Pakistan news July 27, 2009

Shoaib's international career almost over, says Akram

Cricinfo staff

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram believes fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's international career is virtually over. Akram said the warning bells had been sounded with Shoaib's omission from Pakistan's list of probables for the forthcoming Champions Trophy, to be held in South Africa.

"I don't think he has got a chance, unless and until some miracles happen," Akram said. "Even though it depends on the captain and selectors, I think Shoaib has fallen out with the selectors and the board itself. The board still supported him and he went to Abu Dhabi and played two of the five games [against Australia] before getting injured again. We all saw that."

Akram also said the emergence of young fast bowlers like Mohammad Aamer had made Shoaib's comeback tougher. "I think Pakistan's bowling unit is doing well and they have to look ahead and think about the future," he said. "They have to back the youngsters who will do the job for them, even if you look at the 2011 World Cup. Also in this year's Champions Trophy and the next Twenty20 World Cup, the team would have to rely on the youngsters. I don't know where you can place Shoaib Akhtar in the current picture of Pakistan cricket."

Akram predicted a difficult future for Mohammad Asif as well. The 26-year-old fast bowler, however, made the cut for the probables for the Champions Trophy, following a tumultuous two-and-a-half years in which he failed dope tests and was embroiled in a detention case in Dubai.

"My advice to Asif would be - learn from your mistakes. I sincerely hope he learns from the 300 mistakes that he has made in the last two years," said Akram. "He's young, talented and one of the best Pakistani bowlers but it will take him some time to return because Aamer is now bowling really well."

He pointed out that international returns were not easy and cited the cases of Umar Gul and Sohail Tanvir. "Even Sohail Tanvir was struggling in Twenty20," Akram said. "Umar Gul is phenomenal but I don't think he bowled well enough in the Test matches [in Sri Lanka]. My advice to Gul is: Twenty20 and ODI are fine but if you are to be recognised as a good bowler you have to do well in Test cricket too."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mateen on July 29, 2009, 21:57 GMT

    as a matter of fact, king55, shoaib did make history. he was the fastest bowler in the world for a decade and also bowled the fastest bowl in the world in 2003. so i wouldn't be talking...

  • abdul wahab on July 29, 2009, 15:24 GMT

    Shoaib career should have been over, when he got his 5 year ban.... he is a real problem for pakistan cricket.... his fitness is zero, and is injurd after 1 match.... and when he comes back in the squard, he takes other tanlented player place..... i think he should not come back in the team

  • Anosh on July 29, 2009, 14:54 GMT

    Why are we even talking about Shoaib? Wasting our time over a fame-seeking person?

    He was never a great bowler. All he had was speed and speed alone does nothing.

    Its the best time for PCB to say Good Bye to Shoaib and let him play IPL, earn money and work in Indian Film Industry.

  • Furqan on July 29, 2009, 11:15 GMT

    I feel that shoaib's career is now over. There is no point in chasing a lost cause. When he burst onto the scene he had the potential to become a tuly great bowler, but alas he threw it all away. I admit that i aways looked forward to seeing Shoaib bowl but now i feel that we should direct our attention on the young players we have (Mohammad Aamer). They have immense raw talent as do most Pakistanis, and are the key to sustaining Pakistan cricket. I have never been a fan of the PCB, but i would advise them to keep any personal agendas regarding specific players out of cricket and especially away from mainstream media. Though Shoaib's downfall has been alot his own doing, the PCB have not helped at all. Forget the stained past, remeber the true legends we have produced (Imran, Wasim, Waqar- to name a few) and try to emulate them to ensure a better future for Pakistan cricket.

  • King on July 29, 2009, 4:11 GMT

    Huh? Chikka? Shoaib made history? Mcgrath made history, Kapil dev made history, Walsh made history. Last time i checked, Shaoib never won a worldcup, Never broke any records. He took just 170+ test wickets and 223 ODI wickets in his career.

  • Mohamed on July 29, 2009, 3:47 GMT

    I agree with Wasm. That said, the original issue about Shoaib going on TV and saying what he said - I totally agree and feel for Shoaib. The Board is hiding behind the rules to punish Shoaib. Why did they not disclose and punish the person(s) who disclosed the nature of Shoaib illness. The man (Shoaib) was thoroughly embarassed as anyone would be in that situation. Whateveryou think of Shoaib Akhtar, he is right on this matter.

  • hayden on July 29, 2009, 2:12 GMT

    shoaib has made too many headlines for the wrong reasons, some may not have been his doing but some definatly were. for this pakistan team just getting reaquainted with the art of test cricket he is too much of distraction to have round a impressionable young team which pakistan currently has. shoaib at the peak of his powers was a awsome bowler but that was nearly a decade ago now and its time for him to embrase retirement. asif i think warrents another chance espechally with tests soon in new zealand and aus. pakistan will need he and gul on song if they are going to challenge australia in their own backyard, he was really hitting his straps when the whole drug incedent happened. i think he learnt alot from sharing the new ball with mcgrath in the first ipl but hasnt really had a chance to show what he learnt yet.

  • Amer on July 29, 2009, 0:59 GMT

    I have never been a fan of Shoaib Akhtar but it is my duty as a citizen and a patriot to salute the hero because he once was. It is not surprising that end of his career is approaching but the way it is being done is unjustified. I think PCB needs to sit down with him and give him a series and ask him to announce retirement so that he leaves with pride and PCB wins too.

  • mateen on July 28, 2009, 16:33 GMT

    k hold on there chikka...wasim was the best bowler in the world for a long time. and dont say stuff about him because no country ever had as good bowlers as pakistan and never will...we have the best bowlers and it will always stay that way. and wasim did more for pakistan than any bowler for your country did probably.

  • salman on July 28, 2009, 15:35 GMT

    To bowl at 85mph and above, bowler should have a flat stomach and Shoaib do have a big belly so there is no way he can come back. Wasim is right that some miracle can bring him back and I think age that above 30, will take you easily good one year to get rid of a belly with strictly diet plan and hard work.

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