Shoaib faces more questions after his claims were dismissed by Asif © AFP
Shoaib Akhtar seems to have slipped into further trouble with the Pakistan Cricket Board after Mohammad Asif, who was injured in a dressing-room altercation involving Shoaib, rejected his version of the story about the event being accidental. Shoaib, who was sent back from South Africa following the spat which left Asif with an injured thigh, had accused Shahid Afridi for provoking him.
"Afridi had nothing to do with the fight. The fact is that Shoaib did strike me with the bat over a little issue and got enraged for no valid reason," Asif told the Express, an Urdu daily. "He [Shoaib] has not apologised to me. In fact he should apologise first to the entire nation for what he has done."
Narrating his version of the events, Asif said: "Afridi was trying to make Shoaib understand that he needs to change his attitude towards junior players and communicate more with them. He told Shoaib that juniors were wary of him. At this point I also came out of the washroom and Shahid asked to me to tell Shoaib what the junior players feel about him. I just smiled and he then hit me with the bat. It was Shahid who intervened and separated us."
Shoaib, in a press conference organised after his arrival in Lahore, had apologised for his actions after claiming that Afridi's use of foul language against his family had led to him hitting Asif by accident. Afridi had denied Shoaib's claims.
The PCB, in its initial inquiry, held Shoaib responsible and decided to send him back to Pakistan as well as placing an indefinite ban on him until the team returned from South Africa and a proper inquiry took place.