Pakistan's discplinary crisis March 15, 2010

PCB and manager wrangle over player bans


Younis Khan axing Mohammad Yousuf from the second ODI against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi last November ultimately led to his own resignation from the captaincy and created problems within the team, according to the report of the manager of the side Abdur Raqib. This, and a number of other revelations, was announced by the PCB today in a press release salvo aimed at the former manager, who was with the side on tours to Abu Dhabi, New Zealand and Australia.

The three tours culminated with a winless trip to Australia and the results led to an inquiry committee looking at the reasons behind the loss. The committee - with assent from the board chairman Ijaz Butt - last week handed out severe fines and bans to seven senior players for various breaches of discipline. But the board, to mounting criticism, has refused to make public the committee report, which itself took inputs from reports of the coach, manager and interviews with many players. This release, in which details of Raqib's reports are released, could however mark the beginning of a drip-drip release of the entire report.

Since the punishments Raqib has publicly spoken of his surprise - and in some cases disappointment - at the fines and bans. But the board today released a statement claiming that Raqib had wanted players to be heavily fined. According to the board, in his manager's report, Raqib writes "that when Younis Khan decided to drop Mohammad Yousuf for the second ODI against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi [Yousuf played the second ODI, but was dropped from the third match], it led to a series of events that ultimately forced Younis Khan to resign. Raquib's tour report clearly mentioned that when Yousuf was told he was dropped on account of his poor fielding he curtly replied, "I have been fielding like this for the last 7 years". He publicly argued with the team coach and the resulting disquiet in the team led to the dropping of Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal. Raquib stated that it was in the backdrop of these events that team unity completely broke down and eventually Younis Khan resigned from the captaincy. Raquib has also admitted that he was unable to take any corrective action and remained totally helpless to arrest the sharply falling team morale in during these events."

Other incidents revealed in the report confirm the impression that there was considerable disquiet within the side through the three-month trip. Most damaging is the apparent confirmation of the behaviour of the Akmal brothers after the Sydney Test. Kamran was fined for making statements to the Australian press about playing in Hobart, but Raqib's report also says that younger brother Umar complained of a non-existent back injury in the run-up to the Test. "After the second Test in Sydney when Kamran Akmal was apparently being dropped for poor performance he started giving statements in the Australian Press which was a clear breach of the player's code of Conduct. Consequently Umar Akmal complained of a back injury; however after a medical check up no injury was found. Umar Akmal however also violated the code of conduct by giving statements to the press."

A "brawl" between Yousuf and coach Intikhab Alam is also documented, during the fifth and final ODI in Perth, which Yousuf eventually sat out amid much speculation at the time. "Raquib has also written in his tour report that after the 5th ODI against Australia a brawl took place between Mohammad Yousuf and the team coach on the selection of the team, as Shahid Afridi had made two changes and dropped Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik," the PCB said. The report also confirmed rumours of an altercation between Umar Gul and Mohammad Aamer during a Test in New Zealand, one serious enough to incur heavy fines.

The board said it "completely rejected Raquib's recent statements in the press where he has denied complaining about player indiscipline during his stint as Team Manager. In his recent appearance before the Australian Tour Inquiry Committee when asked what action should be taken against those players who were found to be in breach of team discipline Mr. Raquib had suggested that they should be heavily fined. It is disappointing to note that Mr. Raquib has chosen to deny what is already well recorded and documented. Raquib had repeated his complaints during his appearance before the Australia Tour Inquiry Committee. Now Mr. Raquib is issuing statements that are completely opposite to his own stated positions."

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shamsul on March 18, 2010, 5:38 GMT

    Shahid Afridi should be made captain.He should not be fined because he was already banned for 2 intenational matches for biting the ball.then how can u punish a person twice for one crime????its like a killer being hanged twice for one murder.can u do that????? If u can then fine Afridi,otherwise he should not be fined.He is the only person who can take the responsibility of being the Captain of the team..........

  • Sheraz on March 18, 2010, 4:45 GMT

    The captain should be the player that works hardest in practice. Forget about talent, forget about seniority.

  • Dummy4 on March 17, 2010, 13:44 GMT

    they should make the report public so thr wont be any fight on who said what !!

  • Amit on March 16, 2010, 10:25 GMT

    Does anyone believe these bans are going to stick? No, me neither - like the other posters below it's simply a matter of time before the bans get lifted and a new PCB chairman sweeps in promising a new dawn - and so the cycle continues.

    There's something fascinating about the self-destructive road that Pakistani cricket seems determined to follow and something thrilling about the way in which occasionally all the elements sometimes still combine to produce magic. But this against all the odds stuff can't keep happening (just look at the Windies). This is supposed to be a national sport - providing pride and ambition for a nation's youth. Dressing room bust-ups, constant coups overthrowing management, match fixing - leave that to the WWE. Entertaining yes, sport, no.

  • Mohammed on March 16, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    @imirfan: Plow is talking against Pakistan cricket, you should first know that!!

  • Dummy4 on March 16, 2010, 5:31 GMT

    I think PCB should make this report public so that people should know what actually happened in Down Under tour (Australia) and in past escpecially in Younus Khan captaincy. The stories of players powers and disputes were also highlighted in last year Srilankan tour. Our cricket is almost dead due to terrorism but these bans and fines will be more deadliest under these circumstances. Every Pakistani wants justice and why it should not be for crickters.

  • irfan on March 16, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    I totally agree with what plow has said. perhaps we need someone new as captain. Why no body is talking about the under19 captain Ghuman. Afridi has ben very rightly criticised by lots. get some serioue players out there Please.

  • Aleem on March 16, 2010, 4:42 GMT

    PCB should stick with all the decisions... the point here is the way the whole bunch of players behaved and played cricket in the last 3-4 tours deserve strict punishments given that they have been fighting with each other, have been keeping personal grudges ahead of their national interests. If these players are not given exemplary punishments than this Immature/selfish and childish behaviour would carry on among our players. After these punishments, the remaining bunch of players would always think twice before doing such mistakes again in future. It has always been ironic in past that whenever a punishment has been awarded to any player to enforce discipline, it has been overturned by any court. If such things wont stop, these players would never play for the country. PCB should not be on the back-foot now and should stay firm on the punishments. No player is bigger than the national interests and we don't need players who are childish enough to not know how to play as team men.

  • Mohammed on March 16, 2010, 4:01 GMT

    Wel i think the Bans on Yousuf and Younis should be lifted and if they were given 1 year bans and they rest a strict warning that would do, but Seven senior players heavily banned wil bring only more losses to PCB. What PCB should think, must be of winning the next series, certainly this bans and fines does not make sense!!! In my opinion Afridi Should Captain in all formats and PCB should reconsider abt the fines and bans

  • Lil on March 16, 2010, 2:37 GMT

    WHOEVER SAID SHOAIB MALIK SHUD B THE CAPTAIN PLEASE STOP WATCHING CRICKET!.The only ban i agree with is the1on malik bcuz he was a conniving selfish player KILLING the team morale&wasn't even tat skillful.1good inning in10matches doesn't suffice a place in the team. His bowling is almost useless with ajmal and afridi around. He is a good fielder by PAKISTANI standards but he brings too much negative baggage with him so I AM VERY HAPPY HE IS OUT. Younis and Yousuf shud b allowed ONLY IN THE TEST TEAM.Afridi shud b made full-time captain for all formats. If the PCB shows faith in him he will mature more like he has in the last 3-4 yrs. Other than tat ball biting incident he was very positive and HAD EVERYONE'S SUPPORT...players (EVEN MALIK's)&fans. His batting, bowling&fielding has improved enough that he deserves a place in the test team as well. Plus him and Waqar know each other very well so they CAN work 2gether.Finally, Imran Khan shud takeover as manager/head of PCB.HeTheMan4theJOB

  • No featured comments at the moment.