PCB assures Shoaib fair deal for keeping mum

Published: Thursday, May 6, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Islamabad:Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, accused of faking injury during the series-deciding third Test against India, has been assured a "fair" deal by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shaharyar Khan during a meeting between the two at Lahore on Wednesday.

Shaharyar met Shoaib at the PCB headquarters after receiving the report of the medical inquiry commission about the nature of injury sustained by the bowler during the Pindi Test and assured him that the Board would give him an opportunity to explain his conduct before initiating any action.

"The basic objective of the meeting was to give Shoaib Akhtar a complete background of the situation that led to the appointment of the medical commission as also related cricketing issues," Shaharyar said in a press release after the meeting.

"Shoaib Akhtar was assured that the PCB would be fair to him and that he would be given every opportunity to explain his conduct."

The PCB chief's meeting with the player is being seen as an attempt by the Board to put an end to the raging controversy.

Shaharyar, in turn, asked Shoaib not to address a press conference or make public statements, which the fast bowler obliged by declining to speak to the media soon after the meeting.

The meeting between Shaharyar and Shoaib lasted for about 45 minutes and was held in a "friendly atmosphere", the statement said.

Shaharyar confirmed that the medical commission's report had been received and said it was being given careful consideration by the Board.

This was the first meeting between the two in recent weeks when the controversy over the injury to Shoaib has raged in the backdrop of the medical commission conducting the inquiry.

Besides Shoaib, the commission also examined the injuries of four other cricketers -- Abdul Razzaq, Shabbir Ahmed, Umar Gul and Moin Khan. All the five underwent tests at Lahore last week.

The controversy took a new turn last week after Shoaib's brother Shahid released a report of the bone scan which revealed a stress fracture in the 11th bone. The PCB is expected to release the medical report to the media after examining it.

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