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Wisden Cricinfo staff
April 20, 2004
Shoaib Akhtar has been called before a medical inquiry commission, as the Pakistan Cricket Board investigates the spate of injuries that affected their prospects of victory in the recent Test series against India.
In the third Test in Rawalpindi, Shoaib pulled up in his followthrough with a reported back injury and a damaged wrist. He took no further part in Pakistan's attack, although he was later fit enough to crack 28 not out from 14 balls. But he reacted strongly to accusations that he had faked his injuries. "You need the whole body to be perfect when you bowl," he said. "It is different when you are batting. I am surprised how someone can think I was not badly injured."
Inzamam-ul-Haq, Pakistan's captain, was nonetheless critical of Shoaib's attitude, and four other players - Moin Khan, Abdul Razzaq, Shabbir Ahmed and Umar Gul - will have their fitness assessed by the medical commission.
The PCB chief executive, Rameez Raja, was adamant that no fingers were to be pointed. "The commission has not been constituted to find a scapegoat and punish him," he insisted. "It has been constituted to find why so many players got injured and what can be done in future to prevent so many injuries.
"The other objective is to help the players get their names cleared from the general perception that they faked their injuries, if they were genuinely injured." But, Rameez added, the implications would be serious if anything sinister was proven. "I must make myself very clear, that if it was proved some players did fake their injuries, they will be taken to task."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.