Bone scan puts Shoaib in the clear
Shoaib Akhtar will escape punishment from the Pakistani board after it found that he did not fake an injury in the recent third Test against India.
Shoaib missed the third day of the Test in Rawalpindi because of a back problem which stopped him bowling. It was later suggested that he feigned injury due to a lack of commitment to the cause, but a medical examination last month revealed a bone scan which put him in the clear.
However, it wasn't all good news for Shoaib. In a statement released today, the board reminded him what was expected of him, and that he would have to prove himself in all areas in domestic cricket.
"The Board has taken serious note of Shoaib Akhtar's conduct after he left the field which according to the doctors, management and captain led to demoralizing in team spirit in the dressing room," the statement read. "There followed an abject surrender by the Pakistan team in the second innings for which other offending members of the team must share the blame for not showing grit and fighting spirit required from the national squad.
"Accordingly the board has decided not to invoke a penalty against Shoaib Akhtar, but he will have to demonstrate his discipline to team morale, his fitness and prove his playing ability in domestic cricket to earn selection. Other players have similarly been cautioned that they need to demonstrate 150% commitment to team spirit and morale to merit selection in the national squad."
Meanwhile, four other players also had their injuries investigated. Umar Gul's will have further treatment for his bad back, Abdul Razzaq should be fit for the training camp set for May, Shabbir Ahmed is suffering from shin splints and should continue with existing treatment, while Moin Khan's back problem led the medical staff to suggest hydrotherapy should be made available for all wicketkeepers.