PCB softens stand towards Shoaib Akhtar

Published: Friday, May 14, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai:Adopting a soft stance towards wayward speedster Shoaib Akhtar, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has said it would try to get the best out of the bowler and 'develop an environment' in which he could perform to his potential.

PCB chief executive Rameez Raja said the Board had realised that throwing Shoaib out of the team would serve no purpose and hence it would now work on getting the best out of the match-winning bowler.

"Sacking someone like Shoaib, who is our star bowler, won't solve the problem. What we have to do is to bring him on board and get the best out of him. It's a question of man-management," Raja said.

"Being the CEO it would be very easy for me to throw him out, but we have look into what he can contribute to the team. Certainly, he can do a lot more," Raja was quoted as saying by daily Khaleej Times.

"We need to develop an environment where he can perform to his potential. There will always be difficult individuals in the team, but we need to listen to them and guide them into becoming an asset for the country," he said while disagreeing that Shoaib was a spent force.

The PCB CEO also refused to blame the bowler for the defeats to India.

"Pakistan lost both the One-day and Test series first time at home against India not because of one person. There were many other factors which contributed to our loss," said the former captain.

"Our bowlers, the pacers in particular, failed to fire and that was one of the biggest reasons. And then our batting remained tentative. Only two - skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq and Yousuf Youhana played with some semblance of respectability," Raja said.

"Also, we must not forget the fact that India used the conditions much better than us despite the fact that we made Test wickets to suit our bowlers. India, despite their limited bowling resources, played well and their batsmen - at least five of them averaging over 50 in Test cricket - rose to the occasion to knock the stuffing out of our attack."

"We have no regret losing to a superior side, though I still feel we could have done better at least in the One-day series where we squandered a good 2-1 advantage," he said.

Raja felt the problem with the Pakistan team was they did not have top class batsmen and discipline was lacking among bowlers.

"The crisis is there. We don't have good, quality batsmen. We have to work on the fitness of players and our bowlers need to be more disciplined. But this is something which isn't beyond us. We are trying out new players and results will soon follow."

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