An upset Shoaib to give Sri Lanka series a miss

Published: Wednesday, April 21, 2004, 20:02 [IST]
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Mumbai:Stung by the recent spate of criticisms, temperamental Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has decided to pull out from a One-day cricket series against Sri Lanka in Malaysia in a month's time.

Shoaib's family members said that accusing him as a deserter and pinning the blame for the series loss against archrivals India has put off the 'Rawalpindi Express' who was "not physically and mentally fit" to play the series. They said that attempts were being made to blame Shoaib for the debacle instead of the "rotten match strategy, poor planning and spineless batting and bowling".

"Shoaib is mentally so upset that he might even not participate in any international cricket for a couple of months," local daily 'The News' quoted an unnamed family member of the bowler as saying.

He said people who were actually responsible for the defeat against India were trying to drag the speedster unnecessarily into the controversy to save their skin.

"These people are afraid of the fall-out of the defeat. They were having a good time without putting in their part during all these years.

"These people have failed to deliver since the last couple of years. Now when they realise that they might be taken to task for the failure, they are desperately trying to shift the blame on one man," he said.

"In view of this, the fast bowler does not want to play the matches against Sri Lanka."

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