Shoaib, Inzamam agree to sort out differences

Published: Friday, August 19, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:Pakistan's former Test captain and wicketkeeper Rashid Latif has played the role of a mediator to remove the well-documented differences between Inzamam-ul-Haq and fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar.

According to the details, Rashid managed to convince Inzamam when both were in Jeddah last month to put things behind him (Inzamam) and thrash out a proper working relationship with Shoaib in the long-term interest of Pakistan Cricket.

"Rashid had a long discussion with Inzamam in which after hearing out the complaints the Pakistan captain had against his maverick fast bowler, he told him (Inzamam) that if both worked together it would be beneficial for the team and Pakistan cricket," a source, aware of these developments, said.

"Rashid told Inzamam that despite his attitude problems Shoaib was a top-class bowler who could do a lot of good for the team, specially in the coming series against England and India if he was handled properly," the source added.

According to him, Inzamam agreed on Rashids insistence to have a one-to-one with Shoaib when he met him during the Afro-Asia matches in South Africa this month. "Rashid then flew back to England and spoke to Shoaib and also told him to create a better working relationship with his captain which would be in his own best interest and that of the team," it added.

"Shoaib had a lot of complaints to make about how he had been treated unfairly in the past few months. But Rashid told him that he should not forget that until he played regularly for Pakistan and performed, he would never be able to enjoy the status of senior player nor earn the respect of the people."

"Rashid told him that no matter how well he played for Worcestershire or other teams, his main thrust to fame and fortune was through performing for the Pakistan team," the source stated.

The source added that Shoaib then promised to have a candid discussion with Inzamam in South Africa to sort out the misunderstandings with him, which had steadily become more serious and public after last years home-series loss to India.

Inzamam and coach Bob Woolmer have minced no words in stating that while they wanted Shoaib in the team .He had to decide about his fitness and commitment, as they would like to see him bowl in both innings of a Test match.

The maverick fast bowler, who has a lot of regard for Rashid, has not played for Pakistan since he had to return home from Australia early this year due to fitness problems. Subsequently, he also missed a tour to India earlier this year and was then not considered for the tour to the West Indies in May-June.

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