Medical Committee set up on Shoaib's injury

Published: Sunday, April 18, 2004, 23:15 [IST]
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Islamabad : The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Sunday constituted a special Medical Committee to inquire into fast bowler Shoaib Akthar's injury during the series deciding third Test against India and said "any player found incapable or unwilling to give 150 per cent will have no place in the team".

Sounding tough after a wave of media criticism denouncing Akhtar for refusing to bowl after he sustained a wrist and rib injury on the second day of the Test match, PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan on Sunday said a special Medical Committee would be constituted to inquire and determine whether the injuries were serious enough.

"I have taken serious notice of this lack of commitment to national honour and want to interview each potentially offending player to inquire the reasons for not upholding the team morale. I want to make it crystal clear that any player who is found incapable or unwilling to give 150 per cent for team morale and national honour will have no place in the Pakistan team," Shaharyar said in a statement issued on Sunday.

"I have decided to set up a medical inquiry committee to report on Shoaib Akhtar's injury as also the large number of injured players who have depleted and undermined Pakistan's cricketing strength," he said.

"On the completion of the Media Committee's report and on receipt of the responses from certain players, I shall after consulting the Advisory Panel, the Chief Executive and the management, decide on disciplinary action, if any, that is to be taken," said Shahryar, a former Pakistan foreign secretary.

The PCB Chief said the Committee, to be announced by PCB Chief Executive Ramiz Raja later this week, will be headed by a Senior Orthopaedic consultant.

Akhtar, nicknamed Rawalpindi Express, withdrew in the midst of an impressive bowling spell during which he got the prize wickets of Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman. But soon he fell down while delivering a faster delivery in his 22nd over and withdrew after complaining of severe pain in the left-hand.

He then opted not to bowl on the crucial third day, during which the Indian batsmen piled up a mammoth total of 600 runs to set the stage for the big win.

Undaunted by the criticism, Akhtar came to bat on the fourth day, with Pakistan in a hopeless position, and entertained the crowd with few lusty blows. His free hitting made skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq and the local media to ask what prevented him from bowling on the previous day.

But Shoaib shot back at the critics saying there was a world of difference between bowling and batting and reiterated that he was not fit enough to bowl.

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