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'PCB panel's tests prove Shoaib's honesty'

Published: Thursday, April 29, 2004, 0:38 [IST]
 
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Lahore:Fiery Pakistani pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar had his rib fractured while playing against India in the decisive third Test, his brother said, amid a probe into suspected feigned injuries.

"My brother appeared before a PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) medical commission and his X-rays proved that his 11th rib was fractured," Shoaib's elder brother Shahid Akhtar said on Wednesday.

The top Pakistani paceman hopes to get a fair deal from the probe investigating whether he feigned his injury during the match in Rawalpindi this month, he added.

"As an obedient servant of Pakistan cricket, Shoaib appeared before the commission and now X-rays proved he was injured, he hopes to continue playing for Pakistan," said Shahid.

Shoaib himself refused to comment on the issue, pending the investigation.

Shoaib, along with wicketkeeper Moin Khan and all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, appeared on Wednesday before the four-man medical commission formed to investigate excessive injuries in the team during Pakistan's 2-1 Test series defeat.

The commission, comprising leading orthopaedic surgeons and a panel of PCB doctors, is expected to submit its report to its chairman Shaharyar Khan next week.

The commission was appointed after suspicions were expressed by some cricket officials when the 28-year-old pacer, known as the Rawalpindi Express, fell down in his follow through and hurt his wrist and back during the Test.

Captain Inzamam-ul-Haq lashed out at Shoaib after Pakistan's innings defeat, saying the paceman let the team down and that his attitude was not up to the mark.

The controversy was triggered when Shoaib, who did not bowl on day three of the Test, batted on the fourth day without showing any signs of discomfort.

Shaharyar Khan last week said the PCB was forced to set up a medical commission after an MRI scan on Shoaib's wrist did not reveal an injury.

Former cricket legend Imran Khan this week blasted the PCB decision and termed the inquiry as a "mockery of Pakistan cricket".

A PCB spokesperson denied on Wednesday that the commission was set up to find a scapegoat following criticism over the defeat.

Shoaib is due to fly to England next week to play for Durham County but he would be available whenever needed by Pakistan team, Shahid said.

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