Top players oppose Shoaib~~s inclusion

Published: Friday, February 4, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Islamabad:Pakistan cricket team, which has a history of internal conflicts, faces yet another crisis as some players, including skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq, have reportedly asked the Cricket Board to omit fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar from the squad for the India tour.

Top players including Inzamam, Yousuf Youhana, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan, Rana Naved-ul Hassan and Salman Butt have all decided to insist on omitting Shoaib from the India tour after their return from Australia, local daily 'The Nation' reported today.

The players threatened to boycott the remaining part of the Australian tour and the series against India if Shoaib was included, the paper claimed.

The host of reports appearing in the local media casting doubts about the inclusion of the 'Rawalpindi Express' in the squad against the arch-rivals were part of the campaign, it said, adding the players were against recalling Shoaib in the squad as the team had begun to do well without him.

Shoaib was called back by the PCB midway through the tour of Australia claiming that the player was given rest and time to recuperate from his injuries to be fit for the series against India.

The PCB, on its part, denied the reports of rebellion in the team over Shoaib but at the same time was taking pains to explain why he was recalled despite the fact that the best medical facilities were available in Australia and the team was accompanied by a qualified foreign physio and doctor.

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