Imran blasts PCB for blaming Shoaib

Published: Wednesday, April 28, 2004, 0:28 [IST]
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Karachi:Former Pakistan cricket great Imran Khan has blasted the sport's authorities for conducting a medical inquiry over fitness problems following home series defeats against India.

"Nowhere in the world (has) a medical inquiry of fast bowlers ever been conducted. By doing so, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has made a mockery of Pakistan cricket," Khan, a former captain and renowned fast bowler, said on Tuesday.

PCB on Monday opened a medical inquiry of excessive injuries to its players following their first ever home defeat against India earlier this month.

"Australian pacers Jason Gillespie, Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath fell injured before and during the series against India earlier this year but did Australia conduct an inquiry?"

"Even Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra broke down during the Pakistan series but India did not launch an inquiry," Khan said.

Paceman Shoaib Akhtar, known as the Rawalpindi Express, all-rounder Abdul Razzaq and wicketkeeper Moin Khan will appear before a four-member medical commission headed by Ortheopaedic surgeon Abdul Wajid in Lahore on Wednesday.

"The PCB is sidetracking from the main reasons why Pakistan lost the series. Some fast bowler picking injury is not unusual.

"Why Pakistan's bowlers had problems no one bothered to know and no one addressed the need to have a specialised bowling coach," said Khan, rated as one of the world's top four all-rounders in the 1980s.

Doubts were raised over Akhtar's injury during the decisive Test in Rawalpindi after he hurt his wrist and back in a fall on his follow through on the second day.

The 28-year-old Akhtar, who managed a disappointing seven wickets in Pakistan's 2-1 series loss, did not take to the field on day three and his coming out to bat on the fourth day raised suspicions over his injury.

"To blame one player for a spineless performance is unjustified, Akhtar might be responsible for indiscipline but that should be dealt with then and there," said Khan, who took 362 wickets in 82 Tests.

"He (Akhtar) won us three series in a row but instead of asking questions and learning lessons from defeats, the PCB has sidetracked," said Khan, now a member of Pakistan's Parliament.

Khan said the main question that needed to be asked concerned the poor batting show against India.

"Pakistan's batting was bowled out in two Tests by inexperienced Indian bowling because our batsmen lack technique due to a poor domestic structure.

"Apart from captain Inzamam-ul-Haq we have no compact batsman and Mohammed Kaif who finds no place in Indian Test team can walk into the Pakistan side for his technique and temperament," said Khan.

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