Habib Bank Limited (HBL) will appoint a new captain for this year's Quaid-e-Azam Trophy after the team stripped Ahmed Shehzad of the role. Shehzad captained HBL last year in the QeA, but currently stands provisionally suspended from all international and domestic cricket organised by any national cricket board or its affiliate members after returning a positive result on a dope test. He is not part of HBL's current 25-man squad for the QeA, meaning the removal from the captaincy was something of an inevitability. In the absence of Ahmed Shehzad last year, HBL were captained by former Pakistan fast bowler Umar Gul.
Shehzad underwent a random test during the 50-over Pakistan Cup in April, but it was only in June that news reports suggested he had failed to clear it. The PCB tweeted confirmation of the failed test, but said that according to ICC rules, it could not name the player until the result was backed up by Pakistan's anti-doping agency; the original finding was from a WADA-accredited laboratory in India.
Shehzad had the right to apply for his B sample to be tested separately (taken at the same time as his A sample), but opted not to do so, instead accepting the charge in response to the PCB's show-cause notice to the player. The PCB will form a panel to hear Shehzad's explanation, before determining what sanctions to apply. A date for the hearing is yet to be decided.
Depending on the nature of the prohibited substance, the player could face up to a two-year ban. The last Pakistan international to suffer that fate was Raza Hasan, who tested positive for cocaine in 2015, and was banned until 2017. In the last few years, Pakistan spinners Yasir Shah and Abdur Rehman were also banned for minor doping offences, each serving three-month bans.