • Shoab Actor on April 2, 2008, 5:03 GMT

    Leave me alone you PCB and fans. I am glad I was banned. Now I can concentrate on working in Bollywood. My dear friend SRK and Amitabh have offered me roles in the fl=ilm. Like adnan Sami I wann go to India and get citizenship where life is better and more respect and money is possible. Thanks PCB for saving me from disgrace of leaving Pakistan and now I have valid reason. Through IPL money I will join acting classes and make a good life here. Looking forward to Adnan sami footsteps following

  • Abbaas Faroq on April 2, 2008, 4:59 GMT

    Finally now I can look forward to coming series where Pakistan is toured by Australia ,England and SA. this year. Once this flop IPL circus is over , many teams will want to tour Pakistan to dethrone us as test and ODI world champions .If I remember correctly no team has beaten us in last 15 series at home and recently we beat SA , Australia in their backyard. India is not even close to our standard. Proud to be a Pakistani. :P Ok time to wake up now and stop dreaming LOL:P Ok lets dream of a peaceful and economically strong Pakistan now

  • Le on April 2, 2008, 4:47 GMT

    What an ignominious end to a wonderful career. We will miss you, Shoaib. Thankyou for the memories.

  • Imran on April 2, 2008, 4:30 GMT

    Don't worry guys. The new government has already shown signs that they will replace Naeem Ashraf so Shoaib is coming back. Infact Naeem Ashraf came up with this verdit just to do something before he leaves and become a part of news and thats it.

  • Faisal Jafri on April 2, 2008, 4:23 GMT

    Another sad day for Pakistan cricket but one which could be seen coming for a waile. The PCB is led by an incompetent person out for personal gains and vendettas rather than loooking at the future of cricket. Sure Shoaib was not your usual sportsman to handle. But since when have fast bowlers been normal to handle. Imran Khan, Sarfaraz Nawaz, Dennis Lillee, Botham, Thompson and the list goes on were 'handled' by their boards and captains. Nasim Ashraf has a nerve to say that the board has lost confidence in Shoaib. How about assessing the confidence that Pakistan's cricket loving public has in you Mr. Ashraf? His resignation after the World Cup debacle should have been accepted and he and his cronies sent packing rather than giving them the chance to continue to damage cricket in Pakistan. Look at the farcical tournaments that they have arranged. No one bothers watching them the quality of the cricket is so poor. The PCB needs revamping and Mr Ashraf booted out as soon as possible.

  • Naeem on April 2, 2008, 4:23 GMT

    Kamran, What goes with PCB? Are they really incompetent or is this apersonal vendetta? Any board that cannot manage a player of Shoaib's calibre well should be fired immediately. Yes, i am a fan of Shoaib and enjoy his bowling. I think it would be wise for Shoaib to apply for Indian citizenship and play for India. He is well aodred in India by cricket fans and many players as well. A good coach will get wonders out of this man. However, if no respect is shown to a player and he disagrees with the methodology of the board, this is his right!! perhaps democracy is still in its infancy stage in Pak and of course freedom of speech is yet unknown. But I wish Shoaib all the best. I know that he will come back against all odds and still give Pak a few good games.

  • Hamza on April 2, 2008, 4:20 GMT

    When this sort of senseles bungling is to be seen on part of the cricket board, one tends to wonder if a domineering and authoritative captain is the only workable solution in Pakistan cricket who takes all cricketing matters in his hands and makes the board officials ( and board policies if there are any ) totally insignificant. Let aside the performance, what we are seeing these days is too senseless to describe. Pakistan Cricket Board has always been run by a bunch of idiots which is exactly why imran in his era used to be all in all afa cricketing matters were concerned. When shoaib should've been banned, he wasn't. Doping is an extremely serious offence irrespective of the fact whether there are any policies in place or not. The morality of the board and individual has was questionable after the doping saga and Pakistan cricket lost its credibility completely (and rightly so). PCB is a bunch of idiots, Pakistani cricketers are a bunch of non-professional individuals. Hopeless !

  • Raza Karamat on April 2, 2008, 4:19 GMT

    PCB will be sacked in the next few days and IMRAN KHAN will be named as head of PCB. Shoaib akthars ban will be lifted. Khan will make Pakistan cricket relevant again!!!!!!!!

  • Husna AM - Jamaica on April 2, 2008, 3:45 GMT

    i couldnt have agreed more. five years is a bit long. so i guess its safe to say the Akhtar's career as a bowler of the pakistan team is over, althought i do admit his performance before before was quite well. lets hope no one else from the team is banned and take it as a life lesson.

  • mustafa on April 2, 2008, 3:31 GMT

    continued from above.......... kamran akmal has been tried up and down the order he still ahsnt proved himself. but no we wont drop akmal but still let him stay while we drop palyers who have genuine talent such as imran nazir who then are forced to go to leagues which have them covered financially now we onyl have one fast bowler who hasnt broken down with a fitness problem. umar gul has a back problem mohammad asif has an elbow problem mind you they are great talents but so is shoaib.the PCB is going downhill very fast and doesnt know what to do with players and their talents. wonder when this all is going to stop and we are going to have a team that is feared in the world of cricket. as long as the PCB is deciding on what to do with palyers i know its not going to happen.

  • mustafa on April 2, 2008, 3:23 GMT

    I think the ban was waiting to happen but on the reasons that it happened was really ironic. i mean he is not even contracted with the board so how cna they even say that he is foudn guilty of misconduct. and i think him saying that the board has double standards is true in a sense cuz when i read the contracts and for reasons they were awarded i was shocked myself to see some players in there as well beign either demoted to differet contract or gettign higher contracts. i think shoaib hitting asif was bigger than this and for that he only got 13 match ban and for just saying somethign verbally he gets 5 yrs its a bit too much. the PCB is no angel either they do not know how to deal with players. we have lost imran nazir, hasan raza, abdul razzaq and many others who will not be playign for pakistan anymore and those players have gud talent but the PCB still decides to keep kamran akmal after all that has happened in th past yr with him. all thos e droped catches.

  • Arsh on April 2, 2008, 2:58 GMT

    If there ever was a "well deserved ban", then this is it. Shoaib should feel lucky to be allowed to play after taking drugs. I support PCB on this decision. I think this is a positive 'move-on' step for Pakistan cricket and PCB has shown guts. Hopefully Pakistan will be back to full strength soon and will be able to play India again so India can beat them again :)

    Good luck to Pakistan Cricket

  • Malik on April 2, 2008, 2:56 GMT

    wow is the PCB stupid or what?!!!? As talented as Shoaib is i think the more important aspect that he brings is his name. He is a selling tool for the PCB, one of the few star attractions for a team that lacks them. He brings in crowds, much like Shane Warne. And for a poor board such as PCB, they just hit themselves in the foot. If Shoaib was playing in the Bangladesh series, he would still attract a crowd. Notorious characters are always popular. People pay to watch them. Great, now we're gonna have to see mo yo as as a star attraction. Good luck to the PCB to try and attract a crowd.

  • Mahesh on April 2, 2008, 2:47 GMT

    Monopolistic institutions like the cricket clubs organized in various countries, who dare to install a tag of "unofficial" status on competing institutions, do resemble dictators and therefore, this is no surprise from the PCB, BCCI or any other body. I hope the ICLs of the world end up a success & abolish this monopoly - for cricket's sake.

  • R.Khan on April 2, 2008, 2:45 GMT

    Kamran and all those people with comments defending shoaib ...listen the ban was not for shoaib speaking up agaisnt the board..it was rather for the fact that his whole career has been more exciting off the pitch then on the pitch his whole career has been filled with his incompetence as a rolemodel and a sportsmen, with his indicipline , with is misbehaviour, bad sportsmanship which culminated in his taking drugs and ridiculously hitting asif his own team mate, in which is was on PROBATION and which he violated hence the ban ..... its the best move pcb has ever made jus hope they be brave and stick with it...shoaib is not bigger than pakistan cricket..we have soo much talent in pakistan and we will find some more shoaib akthers that will be disciplines and true rolemodels and who will take pride in plaYing for pakistan and would never jepardise it by acting like fools ...SHOAIB SHOULD HAVE BEEN BANNED A LONG TIME AGO ...ITS TRULY ABOUT TIME HE GOT A WELL DESERVED LIFE BAN

  • Rashid on April 2, 2008, 2:16 GMT

    Ashraf, You need to get rid off yourself!.I have no respect for you what so ever.Yes,at this point Shoib is out of control.But,You are not fit for your position either.

  • Rajeev on April 2, 2008, 2:05 GMT

    I often find your views opinionated and highly exaggerated, but I really liked the succint point you made about the punisher not being above board themselves. It is quite ironic that a drug offsense goes scot-free but complaining about being out of contract, gets one a 5-year ban from an authority that's haphazard at best. The Akhtar story is a representative image of the world in some ways - his career spans 46 tests in 10 years or so, but he is always in the news!! Story and drama trump substance!! Or to the public , story and drama are part of their definition of the substance they are looking for. And cricket in general too seems like that - there was one exciting series in the last 12 months (ok, 20-20 had moments too) but there's so much drama unrelated to any games IPL, sydney test, ICL, murali, aussie selections, SA selections - endless..Cricket is life, I guess because this seems to be reflective of life in general.

  • R Sivasubramaniam on April 2, 2008, 2:02 GMT

    The Anti Corruption Agency should investigate the PCB Officials. Their action in banning Shoaib - one of the greatest fast bowlers ever, has played into the hands of the other countries. Opening batsmen all over the world are collectively breathing saying: "Thank God we don't have to face Shoaib!" It is the officials of the PCB who should be banned for 5 years - no for a lifetime and told that they should never be seen within 10 km of any cricket ground. They are killing cricket in Pakistan at a time when a vibrant Pakistan team would add colour to the world of cricket with Shoaib firing his thunderbolts. Surely a person bowling at such speeds is likely to face more frequent breakdowns that a slow bowler - or are the bigwigs of the PCB unaware of the demands that fast bowling puts on a human body. If they are really interested in the welfare of cricket in Pakistan, they should revoke the ban and then collectively resign! Sivasubramaniam, Singapore

  • Dan Smith on April 2, 2008, 1:56 GMT

    This decision is pathetic. Criticizing your employer is not a crime which deserves five year-ban. These are the actions from a chairman who is uncertain about his future, so he is acting in a haste and in fear.

  • Faisal on April 2, 2008, 1:55 GMT

    I think this BOARD should be banned without any provision of appeal against the ban. What JOKERS!!!!

  • Danish Mansoor on April 2, 2008, 1:24 GMT

    If PCB has taken Shoaib's behavior seriously early in his career and has banned him for short period of time, he would have learned a lesson. He always found away to get away with the stuff that would have caused serious ban for any other sportsman. In my opinion it is not bad for Pakistan. His presence in the team was never a moral boost. He is so unlike Waqar, waseem or Imran. I am hoping that PCB will learn a lesson and treat all cricketers indiscriminately to save a career of another Shoaib out there.

  • Nathan on April 2, 2008, 0:48 GMT

    Interesting priorities shown by the PCB.

    A player gets shown to have taken performance enhancing drugs and that's no problem, let him continue playing (unless there's a chance he will be tested and caught again by authorities who take cheating more seriously than the PCB). But say a few words against the board? That's it, terminate the player's career.

    The true pity of this is that Shoaib has wasted the potential that could have made him one of the all time great bowlers.

  • Galib on April 2, 2008, 0:20 GMT

    Does anything work in Pakistan? If the head doesn't work properly, how can one expect optimum performance from any other part of the body! I think this should explain why Pakistan's Cricket Board doesn't work as expected. The head needs to be fixed first, then the hands and the legs may achieve optimum performance through rigorous therapies.

  • Tanweer Bukhari on April 2, 2008, 0:09 GMT

    Well Kamran, you are partially right. I am more inclined towards the idea that Shoaib himself is responsible for the saga. He has misbehaved and man-handled his colleagues too many a times. He had to be punished somehow to make youngsters understand sanctity of the rules of cricket which is rightly known as "gentleman's game". Though PCB has been too harsh, but wouldn't it have been more appropriate if Mohammad Asif had sued Shoaib in a court and got him behind the bars for attacking and injuring him without any good cause? Believe you me, if it was an incident in any of the developed countries the court would definitely have maintained supremacy of law and punished the attacker rightly. We are so unfortunate that there exists nothing like this in Pakistan as the culprit gets punished by one court but the is acquitted by the higher. To sum it up, Shoaib has got the treatment he really deserved, although it is ironical that it was PCB rather a court of law. Kind Regards. Tanweer Bukhari

  • muhammad on April 1, 2008, 23:40 GMT

    I totally agree with you.I think a better way to end his career was to ask him to play in local team and prove his fitness.PCB is responsible for shoiab's behaviour today as they were ignoring his mischieves all the time.

  • Amyn Habib on April 1, 2008, 23:35 GMT

    I must confess to a certain sympathy for the PCB. It is clear that Shoaib has been pecking at them, providing a steady stream of harassment and problems, without delivering much in the way of performance, that they have finally run out of patience. This five year ban is not in response to just his questioning of the contract offered to him. The punishment is ridiculously out of proportion to this specific offense (which is hardly a crime). It is a really a response to years of hassle and insubordination suffered by the PCB at the hands of their golden boy. It is sad, though. On one of his (very few) good days, Shoaib was an amazing, superb bowler.

  • A.R. Minhas on April 1, 2008, 23:09 GMT

    Moreover PCB did not need to ban Shoaib Akhtar because they were not going to select him anyway. They could have just dealt with this more smartly but making a scapegoat for your own incompetence is a Pakistani national past-time. But you know what would be worse? if Shoaib Akhtar actually wins the court case against them because he was technically never contracted to them. That would be the writing on the wall for Naseem Ashraf to quit and don't we all pray for that day?...wow it must be after the 99 world cup that I am actually rooting for Shoaib Akhtar!!!

  • sid on April 1, 2008, 23:08 GMT

    This is a real stupid decision......I think most probably the entire PCB will be dissolved, a new committee will be formed and they will reinstate Shoaib within 1 year. Anyways, with his injuries I think he would have not lasted more than 2 years. Look at Brett Lee, where he is now with his dedication and focus. I remember once both Brett and Shoaib names were taken in the same sentence.....not any more. That explains a lot.

  • R.Khan on April 1, 2008, 23:06 GMT

    shoaib had the potential to be a great , he was the most talented bowler in the world but he threw it away with his arrogance, poor attitude and lack of character ...let this be a lesson to all aspiring cricketers, it takes more than talent to be a good cricketer, it takes courage,character, humbleness, good heart, and good attitude, shoaib would never match up to the great pakistan bowlers such as wasim akram, waqar younis, imrankhan, aqib javed, sarfraz nawaz ect so as for shoaib...good ridence ...truly good ridence

  • A.R. Minhas on April 1, 2008, 23:00 GMT

    Dear Mr. Kamran, Truer words have not been said about Pakistani cricket. What was supposed to be a board that manages a country which has been blessed by probably the most naturally gifted and talented players is exerting its own power to make it look relevant. What is the use of this power if your giving death sentences to players who are past their primes and far more costly to maintain? But punishing someone just because they said something negative about a biased and flawed policy borders on the line idiocracy. Shoaib Akhtar was given less of a punishment when he was on drugs and that to he was forgiven what makes this any different? What it essentially does it make PCB look even more of a joke than it already is and any idiot will also tell you that this is a distraction to make people stop thinking about the cancelled tours and why nobody wants to tour our country.

  • Amin on April 1, 2008, 22:50 GMT

    Just like Pakistan army conquers its own Govt. after 3 years, PCB conquers its own players, i guess its something we are born with, we cant help it.

  • Asad on April 1, 2008, 22:41 GMT

    if shoaibs ban is not overturned than pakistan has lost an amazing bowler (ability wise)...now pakistan has lost that pace factor...hopefully mohammad asif and umar gul can stay more fit now...or else our team is screwed for good....and hell get rid of dr.ashraf...

  • BK on April 1, 2008, 22:18 GMT

    Agreed that this may not have been the case or cause with which to issue such a stern punishment but he had it a long time coming. The way I see it is that sure he is a talented player, but he is a creator of instability in our team, its strategies and unity. The other players aren’t angels but at least most can hold their own and bowl their 10 overs, wouldn’t fling a bat at another person (no matter how provoked) and aren’t exploring Bollywood options coz they lack the self confidence in themselves to stage a comeback. The Board should also publicly accept part of the blame for the poor mismanagement of Shoaib Akhtar who was identified as a loose cannon with a lot of talent from the beginning. However ultimately it falls on the individual to accept responsibility of his deeds and do all he can to prove his merit with this talent, training, commitment and determination. Unfortunately, all he has his talent but so do many Pakis waiting in line for their chance…so lets move on

  • Jawad on April 1, 2008, 22:18 GMT

    Despair not my fellow countrymen.A new PCB setup is round the corner and Mr.Akhter will be gloriously reinstated.Unfortunately he has become a big liability for whatever is left of Pakistans cricket team.The board has also mishandled his case.Long time ago he should have been referred to a professional psychiatrist to help with his personality/bipolar disorder.Instead he was sent to diagnose hyperflexibility of his elbow!!!. I would also partly rest the blame on shoulders of Wasim and Waqar who themselves were nurtured by Imran but instead gave Pakistan cricket this gift.They should have groomed him better. It is sad that Pakistans fast bowling resources look thin and depleted.What was once our forte is now our Achilles heel. In the end it is a sad day for our cricket. What a waste of talent.I wonder how history would remember him!

  • Rehan Haider on April 1, 2008, 22:12 GMT

    I agree with you about the board but i disagree about your comments on how he didn't deserve it this time. He should have been banned a very long time ago but one thing is for sure. This ban does not mean anything. He will appeal and get away with it again just like before. If not this way then the ban will be overturned once the government changes. We will be made to suffer once again by stupid antics of Shoaib Akhtar who just isn't interested in performing for Pakistan. His main goal now is bollywood as he knows his playing days are over either way! Ban or No Ban!

  • Sidd on April 1, 2008, 22:05 GMT

    Farcical is the word, Kamran. cant agree with you more. Agreed, Sohaib has had problems; but this is absolutely ridiculous. As the legal battles would take their own sweet time, Akhtar is welcome to IPL exploits.

  • Gurpal on April 1, 2008, 22:02 GMT

    I'm an Indian fan but I'm saddened by the cricket situation in Pakistan. The team looks to be heading for the second tier of test cricket along with NZ and with no team wanting to tour in the future it may not get much better.

  • Asif Sarfraz on April 1, 2008, 21:45 GMT

    Hi guys, I simply laughed off this news today!

    First thoughts I had were that our cricket board are thick! Instead of banning him for five years, why not just ban him for life, as he is not going to be any good for us when he is 37! Not exactly going to be charging in!

    The board are only going to reverse the decision, which is going to be more embarrassing for them!

    People at the PCB need to have a quick fix, for a long time solution for Pakistan Cricket!

    There thinking sucks! Seems like a load of child's play up there! It seems to be leaving the players confused!

    I know this following issue has not got anything to do with this post, but not allowing Mohammed Asif play for Surrey, or any other player join county cricket is a load of b*****ks. Let them play abroad maybe they can improve there skill and experience as a cricket player! Hence making them a better player!

    Catch you guys later on the next Pakistan cricket controversy!

    Oh well, who's going to listen to me anyway!

  • Gilbert E. Freitas, Sydney on April 1, 2008, 21:44 GMT

    I think that Akthar is a braggart who thought he was indispensable. He made a joker of himself and was a bad example to the kids who admired him. But I think the ban was too severe though Akthar is a serial offender. The PCB has its own problems as it works on whims and fancies. Perhaps Akthar was a thorn in its side and grabbed the opportunity to get rid of him. It really sad to see such great talents like Akthar and Inzy go to waste. In the end Pakistan is the loser.

  • asim iltaf on April 1, 2008, 21:32 GMT

    Another gloomy day for pakistan.Feels like that we have distroyed our nuclear programe another gift to pakistani people by genrals friends.

  • Muhammad Mubashir on April 1, 2008, 21:30 GMT

    What you have said is truly true (however that may sound). Shoaib Akhter is an extremely talented player and should have played his final years with honour. However, the mistakes that he had mode should have been overlooked for the honour of our cricket team.

  • Abdul on April 1, 2008, 21:18 GMT

    I absolutelty agree. The board cannot abide by simple rules, yet they slap a 5 year ban on shoaib. The guy is a bit odd, accepted- but then again, dont you need to be a bit of a unique individual to be the best fast bowler in the world. This punishment is ridiculous. We were looking like we are on our way to being the worst of the major test playing teams...now we most definitely are. What a farce!

  • Lallu Lal on April 1, 2008, 21:15 GMT

    Dr Nadeem is quoted to have said "The board has lost confidence in Shoaib Akhtar and therefore felt his presence in the field was damaging to the Pakistan team, for Pakistan players and for the image of Pakistan cricket...". Hmmmmmm. So its because Akhtar has lost confidence of the board that he becomes a bad influence on others. I would have thought that it was the other way round. Looks like PCB is learning from our own great BCCI. As it is ICC and its member boards are epitome of incompetence, they just keep on outdoing themselves.

  • Lallu Lal on April 1, 2008, 21:10 GMT

    I find it funny that Shoaib was handed a slap on the wrist for hitting Asif but a career ending ban for criticising PCB. What does PCB want to convey?

  • Salman Javed on April 1, 2008, 21:06 GMT

    I think Dr. Ashraf needs to go. I don’t agree with his stupid policies. Yes, Shoaib is the Bad Boy but I think this management always handled him wrong. He is a match winner and should always be respected as one. How many bowlers in world can clock 100 Mile/Hour? How many win can win you matches? Looking at Pakistani bowling lineup I think soon we’ll far lesser team than Zimbabwe or Bangladesh.

    Media has played an important part in spoiling his career and PCB has to blame for this nonsense. They go public with all the issues and then there were forgiveness and recalls. This all would have been handled well inside the office. I still believe the guy has some talent just don’t throw him away bring some person who has cricket knowledge to run PCB office. This management is crap…

  • Danish Abbasi on April 1, 2008, 20:55 GMT

    Unfortunate exit From the Game: Danish Abbasi The hugely talented Rawalpindi express had certainly deserved the better treatment than the one meted out to him by the PCB. The decision has nothing to do with the supremacy of rules over the players as it highly reflects the professional incompetency, inefficiency and mismanagement of the Cricket board to tactfully resolve this issue in the interest of the Pakistan Cricket. No one can deny the highly irresponsible attitude of shoaib Akhtar towards his game in particular and to the team in general, but the cricket board could have arrived on a differrent conclusion than the one now. Another aspect of this entire issue is the timing of the ban on shoaib as why the previous numerous incidents occurred in the past involving this bad boy of Pakistan cricket were tolerated by the Board Management without any hue and cry. Five years ban is certainly excessive, unreasonable and unjustified, it will certainly raise many eye brows throughout the cricketing circles. Kudos to Dr Ashraf for causing tremendous damage to Pakistan cricket, cricket in Pakistan is loosing its relevance slowly and gradually for the other test playing nations of the world. Akhtar is the proven match winner keeping in view his statistics, the present mediocre bowling attach will surely miss the magic of Rawalpindi Express.

  • Asad H on April 1, 2008, 20:32 GMT

    He is being banned for 5 years for publicly discussing his dissatisfaction with his proposed contract? Sounds like the work of a ridiculous and self righteous bureaucracy, which is what the PCB is. Shoaib is worth infinitely more to Pakistani cricket than the entire collection of glorified clerks called the PCB put together.

    Shoaib is a flamboyant character and understandably has some discipline issues but this is taking it much too far. True to the personalty politics of Pakistan, this seems to be something personal against Shoaib and not about him talking to the press about his contract. The loss will be to Pakistani cricket.

    The PCB has gone too far here and Shoaib should be consulting lawyers. This is the same PCB that was spineless in taking a stand against Darrel Hair when he made a mockery out of test umpiring but when it comes to destroying a star player's career, they're up to the task.

    The PCB's greatest contribution to Pakistani cricket would be to stay home.

  • sameer on April 1, 2008, 20:29 GMT

    I agree, even though he is not well disciplined he is still a vital part of the Pakistani cricket team. If we want to beat big sides such as Australia we need bowlers like him. Plus a five year band for complaining about a contract, thats ludicrous

  • Sanjiv on April 1, 2008, 20:28 GMT

    All good things come to an end and bad things sooner.

  • ksm on April 1, 2008, 20:23 GMT

    kamran, don't defend shoaib, notwithstanding the fact that PCB is filled with unpredictable, unprincipled and useless officials. Shoaib has DONE enough to disqualify him from even a kindergarden school team for ever. FAST bowlers can be (fairly) decent - look at brett lee, malinga. So why shoaib is special? How many reports have been there against sachin, dravid, sanath, sanga,kumble, ponting,murali etc., about creating issues for the team, board and individuals around them? I dont know of too many. Then why is Shoaib special? He should have been shown the door long long time ago.

  • S. H. Ch. on April 1, 2008, 20:16 GMT

    Hi, Though this end may be the least deserved one but a just one. In my opinion the first end whenever it happened and then overturned, should have stood. It would have atleast avoided this use-less episode in Pakistan Cricket called Shoaib Akhtar. I think the ultimate conclusion i.e end of his career is something that is good for Pakistan Cricket. Pakistan Cricket can ill-afford such unprofessional cricketer who plays more off-field than on-field. His antics should have been stood upto long ago. I don't have any problem whith whatever he does off-field but if it effects pakistan cricket in any way whatsoever, He is unacceptable!

  • ksm on April 1, 2008, 20:09 GMT

    kamran, don't defend shoaib, notwithstanding the fact that PCB is filled with unpredictable, unprincipled and useless officials. Shoaib has DONE enough to disqualify him from even a kindergarden school team for ever. FAST bowlers can be (fairly) decent - look at brett lee, malinga. So why shoaib is special? How many reports have been there against sachin, dravid, sanath, sanga,kumble, ponting,murali etc., about creating issues for the team, board and individuals around them? I dont know of too many. Then why is Shoaib special? He should have been shown the door long long time ago.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on April 1, 2008, 20:08 GMT

    Brilliant Kamran. Absolutely brilliant. It’s like you took the words out of my mouth. This Nasim Ashraf, as I said in the previous post, is a malady, a disease, a punishment from God! Ugh. Why is there no accountability in the country? Convicted felons can come back and become our leaders. Incompetent cricket administrators can relentlessly embarrass us on the global stage. And yet, we the people are powerless to do anything about it. Shoaib, if he were to be banned, should have been so during the notorious nandrolene episode for that was when he truly maligned our country’s reputation. Here, for once in his life, when calling a spade a spade, he’s been banned for five years. I mean. This is just absolutely ridiculous. Ludicrous, indeed.

  • Adnan Mohsin Zaman on April 1, 2008, 20:07 GMT

    It is sad that a talent like that is not utilized properly.There is no one to blame for this other than Shoaib himself,no one is above the game and he tries to pose himself above from rest,which is unfortunate.I hope this issue will settle down quickly bcoz as a pakistani I like to see my team performs well not individuals making name for themselves and damaging this great sport which is passion for our nation.

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on April 1, 2008, 20:04 GMT

    Every great player when he retires leaves behind a legacy, heritage, traditions, memories, remembrance etc. In case of Shoaib there aren't any fond memories and he will NOT be remembered as a great fast bowler who has contributed something substantial and meaningful for the future generation to inherit from this so-called Rawalpindi Express. But, he will be remembered in so many different ways. He is a blighter who wasted his otherwise glorious cricketing career in conflicts, controversies and altercations. One can write a book or make a movie called: "Murder on the Rawalpindi Express," it will be a best seller and a hit movie. But, the subject under discussion is not Shoaib Actor, but a group of incompetent people who are turning this case like O.J. Simpson's or, a soap opera and no one knows when this one will end. The 'case,' if one looks at it with a legal eye seems clearly in favour of Shoaib. Because, at the time of raising his voice in public about his demotion, he was not even on the PCB's pay-roll (central contracts) but, lesser retainer basis, the offer he did not accept. Secondly, what kind of democracy is practiced in Pakistan and in particular in the cricket world that a player is not allowed to speak against any injustice? In Pakistan two PM's and their families were sent in exile on charges of murder and corruption. After 8 years they are back again to rule the country. And who brought them back? The people of Pakistan! Now, there is all the possibility that the new government will intervene in Shoaib's case and he will come back. In Rashid Latif's words, "Shoaib is banned BUT, he will be reinstated, this is a land where everything is possible, only the dead cannot be raised again." How true, but, their spouses can rule the country from the back seat. So, there is not only a blessing in disguise BUT in every big punishment there is a BIG opportunity waiting for you.

  • RLakhan on April 1, 2008, 20:00 GMT

    Shoaib was misled by Bollywood and its trash movies and got sidetracked from good cricket that he is capable of - his disregard for management ha slanded him in trouble and his lack of respect for fellow team members has added to his woes

  • Zubair Shahab on April 1, 2008, 19:53 GMT

    It seems that you are willing to see through Shoaib's mistakes and blame everything on the PCB. Accepted that the 5 year ban makes no sense, it should have either been a year or life; but you can not overlook the fact that Shoaib has repeatedly "pissed off" all of Pakistan, let alone the PCB. I disagree with you here Dr. Abbasi.

  • Ahmed Qaisar on April 1, 2008, 19:30 GMT

    Idiotic board managed by a bigger idiot whose bans have no meaning especially since none of these jokers will be around for too long given the change in political climate. That said shoaib the moron should have stayed banned after the drug charge..

  • Jamie Dowling on April 1, 2008, 19:27 GMT

    To be fair to the PCB Shoaib was on probation after the incident where he allegedly clouted Mohammad Asif with a bat. In my book that would be worthy of suspension anyway. If you're on probation then if you haven't got the intelligence to behave sensibly, be professional and keep your head down then you probably shouldn't be playing international cricket.

    The PCB had already established itself as an irrelevance in the Ovalgate incident. By giving Mushtaq Ahmed and Rana Naved ul Hasan No Objection Certificates they actually did the right thing for a change. To me, this is another step along the path of redemption for the PCB.

    Shoaib will appeal and I for one hope he loses that appeal. The governing body is responsible for sport governance, not the judiciary. If Shoaib can't respect that fact he shouldn't be playing the game.

    Shoaib is out of the international scene. Let's leave it there.

  • RLakhan on April 1, 2008, 19:26 GMT

    Shoaib was misled by Bollywood and its trash movies and got sidetracked from good cricket that he is capable of - his disregard for management ha slanded him in trouble and his lack of respect for fellow team members has added to his woes

  • Osman Rohail on April 1, 2008, 19:16 GMT

    The PCB has bitten Shoaib hard this time around.A 5 year ban for a verbal outburst looks harsh but keepiong in mind his past and also the fact that he was on probation, it looks fairly justificable.But this is not the end of the story i guess, U never know whats gonna happen when you're living in pakistan!!!!!

  • Raza Gillani on April 1, 2008, 19:01 GMT

    A bit too late. This duush bag needed a kick some 5 years ago any ways. Thankfully, the PCB woke from slumber. One man who will be delighted with this saga will be King Khan of the Knight Riders, another twist in his IPL tale. Every broken stump by Mr. Actor in IPL will be cheered with more zest.

  • Samad Saharan on April 1, 2008, 18:58 GMT

    Shame to have such a wasted career, all blame is put on pcb imo, didnt use shoaib wisely, just abused him and didnt handle a genuine pace bowler like a board should have. Shame .............

  • Irfan Mayani on April 1, 2008, 18:53 GMT

    also I need to add more. Pakistan's last major series against quality opposition was against india. No one who watched that series can deny that shoaib was by far the best fast bowler in the series even on the dead indian tracks. His committment was 200% if not more.. you have to be blind or an idiot not to notice that . if you cant see commitment and performance from shoaib in that series than somethings wrong with you. Even Lawson said that shoaib's performance , decipline and commitment during that trip was great. Still you din't pick him for the ODI's against Zimbabwe why? , The guy has problems I agree, but its the board's job to manage players, deal with them and take the most out of these talents. PCB needs to manage all this. Its their failure. If kamran akmal has failed in an entire season , when zimbabwe or bangladesh are playing us why dont we give sarfaraz 10 staight ODIs as a trial , why not? its just politics not cricket. Eveything in the board is messed up.

  • nabeel on April 1, 2008, 18:49 GMT

    Well said. It is sad to see shoaib go this way. I sincerely wish that Naseem Ashraf gets the sack and goes back to wherever he came from. We do need people in adminstration who think they are more important than the players. Dr. Naseem Ashraf is not important. If Shoaib goes, Dr. Naseem should go to for his continuous failures

  • Sabs on April 1, 2008, 18:48 GMT

    Unfortunately the cameras have been focued on Shoaib for to long. Everything he says or does comes under scrutiny. He should have remembered that, because its an unjust way for his career to end. Whether or not that decision will stay is another story. Hopefully if it gets revoked, Shoaib will load his guns for last time and go out in real style, because he is bowling is something to behold when he charging in full steam.I also dont understand how he gets a 13 match ban and fine for hitting someone with a bat but gets barred from pakistani cricket for speaking his mind, it doesnt really make sense, but it seems cricket has gone down this path now,as all cricketing boards are behaving oddly in one way or another.

  • Vinod on April 1, 2008, 18:47 GMT

    ths resembles an old joke in mathematics.... 16 divded by 64 equals 1/4 by striking the two sixes awy.... this decision of PCB seems aslogical as this.....

  • Irfan Mayani on April 1, 2008, 18:44 GMT

    This is hurting...this is gonna hurt pakistan cricket ..already the team has hardly any thing to be proud of ..PCB continues to give people more reasons to laugh at them , more reasons to hate pakistan cricket. Somebody from the board said shoaib hardly played 40% of the matches during 2005-07, and they fail to read that may be that is the very reason they lost most of the matches during that period. no body had anything to say against the pcb or stop them when for no good reason a legent like waqar was fired when he was doing great as the bowling coach. Now they have punished another match winner, another asset to the team as if he has killed somebody. The PCB is a mockery, somebody needs to bring a change in the board. since 2002 more or less the same people have been running the show . And the performance of paki team 2002-2007 is poor to say he least. if the pcb cant get there team to perform during such a long period, time for a change.They are misusing power.

  • Vinod on April 1, 2008, 18:44 GMT

    spot on sir..... this decision goes to show how stupid the boards that run cricket world over.... here is a person who has done everything from missing practice to ball tampering to doping and he is banned for criticising the board on a stupid contracts issue... how laughable!!

  • Q. Zaman on April 1, 2008, 18:31 GMT

    When Shoaib entered cricket, and his first indiscretion the PCB should have come down on him like a ton of bricks... then this guy may have learned his lesson.... but no PCB were too lenient on him and others..... so what do you expect he thinks he can get away with anything.... if anyone is to blame it Shoaib and the PCB as well

  • Dr. Yasmin Khan on April 1, 2008, 18:20 GMT

    I think very bold decision by the pakistan cricket board...he is a talented idiot, and talented idiots always bring distruction on themselves.

  • Omer Admani on April 1, 2008, 18:16 GMT

    The attitude of the board is tantamount to that of a big government which interferes time and again with the public (players) on every occasion a small component of the market goes awry. PCB is being too reactionary and nitpicky; the doctor's recurring presence in the dressing rooms of the team is a constant example of that. The all-powerful mother of Pakistani cricket needs to take a break and concentrate on solidifying the system thru which players emerge, rather than being whimsical in approach towards the system as soon as new developments emerge regarding players. It should be the other way around, the all-knowing mother should not interfere with the players in the national team too much, just enact a system through which players can emerge and are checked or rewarded. What the doctor is doing is that, he see's something the player does (his like/dislike) and reacts accordingly. This shouldn't be his concern at all, he should preoccupy himself with enacting a proper system.

  • Ahmed Abdul Quadeer on April 1, 2008, 17:48 GMT

    A sad but deserving end of a talented unprofessional cricketer!

  • Raza Zaidi on April 1, 2008, 17:47 GMT

    Dr. Abbasi! It looks like that you have lost all perspective if you believe this ban to be unreasonable. In fact, I think this ban IS unreasonable...he should have been banned for life.

    As far as I'm concerned, the stupid ass does deserve to be booted out of the game. "Khuss kum, jahaN paak."

  • RSN on April 1, 2008, 17:46 GMT

    5 yr ban seems too harsh..

    I can only think of this about shoaib's career - "What a huge waste"..with corrected action and a saner head, he could have set the stumps ablaze and helmets crashing..No..that was not to be..He could only throw his urine test sample in disgust!!!!

  • Rashid Khan on April 1, 2008, 17:38 GMT

    Shoaib has only himself to blame for this and no one else. Infact the board has been too lenient with him in the past which is also one of the reasons contributing to his failures - he thinks he can do whatever he want and get away with that, which he did until now. He seriously needs to take anger managment course. As in Math, the two negatives cancel each other. Similiarly, PCB's irrational decisions have cancelled them out and the final outcome is what it should have been some time back (although this is not any justification for PCB's decisions). Shoaib clearly is a disruptive element to the game and needs to be kept away from the team. One last point is - money talks. Shoaib was able to earn his bread & butter thru Cricket and yet he did not contribute his due becuase he was able to get away with that. Now just wait & see how he plays in IPL - all of a sudden he'll become fit since that means a lot of money.

  • Atif Iqbal on April 1, 2008, 17:27 GMT

    I think the board is doing a great job i.e. a great marketing job for ICL. Hats off to Dr. nasim Ashraf and his board, the dear doctor has managed to kill the Pakistani cricket single handedly and I respect the man for his actions as there is nothing left in Pakistani cricket. For the last couple of years the most fun I have had is watching Lahore Badshahs bulldoze the other teams in ICL and I would rather watch Pakistani cricketers play in ICL than the likes of Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in one-sided ODIs on home soil. For me the cricket in Pakistan is dead and I hail Dr. Nasim Ashraf for the great service he has performed for the country.

    ps-Shoaib Akhtar was a great fast bowler (emphasis on 'was') and this is not the kind of a career ending that he deserves. He has made us proud and ashamed throughout his illustrious career and I feel sorry for him for what a joke he has become at the hands of PCB. Goodbye Shoaib Akhtar ... the last of the fast bowling generation.

  • M. Y. Kasim. Houston, Tx. USA. on April 1, 2008, 17:13 GMT

    What else would one expect from one of the worst admininstration in the history of Pakistan's cricket?

    If they are not removed by the new Government, each and every one of them, from the Chairman to the last "Chaprasi," then offer Fateha, and start playing some other game instead, where we can at least have a chance to win.

    And to do it quickly before the money is spent on pleasure trips in the name of finding teams to fill up the gap created by Australians' refusal to tour.

    The failure to get the Australians to tour and the resultant humiliation was too much and some scape-goat was needed. Unfortunatly, the willing badboy was there as always.

    I am not defending Shoaib Akhtar. He has been a Blessing and a Curse to Pakistan cricket at the same time. But a Life Ban? Give me a break. The High and Mighty Lords of the PCB can't tolerate a differance of opinion or a legitimate criticism?

    He has a right to question or ctiticise his demotion from category "A" to "B".

  • sabih ur rehman on April 1, 2008, 17:09 GMT

    I think shoib akhtar was not serious to play for pakistan but he is the fastest bowler of the world and without him pakistan could win test matches so he should be given one more chance. the ban of five years is too much for him. pcb should let him with a ban of five or six months.

  • Saad (London) on April 1, 2008, 17:08 GMT

    I think it's time Nasim Ashraf resigned as he appears to be powerless and hasn't improved Pakistan cricket a bit. Banning ICL players hasn't help his cause, crcketers need to earn a living as their career last for no longer than 15 to 20 years. BCCI appears to have a manopoly over all the other cricket boards who seem to get whatever they desire. It's time to do what is best for Pakiestani cricketers, surely playing cricket in different countries with different players can only inprove them. As for Shoaib, it could be argued that he deserves it, but not for merely criticizing the board on issuing central contracts. How Mohammad Asif recieved a central contract does show some contradictions in their criteria as he's played less than Shoaib in the last year or so. It doesn't set a good example for the other players. Just like Kaneria has been mistreated even though he's the leading test wicket taker currently playing for Pakistan. Its simply poor management and it's time to move on

  • Anand on April 1, 2008, 17:05 GMT

    Sometimes, its a wonder who is a greater joker? pakistani players or the Board. A board which if it had managed its players well, would have had the world looking at them with same awe as the australian team commands. But we know this wont change, coz its cricket in pakistan. It's meant to be like this always.

  • komalrani on April 1, 2008, 17:04 GMT

    Do not worry Shoiab! like you the PCB is also erratic!! Erratic in every sense. No doubt they will change their mind and will recall you shortly when the going gets tough. The question is will you be consistant in your bowling action or consistantly be trouble maker on the world scene??? Shoaib you can change, remember it is PCB who will never budge and remain on their erratic streak for ever...Like great Khan who groomed Wasim Akram to be his worthy successor, PCB and their "croonies" never thought of emulating Khan and engage a dignified person to mentor you and alter your "on and off" the field mannerism. PCB stands for "Politically Crooked Board".They have always looked for a scapegoat to hide their own inability to seek permanent solutions to on going solutions. Word ADHOC is befitting the image of PCB. By the way Imran, Wasim, Waqar Abdul Qadir, Tauseef etc are glittering there on the Pakistani scene due their own abilities not becuase of PCB's farsightedness. "HOWZAT"

  • EAMiran on April 1, 2008, 17:03 GMT

    Couldn't agree more. Shoaib is still the best bowler Pakistan has at this time. Although his perennially injured body cannot handle test cricket without breaking down again (and again!) he still had some ODI's left in him. To ban him now for 5 years is to ban him for life. The PCB should be ashamed of their actions - but then again, it is run by slime (like the rest of the country). I guess we will continue with our policy of mediocrity by selecting medium pace trundlers and average wrist-spinners. Maybe another 30 year old pacer should be given a debut against Mighty Bangladesh.

  • Irfan on April 1, 2008, 17:01 GMT

    good decision by the PCB. In fact excellent decision by them.Now pakistan can concentrate in trying to play cricket and try to get new talented fast bowlers in the team. Pakistan dont need him because he is a bad influence.

  • Roy on April 1, 2008, 16:59 GMT

    I think PCB didn't want to irritate the IPL/BCCI; hence, Shoaib is banned from international cricket, but is allowed to play IPL (what a farce). However, having said that, it is more likely that PCB (after under 'interim' probe by some government commission) will overturn this ruling. I think PCB just hands these bans out to gain some attention from the international media.

  • muhammed ansari on April 1, 2008, 16:58 GMT

    one has to take into account the fact that he was on probation.

  • MT on April 1, 2008, 16:56 GMT

    This is complete crap. The PCB have been after shoaib since a while now, the issue at the world cup should have been kept in the dressing room, there are plenty of other teams with such incidences who hush it down. The same was done with waqar younis, aqib javed. The problem with the PCB is it does not know how to manage players.After all there is a difference when one handles a pony and when one handles a prize stallion. No one says that you need to give him angel wings or shoes made of gold, but there is no doubt that a good management knows how to deal with individuals-individually. It is a shame that such a talented fast bowler, has to go down in such a disgraceful way. The cricket community's feelings are reflected in the comments made by rashid latif and sarfraz nawaz. Everyone is aware of the dirty politics that go on in the PCB. It is time to remove jokers such as Mr Naseem Ashraf and appoint someone who actually gives a toss about the game and can effectively manage the team.

  • Talha on April 1, 2008, 16:55 GMT

    well well pakistan's dormant lethal force is banned for 5 years. Shoab has'nt provided the occasional delight for his countrymen and certainly has adverse affects on the team. Having said that, I will so not be surprised if his ban overturned. Its sad that a bowler thought to be in the same league as the two W's was'nt able to prove himself !

  • PD on April 1, 2008, 16:51 GMT

    Did the board lack penetrative thought while bannig him for 5 years? Probably, 5 years is a bit too much for someone who said he wasnt happy with what he got paid. However, will Pakistan cricket be better of without Shoaib and his large than life, pretentious behavior? Yes. There are cricketers in Pakistan who want to win games, not think about their next endorsement deal.

  • Hafiz Usman Anjum on April 1, 2008, 16:48 GMT

    dr and co is a dumb company .. he has no sense of cricket operations . he first removed waqar when he was doing such a great job and now again and again imposing bans and then at the end taking them back .. he is letting pakistan down by banning and disbanning ..

  • anser azim on April 1, 2008, 16:47 GMT

    I do not think so. He will be back. Recently in Pakistan people have returned to public service having more serious allegations,People Like Zardari, Ms Bhutto, Mr Nawaz Sharief and others and on top of that ousted Judges are back with bang!!! Shoib will be back in six months or so!! I can bet on that!!.

    anser azim Chicago

  • Maha on April 1, 2008, 16:47 GMT

    I agree with you! The PCB messed up yet again... Except this time they've done something terribly stupid. I don't think Shoaib is completely innocent; he deserves punishment for being such a twit, but banning him got five years is going too far. Its another way of saying he's never coming back for international cricket. We should launch a protest to this unfair decision! Everyone keeps complaining about him being blasé and uninterested in his country, but has anyone ever bothered attempting to understand him?

  • wasif on April 1, 2008, 16:45 GMT

    There is light at the end of the tunnel. With the change of governement, Nasim Ashraf's days as the Chairman are numbered. All his stupidity can hopefully be reversed. He definately has been the worst chairman in PCBs entire history.

  • sampurna on April 1, 2008, 16:40 GMT

    this is surely a sad day in the history of cricket.the fastest bowler in the world is ending his careerwith a ban.how pathetic it is for him and his fans!!i am totaly disappointed with this board.first they demoted him from category A to retainership.that was certainly not justice.then this very board made him the captain of federl areas in a domestic compttn.how fluctuatin decision can be!!!then when he commented on that they call for a hearin.and after his apology this matter ended up with almost a life ban.certainly this board does theior work with theior whims.and they once again failed to prove their international standard!!feeling really bad for the extreamly talented player.hope ipl can bring a bright side in his life.

  • Kashif Anwar, M.D. on April 1, 2008, 16:39 GMT

    I may not agree with u here Mr. Abbassi. This person known as Shoaib Akhtar may have undoubted talent and abilities but he also have brought disgrace to the nation more then anyone did before. Not only this, if you see his whole career he has only played 48 tests!!! he may have been a match winner but his own proud of him being legend has always brought him down. I still remember the series in australia when he said that its me only against australia and i cant win games alone. Him being calling himself 'ferrari' or an 'aeroplane' considering himself a legend never performed consistently or behaved like a legend...iam sorry. If he looks at the careers of true legends like waseem, waqar or imran then he would know..they were all fast bowlers too dont forget as i am not including all time great Miandad who won pakistan matches more then shoaib's number of wickets!!! I THINK HE GOT EXACTLY WHAT HE DESERVED. OUR CRICKET HAS TO LIVE WITHOUT HIM FOREVER PLEASE.

  • Navin on April 1, 2008, 16:39 GMT

    Come play for India Shaoib...I am sure they will treat you fairly..or for that matter Bangladesh..and once you play against Pak and decimate them..you will be vindicated... Sad to see you go..

  • Shoaib on April 1, 2008, 16:34 GMT

    It is a sad day. I never write to these columns. For the last year I have lost interest in following Pakistan cricket, and I am one of those supporters who attended as many matches as possible to watch Pakistan play.

    Shoaib has always been handled poorly by PCB, management, coaches and captains. Now today he receives this hefty ban - only in Pakistan are we so adept at shooting ourselves in the foot.

    Shoaib is better off without Pakistan, but Pakistan is much the poorer for his absence - a very sad day.

    Even a half-fit Shoaib is better than most of our existing bowlers; a Shoaib that plays only half a match will do more than other fully-fit bowlers that play a complete match. Those beautiful fast inswinging yorkers that uproot the stumps, the aerplane celebration - wow, what a bowler. He bought so much to any match that he played and the crowd would always wait with baited breath as he came in to bowl.

    The way Pakistan cricket works, he will be back, I hope.

  • fahad on April 1, 2008, 16:33 GMT

    I think this is a great decision by the PCB.This guy is uncontrleable and he was given more than his fair share of chances.There is no way in hell that Akhtar will ever learn his lesson and he will continue to be a bad influence on the field for other players.He is the biggest CHUCKER in the history of the game and a convicted drug offender how can u possibly manage an individual like that . I think he has been lucky that he was able to play all these years with his attitude and unprofesional approach.I think we will be much better off without this egoistical maniac

  • DP on April 1, 2008, 16:30 GMT

    Totally agree. I'm an Indian supporter and feel disappointed about this decision. 5 yrs for speaking against the board? What a joke! If they really didn't want him to be in the team, they should just let him know that he is just not part of their plans and be done with it. This decision to take an indirect route puts the already poorly perceived PCB in far worse light.

  • Iggy Papa on April 1, 2008, 16:25 GMT

    An especially sad indication of Pakistan cricket nowadays (even though this is nothing new). The PCB's crippling ineptness is making Zimbabwe Cricket and Chingoka look good. And Shoaib Akhtar's finally complete list of 'misdemeanours' is is in no small part thanks to a board that has no idea whatsoever how to look after its players. Shoaib is an idiot (a gifted idiot, though), and he is obviously very culpable. If only he had some decent support... maybe the '99 World Cup, Kolkata Test, etc wouldn't have been such isolated events. Now Pakistan cricket is in an even more desolate place, and the dream line up of Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul and Shoaib Akhtar will forever be unrealised. His obvious idiocy and the endless faults of the PCB have left yet another indelible mark on cricket. Still, it won't make a great deal of difference- Shoaib has only a couple of years left, and the ICC (read BCC) are ensuring that Pakistan play all of 3 (maybe) important games in that period. How pointless.

  • Yasir Hasan on April 1, 2008, 16:25 GMT

    Well because of new Government, Ashraf will have to leave. New management will overturn this decision, and Shoaib will be back to his mischievous ways again ;)

  • Assad Hasanain on April 1, 2008, 16:21 GMT

    It is a show of blatant stupidity from Nasim Ashraf. Lets hope that the new government ditches this moron. This idiot has destroyed whatever reputation Pakistan had in the cricketing world. His tenure has been marked by disastrous results yet this bufoon still has the audacity to ban matchwinners like Shoaib Akhter. Nasim Ashraf is just in the job because of his close friendship with Musharraf. He does not have any cricketing experience and does not have any right to decide the fate of Pakistani cricket.It is time to dump this idiot and find someone who actually deserves the job. The Pakistani team has already been reduced to a laughing stock, it is scary to imagine what they will do without a matchwinner like shoaib.

  • dinakar on April 1, 2008, 16:18 GMT

    kamran saab, dont worry..believe me, following events will slowly unfold...

    a. shoaib will appeal against this decision b. PCB will set up a review committe c. they will overturn this decision and hand him a ban of some x test matches and/or y odi's. d. he comes back and will find some weird way to get into trouble again.

    :)

  • ubaid on April 1, 2008, 16:13 GMT

    shoaib has been working extremely hard to end his career with the ban but no matter what he tried he could not succeed. He hit people took drugs played when he wanted and left people out to dry when he didn't. He must have thought " what does a guy have to do to get banned here.... ?". Today must be a happy day for him. He has finally succeeded in getting what was rightfully his. P.S Mr Abbasi . You have a point in criticizing the board but not on this matter.Q :When will people learn to take responsibility for their actions? A: When people like you stop piling it on someone other than the one deserving it.

  • Imran Iqbal on April 1, 2008, 16:12 GMT

    Both Shoib & PCB can't make cricket more exciting than this. This is what they are good at. A way to remain in news as no good team wants to play them on their land.. Bye Pak Cricket.

  • Rauf on April 1, 2008, 16:11 GMT

    Perhaps there should be a life ban on Dr. Ashraf never to enter any leadership role that even remotely deals with professional sports. Under his leadership, Pakistan cricket has gone from bad to worse to ludicrous.

    If PCB keeps up with their moronic ways, even Zimbabwe will refuse to play against Pakistan.

  • Nasim Ashraf Kan Tutta on April 1, 2008, 16:07 GMT

    DNA has effectively raised the pride of Pakistan cricket by promoting them from the level of court jester to bhaand-in-chief of world cricket.I'd say PCB punished shoaib because he was found guilty of holding up the mirror to them. By offering someone Special retainer ship, you are not setting the best example of professionalism for someone you want to punish for unprofessionalism. No doubt Shoiab has been let off too many times and most of the times undeservingly so, he should never have been able to make it through the Asif fiasco. But not only PCB allowed him to get away with it but also get punished him for a far meager offense. Talk about double standards. I wonder when Nawaz Sharif sends a calling for Khalid Mehmood. PCB has been reduced to a bunch of jokers, look at their record..the touring program has been reduced to a laughing stock, hasn't the PCB been slapped from every single cricketing other board over it??? Everyday u hear about a new team touring at new dates.:@

  • Farooq Siddiqui on April 1, 2008, 16:07 GMT

    Though I am no fan of the PCB and its juvenile policies, I think Pakistan cricket needs to move on. Shoaib Akhtar looks for trouble and constantly creates unnecessary disruptions (see ABN/AMRO logo issue). That is high price to pay for a match-winning performance once a year. In terms of the magnitude of this 'breach', it really was the last straw that broke the camel's back. Let him make money and take his soap opera IPL and Bollywood. Good Riddance!

  • ubaid on April 1, 2008, 16:00 GMT

    The ban is well deserved.

  • anees ahmed on April 1, 2008, 15:59 GMT

    the sooner the new government establishes a new board then the better it will be for pakistan cricket. nasim ashraf is just a fool, how the fook can you ban som1 for 5 years for something like what shoa9ib has done?

  • Basit on April 1, 2008, 15:53 GMT

    Thats ridiculous,None of the board will do their star players like this .Anybody should have freedom of speech.I am afraid Dr Nasim Asharaf has made wrong decision to ban Shoaib. Pakistan cricket board has failed in every aspect .they cant even organise the matches for pakistan what else they are going to do ,when all the other teams are playing cricket why pakistan have a big gap .incase Australia had tourd Pakistan still i think we had 3 test matches in this year .I dont understand what the board members were doing when FTP was set up .In the end i would say Pakistan cricket board is full of JockerS

  • Karthik Narayan on April 1, 2008, 15:51 GMT

    Although the BCCI is as unprofessional at times as the PCB, in India, the media and fans do vent their anger when the Board takes rubbish decisions (like the Ganguly issue etc). Probably its time the people and media to voice ther protest too

  • TTU on April 1, 2008, 15:48 GMT

    Once again N.Ashraf has proved just how incompetent he is in the job of chairman.I have never heard of top players(in this case, one of pakistans truly great bowlers, of which asif and gul do not come close) being banned before there retirement, they are just too valuable.Ashraf and his board of dictators have made it seem that nobody can talk against them, surely improvement can come only from hearing the criticism first. As a top player,I believe Akhtar had the right to question his demotion,especially in light of some weird promotions and demotions.Misbah ul huq hit a few hundreds on FLAT pitches and seems to get close and then throw it away,what sort of testing innings has he played to deserve category A,i would like to see him repest those innings in england or south africa, where pitches are made for bowling. The pcb have banned him for 5 years and not for life makes me think that the PCB belives that he may return to play, at 37.Thats bull****, hence The blooding of Sohail khan.

  • Irfan on April 1, 2008, 15:46 GMT

    I think, Shoaib certainly deserve this ban.

  • Z Fazel on April 1, 2008, 15:42 GMT

    PCB may have acted unreasonably.But Shoaib Akhtar is no angel. No Pakistan fast bowler has acted the way he has and over a long period. His liability factors far outweigh his assets to the team. I think Pak authorities have been lenient with him over the years and that is the reason he has been able to play whatever cricket he has. I think Pakistan will now be able to build a team for the future in a more relaxed manner. The captain will know that his strike bowler is available (bar injuries) whenever he wants. This could not be said in the case of Shoaib. His tantrums went too far and as a follower of cricket,I think it will be good for the game and team cohesion.

  • taimoor on April 1, 2008, 15:41 GMT

    OMG!!!! this is the worst decision ever taken by the pcb......they r making a serious and idiotic mistake with shoaib , in my view the most talented bowler in the world along with a few others lik murali n co. pcb should repeal this action or else not onli pakistan but the whole criket world will be left withput the worlds fastest bowler....i hope shoaib will return ...n prove yet another 1000th time that he is the most threatening bowler on the planet!!!

  • Suhail Khan on April 1, 2008, 15:30 GMT

    Good riddence, I say. He has been a continuous source of indiscipline and rifts in the team. Nobody is above the team, no matter how talented they are. This decision is few years too late. PCB may be a joke, but I fully agree with their stand for once. Let's hope they don't back paddle, which I suspect they eventually will.

  • Yusuf on April 1, 2008, 15:27 GMT

    PCB is the most senseless cricket board ever. Totally baseless and senseless ... What is the point of a 5 year ban , it literally ends his career !!!

  • Umair Siddique on April 1, 2008, 15:26 GMT

    I think Kamran Abbasi has been living under a rock these last ten years. This ban is long over due. Shoaib has made a mockery of himself and has been detrimental to the team's cohesion for many years now. Forget everything else, this man attacked his own team mate with a cricket bat. Does the absudity of that completely escape Kamran Abbasi. He has repeatedly defied Pakistani cricket authorities for which he has no justification. Even if the current board is inefficient, that is by no means any justification for his actions. Lets not forget when he got in to a physical altercation with the late Bob Woolmer. Kamran Abbasi has an unhealthy habit of criticizing for the sake of criticism. This ban is obvously retroactive given his history and not just about these latest comments as was made evident when Kaneria was let go with a severe reprimand. A little objectivity Kamran, just a little. There is a trend to always conveniently place blame solely on the board regardless of who is in power

  • Munir Hussain on April 1, 2008, 15:23 GMT

    Mr.Abbasi is right to a point. But overall, Shoaib is to blame. Look at all the incidents that he has been involved in, his attitude, and his general off-field behaviour - it doesn't take a genious to see this was coming. Maybe the board have had enough of him and are punishing him in a way that gets rid him of him. He is a bad influence and behaves like a superstar. Reputations are built over time and Shoaib has not valued his "time". I beleive it is the best for Pakistan cricket that Shoaib is no longer a part of the set up.

    As for the board - just take a look at the way the whole country operates - its no surprise.

  • theossa, Pittsburgh, U.S.A. on April 1, 2008, 15:20 GMT

    I’m not a big fan of Shoaib but this is too harsh of a punishment and a decision with a big asterisk to it. I’m sure there is much more to this issue than just condemning PCB. I heard that the current PCB disciplinary committee is headed by an army general, not to mention Dr. Ashraf himself has no cricket or management experience, which speaks for itself. Shoaib had sporadic moments of brilliance but was plagued by his super ego and bad attitude. He is a colorful character in the cricket world who spoke his mind more than often. It’s not like he’ll vanish from cricket altogether, he can still perform and do well in English counties and IPL. Looking at the history of politics in Pak and PCB, I wouldn’t be surprised if the new elected government gets rid of the current cricket board, Shoaib appeals to new disciplinary committee and gets reinstated. Like we used to say; in Pakistan everything goes and everything is possible.

  • RAA on April 1, 2008, 15:18 GMT

    Is this the PCB's idea of an April Fools joke?

  • Raza on April 1, 2008, 15:17 GMT

    Well said. As of now there isn't any player in the lackluster Pakistani team who is as fierce, dynamic and talented as Shoiab Akhtar. I already was disgusted with PCB's policies and now they are putting an end to a very promising, yet controversial, career of Shoaib Akhtar. GOOD JOB Mr Ashraf, you stood up to your pathetic level of leadership

  • ksenthilkumar on April 1, 2008, 15:08 GMT

    dear Kamran Abbasi! it is really sad to know a ban on shoaib aktar.an outstanding delivery which rattled sachin tendulkar stump in india(some years back may be 1999 series) made him so popular in india.he is a person of highest calibre with immense potential.we in india always love him because he is the only one person who can single handedly destroy any team in his day.every body in the world was expecting him to be a legend at one day.but every thing went wrong.u cant always expect a bowler to bowl more than 155kmph.but he did this in many occations.we used to see him with envy.many in india belived that he is the correct replacement of the two great W's.unfortunately nothing happened as we expected.the reasons may be as follows 1.his indifference with inzy made things worse 2.his short temper 3.his ego with others 4.finally pak cricket board's reckless attitude(because every time he commits a mistake he was letoff with mild punishment that made him to make such comments often)

  • Wajid on April 1, 2008, 15:00 GMT

    You are right that this board does not have any morality to impose any sort of ban on any one, but who could argue that it is not the one deserved. This guy is no doubt extremly talented, but right from the start of his international career has indiscipline problems. Cricketers are sportsmen and in that sense they need to display certain high character not only on field but also off field as well, and Shoaib failed to do either of these. Cricketers are role model in Pakistan and I would say Pakistanis are better off without the role models like him. If he can not take care of himself and his attitude even after ten years of international cricket, we do not need him. He was always more interested in off field publicity then performing on field, and he should have been banned a year ago when he used drugs. If you want to look for fast bowlers being role models, just look at Brett Lee.

  • Jawed Akhtar on April 1, 2008, 14:57 GMT

    I think Shoaib does not leave any option for the board. The only objection I have is that board members took this step while they were in line of fire. They had to ban him for life for his earlier irresponsible acts.

  • Jawed on April 1, 2008, 14:57 GMT

    Well I will have to disagree with Author's point of view here, although I am a great fan of Shoaib, but still I could not find any argument to defend him, I think he has been making things difficult for himself from the last few years, but at the end I also believe that it is really a sad of Pakistan Cricket.

  • Saad Qureshi on April 1, 2008, 14:57 GMT

    The PCB has got to be a parody of world cricket boards.

  • Roger on April 1, 2008, 14:55 GMT

    Hi Kamran, I like all your articles & have read most of them.

    I don't know what ails Pakistan Cricket & its authorities. They seem to enjoy being in the limelight.

    Why would they want to ban one of their best bowlers ever. It seems outlandish to me.

    Mind you I am not even a Pakistani to feel like this. But a cricket enthusiast.

    God Help Pakistan Cricket!!!!

    Shoiab-Don't worry You will come back.

    Just dont't do well against India!!!!. Do well against other countries.

    That's fine with me.

  • Arham Adnan on April 1, 2008, 14:47 GMT

    i agree with u kamran, the PCB is a laughing stock in world criket and the 5 year ban handed out to shoaib is yet another moment of madness which places pakistani cricket into deeper shit. Shoaib is the fastest bowler in the world and he is our strike bowler. Batsmen feel under pressure when they are facing him; now the attack will comprise of only 2 competent fast bolwers; asif and gul.

  • nasir ahmed on April 1, 2008, 14:38 GMT

    Kamran, I think you've hit the nail on the head. Pakistani cricket has become a joke and it's so sad to see what was once a giant turn into the laughing stock of the cricketing fraternity. Needless to say, our board is inept and is long overdue for a complete overhaul. But what is even more distressing is that the talent making it's way into the team seems sub-standard. Opening batsmen with flaws identical to their predecessors, 'fast' bowlers with hardly any pace or guile etc. I can't believe this is the best talent we're producing in Pakistan. Granted Shoaib was a disruption and his discipline left a lot to be desired but he was one in a long line of prodigious talents coming out of Pakistan (wasim, waqar, inzi etc). I Just hope this suspension doesn't spell the end of players of this ilk representing pakistan on the international stage

  • Pratik on April 1, 2008, 14:35 GMT

    It is strange that the PCB didnt take such a harsh action when Shoaib Akhtar hit Mohammad Asif with a bat, but handed out a 5 year ban when Shoaib Akhtar hit out at the PCB with a verbal volley.

    Surely, PCB is taking a leaf out of its Indian counterpart BCCI in trying to become bigger than the game. Obnoxious cricket borads, both of them.

  • Wasti on April 1, 2008, 14:27 GMT

    Shoaib has become the Britney Spears of Pakistan Cricket. Much of the blame lies with the PCB's poor management skills as it does with Shoaib's antics. The PCB has let us all down.

  • Muntaha Wali on April 1, 2008, 14:26 GMT

    Another Idiotic decision from a clown/puppet (or whatever you may wish to call him)

    Hopefully his (Dr. Puppet Ashraf) days are numbered too

  • Naeem on April 1, 2008, 14:18 GMT

    I am here not trying to say that Shoaib is an angel but this decision is extremely disappointing. I have no idea what the PCB officials are doing. Dr. Ash has failed at every task at his hand so far and making these kind of decisions will certainly bring an end to his era as well. I am not sure if the decision to ban Akhtar will remain as firm as it sounded from the officials but it sure do seem pretty serious for Shoaib. But If I was shoaib, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Pakistan cricket team is on a rapid decline and there seems to be no stopping it in the near future. The other good thing for Shoaib beside NOT been a part of a poor cricket team is that he has options like ICL and IPL. He could probably make more money there, and live relatively free of unncessary spot light. I sure do wish Shoaib well in the future. Whatever his attitude to sport has been, he is an extremely talented cricketer. Last but not least in my rambling statement.Shame on PCB & its policies

  • Hashaam Raja on April 1, 2008, 14:17 GMT

    Surely this has to be an April fools joke!!!!!!!!!!!! How can they even think of giving him such a hefty ban, ok 5 matches, but 5 years bloody hell. He's pakistans biggest threat as a bowler, he puts opposition on the back foot more often than not, admittedly he can be very illdisciplined but so what as long as he bowls fast , continues to be a threat and takes wickets , his name should be first on the team sheet.

  • Jilani on April 1, 2008, 14:13 GMT

    This is saying-WE DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH SHOAIB (& OTHERS) SO WE SIMPLY WANT TO GET RID OF THEM.

    Shoaib should get a dual nationality and play against this board's team from India or England. That will be the day.

    The fact is that this board simply does want to AND does not know how to deal with talent. As result they are shunning genuine brilliance - Shoaib, Inzi, Nazir, Hasan Raza, Azhar-people who actually have performed miracles-in favor of a young team that they can control.

    They have instituted this policy abruptly and have disrupted the natural process of generational handoff and successions that have taken place among players. Far too many youngsters have been asked to perform far too soon at a level far too mature.

    As a result we also risk loosing the talent that we otherwise would capitalized on.

    How come Pakistan is the only team in which the almost no one player who played in mid - to late nineties is playing anymore? Why is it not a case with most tea

  • Hammad Siddiqi, Cincinnati Ohio on April 1, 2008, 14:11 GMT

    I enjoy reading your understated sarcasm, however in this case, I believe you can afford to be more scathing in your criticism of the Pakistan Cricket establishment. With the decision to ban Shoaib Ahktar for 5 years, the PCB has effectively ended his career for what? Speaking to the Press? this is the same chap who was given get out of jail cards for drugs and then kicking Asif's ass! Though I believe in free speech, one does'nt criticize ones employers publicly. Theres usually a forum to do that and Pakistan's sensationalist Press corp is hardly that forum. Shoaib was wrong, no doubt but how do you let his major transgressions slide and then come down like the wrath of God for this? mind boggling. Shoaib Akhtar's unrealized potential is a testemant to the mismanagement of the Pakistan Cricket Board. He was allowed to become a prima donna and flout conventions because he could hurl a cricket ball faster than anyone else. His volatility was never kept in check. Thus here we stand.

  • Madhan on April 1, 2008, 14:07 GMT

    Players do need a good understanding of what social repsonsibility they have to have, still 5 year ban for a guy who has passion for cricket will kill his spirit for ever. Punishment are given to make them perform more, bu doing this he will not have any good thing to look back to perform well. I think what is requried is to have a good chat with him instead of the ban

  • Martin Hook on April 1, 2008, 14:02 GMT

    This ban shows lack of perspective that comes from a society that lacks perspective in other areas as well. Read some people's comment here and you would understand what I mean. pakistanis sometimes overreact with such ferocity that is totally confusing. Few months back I read such comments on Shoaib Malik that it was breathtaking; his fault-The new captain had lost a test series narrwly. Pakistanis tend to overreact just as we english often under-react.

  • Jilani on April 1, 2008, 14:01 GMT

    I am a loss of words. AAARGH

    PCB is a set of most vengeful control freaks ever to come together in a beaurocracy-or should I say autocracy. They are using the central contract system as a way to deny genuine talent to pursue their careers under the green caps.

    Talented players always have an edge to themselves and PCB SHOULD have the guts to manage them. I wonder if this board was around in 1980s-90s, then the likes of Miandad, Anwar and Imran would have survived or not.

    Teams ARE ALWAYS built around players and captains AND not around boards.

    In ICL, we have a team - Lahore B'shahs-that are indomitable. And PCB has managed to loose every single one of these folks. Has anyone checked Hasan Raza lately. If Inzi is still in form in ICL averaging 40+ in T20s then WHY is he not playing for Pakistan? Why Why? Is BCCP against Dravid or ECB against Vaughn or CA against Gilchrist? I am unable to fathom this spineless board. Pak is done as long as Mr. NAQ is at the helm--SO SAD--

  • Sakul Gupta, Jammu, Bengalooru on April 1, 2008, 14:00 GMT

    Can't agree more Kamran, damn, assets undone like this. One would hope that the ban is revoked by a appealate board. Let someone earn his livelihood. There was no need to downgrade Shoaib in the contracts. If Medical proof backs Shoaib's breakdowns then he isn't guilty. A sober guy he..Yes he should have been managed much better. An asset even if he has hi super persona, should be managed so that only his best is highlighted & not every other step he takes he is criticised & cut for it. I fail to understand the bane. Now what we just see him in IPL, english county & not as a source of inspiration to fast bowlers watching international cricket. You don't get a gutsy, takeNoNonsense thinking bowler many a often. It seems PCB has a habit of giving unceremonious exits to it's best assets, same with Wasim, waqar, Aqib, Saeed.. Ain't worth it, is very bad

  • Sohail Waqar on April 1, 2008, 13:46 GMT

    All players should get together and ban the PCB and start a new cricket board.

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  • Sohail Waqar on April 1, 2008, 13:46 GMT

    All players should get together and ban the PCB and start a new cricket board.

  • Sakul Gupta, Jammu, Bengalooru on April 1, 2008, 14:00 GMT

    Can't agree more Kamran, damn, assets undone like this. One would hope that the ban is revoked by a appealate board. Let someone earn his livelihood. There was no need to downgrade Shoaib in the contracts. If Medical proof backs Shoaib's breakdowns then he isn't guilty. A sober guy he..Yes he should have been managed much better. An asset even if he has hi super persona, should be managed so that only his best is highlighted & not every other step he takes he is criticised & cut for it. I fail to understand the bane. Now what we just see him in IPL, english county & not as a source of inspiration to fast bowlers watching international cricket. You don't get a gutsy, takeNoNonsense thinking bowler many a often. It seems PCB has a habit of giving unceremonious exits to it's best assets, same with Wasim, waqar, Aqib, Saeed.. Ain't worth it, is very bad

  • Jilani on April 1, 2008, 14:01 GMT

    I am a loss of words. AAARGH

    PCB is a set of most vengeful control freaks ever to come together in a beaurocracy-or should I say autocracy. They are using the central contract system as a way to deny genuine talent to pursue their careers under the green caps.

    Talented players always have an edge to themselves and PCB SHOULD have the guts to manage them. I wonder if this board was around in 1980s-90s, then the likes of Miandad, Anwar and Imran would have survived or not.

    Teams ARE ALWAYS built around players and captains AND not around boards.

    In ICL, we have a team - Lahore B'shahs-that are indomitable. And PCB has managed to loose every single one of these folks. Has anyone checked Hasan Raza lately. If Inzi is still in form in ICL averaging 40+ in T20s then WHY is he not playing for Pakistan? Why Why? Is BCCP against Dravid or ECB against Vaughn or CA against Gilchrist? I am unable to fathom this spineless board. Pak is done as long as Mr. NAQ is at the helm--SO SAD--

  • Martin Hook on April 1, 2008, 14:02 GMT

    This ban shows lack of perspective that comes from a society that lacks perspective in other areas as well. Read some people's comment here and you would understand what I mean. pakistanis sometimes overreact with such ferocity that is totally confusing. Few months back I read such comments on Shoaib Malik that it was breathtaking; his fault-The new captain had lost a test series narrwly. Pakistanis tend to overreact just as we english often under-react.

  • Madhan on April 1, 2008, 14:07 GMT

    Players do need a good understanding of what social repsonsibility they have to have, still 5 year ban for a guy who has passion for cricket will kill his spirit for ever. Punishment are given to make them perform more, bu doing this he will not have any good thing to look back to perform well. I think what is requried is to have a good chat with him instead of the ban

  • Hammad Siddiqi, Cincinnati Ohio on April 1, 2008, 14:11 GMT

    I enjoy reading your understated sarcasm, however in this case, I believe you can afford to be more scathing in your criticism of the Pakistan Cricket establishment. With the decision to ban Shoaib Ahktar for 5 years, the PCB has effectively ended his career for what? Speaking to the Press? this is the same chap who was given get out of jail cards for drugs and then kicking Asif's ass! Though I believe in free speech, one does'nt criticize ones employers publicly. Theres usually a forum to do that and Pakistan's sensationalist Press corp is hardly that forum. Shoaib was wrong, no doubt but how do you let his major transgressions slide and then come down like the wrath of God for this? mind boggling. Shoaib Akhtar's unrealized potential is a testemant to the mismanagement of the Pakistan Cricket Board. He was allowed to become a prima donna and flout conventions because he could hurl a cricket ball faster than anyone else. His volatility was never kept in check. Thus here we stand.

  • Jilani on April 1, 2008, 14:13 GMT

    This is saying-WE DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH SHOAIB (& OTHERS) SO WE SIMPLY WANT TO GET RID OF THEM.

    Shoaib should get a dual nationality and play against this board's team from India or England. That will be the day.

    The fact is that this board simply does want to AND does not know how to deal with talent. As result they are shunning genuine brilliance - Shoaib, Inzi, Nazir, Hasan Raza, Azhar-people who actually have performed miracles-in favor of a young team that they can control.

    They have instituted this policy abruptly and have disrupted the natural process of generational handoff and successions that have taken place among players. Far too many youngsters have been asked to perform far too soon at a level far too mature.

    As a result we also risk loosing the talent that we otherwise would capitalized on.

    How come Pakistan is the only team in which the almost no one player who played in mid - to late nineties is playing anymore? Why is it not a case with most tea

  • Hashaam Raja on April 1, 2008, 14:17 GMT

    Surely this has to be an April fools joke!!!!!!!!!!!! How can they even think of giving him such a hefty ban, ok 5 matches, but 5 years bloody hell. He's pakistans biggest threat as a bowler, he puts opposition on the back foot more often than not, admittedly he can be very illdisciplined but so what as long as he bowls fast , continues to be a threat and takes wickets , his name should be first on the team sheet.

  • Naeem on April 1, 2008, 14:18 GMT

    I am here not trying to say that Shoaib is an angel but this decision is extremely disappointing. I have no idea what the PCB officials are doing. Dr. Ash has failed at every task at his hand so far and making these kind of decisions will certainly bring an end to his era as well. I am not sure if the decision to ban Akhtar will remain as firm as it sounded from the officials but it sure do seem pretty serious for Shoaib. But If I was shoaib, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Pakistan cricket team is on a rapid decline and there seems to be no stopping it in the near future. The other good thing for Shoaib beside NOT been a part of a poor cricket team is that he has options like ICL and IPL. He could probably make more money there, and live relatively free of unncessary spot light. I sure do wish Shoaib well in the future. Whatever his attitude to sport has been, he is an extremely talented cricketer. Last but not least in my rambling statement.Shame on PCB & its policies

  • Muntaha Wali on April 1, 2008, 14:26 GMT

    Another Idiotic decision from a clown/puppet (or whatever you may wish to call him)

    Hopefully his (Dr. Puppet Ashraf) days are numbered too