Doping: Tainted pacers assured of fair trial

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:Taking prompt action in the recent doping saga, instead of sweeping the embarrassing issue under the carpet, has brightened Pakistan Cricket Board's image and tainted pacers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohd Asif can look forward to a free, fair trial in the controversy, said PCB Chairman Nasim Ashraf.

Addressing a press conference after Pakistan cricket was rocked by the doping scandal, the PCB boss said, ''We want to make cricket a clean game and no indiscipline would be brooked. And PCB wants to lead others in this effort.''

Insisting that despite the embarrassment, it was a wise decision to announce the drug test results and withdraw the players from the Champions Trophy, Mr Ashraf said, ''Quick decision taken by the board has enhanced the image of the country and Pakistan cricket.'' Former players like Tony Greig have commended PCB for making it public, instead of dropping veils on the embarrassing issue.

The PCB chief, meanwhile, promised a ''free and fair'' trial for Shoaib and Asif who face an inquiry commission next week.

''We will carry out a complete investigation into the issue and no injustice would be done to them. We won't take any unilateral decision in this matter,'' said Dr Ashraf, flanked by PCB Director Cricket Operations Salim Altaf and Chief Selector Wasim Bari.

He said the independent committee appointed by PCB would submit its report within a fortnight after conducting in-depth investigations.

Former Punjab governor Shahid Hamid chairs the inquiry committee, which also includes former captain Intikhab Alam. The PCB chief said he would soon nominate a doctor in the committee and meet them tomorrow.

Mr Ashraf made it clear that the inquiry committee would work on its own as an independent body and PCB wno't interfere with its job.

''We will take action after completion of due process and procedures. No injustice will be done because they are our top players,'' he added.

The PCB chief also announced that the board won't be a ''one man show'' and urged former players to chip in.

''We want to run PCB on professional lines with good governance and want to make every player a role model. We have decided to introduce sports management system for better running of the board and we wouold soon have a chief executive.

''I would love to have innovative ideas and advice from former Test players to improve the standard and structure of Pakistan cricket,'' he said.

A host of ex-cricketers, including Hanif Mohammad, Wasim Bari, Moin Khan, Ijaz Fakih, Sadiq Muhammad, Jalaluddin and Asif Mujtaba, were also present on the occasion.


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