A sad Shoaib wanted to pull out of 2nd Test

Published: Sunday, April 4, 2004, 21:02 [IST]
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Lahore:Dejected with his performance in the Multan Test, Pakistan's pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar came close to pulling out of the second match against India 'in the larger interest of the team'.

Team sources were quoted as saying in a local daily that Shoaib had told captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and coach Javed Miandad that he was not keen to play the second Test as he was totally disappointed with his own form and had let the team down.

The bowler, however, agreed to continue when he was advised that instead of feeling depressed, he should just concentrate on making amends in the second Test starting at Lahore on Monday.

"Shoaib offered to step down in the larger interest of the team saying he was not enjoying peak form at the moment against India," said a report in 'The News'.

The "Rawalpindi Express" went wicketless in the first Test defeat to India in Multan while conceding 119 runs from 32 overs, the first time he failed to take any wicket in a Test match at home.

"Inzamam and Miandad told Shoaib that it would not be right for him to withdraw from such an important Test when the team was still depending a lot on him," the source was quoted as saying.

Arguably the world's fastest bowler, Shoaib did not come for nets on Thursday and Friday complaining of sore knee and then an upset stomach but last morning he sent down a couple of overs as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shaharyar Khan watched the players train.

The source said the captain had given Shoaib and the other bowlers a piece of his mind before the fifth day's play in Multan and since then the fast bowler had been feeling down and depressed.

"Inzamam simply told Shoaib and Sami that it was time they delivered and the team could no longer depend on their reputations," the source added.

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