Shoaib protests against disciplinary action

Published: Saturday, August 11, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Shoaib Akhtar
Lahore: Controversial Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who was fined Rs 3 lakh by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on account of indiscipline during the national training camp in Karachi, created a scene at the headquarters of the board while protesting against the decision.

The 31-year-old used harsh language in the Gaddafi Stadium corridor where he went to appear before a disciplinary committee of the PCB. Shoaib alleges the board officials did not follow the rules while announcing the penalty against him and not even gave him a chance to tell his side of the story.

Shoaib stayed in the corridor for several minutes, though PCB Chief Operating Officer Shafqat Naghmi and Director Cricket Operations Zakir Khan were not present in the office, a PCB staff told the 'Dawn'.

''I received notice for the hearing on Friday while the PCB announced the one-sided decision of imposing fine on me to the national press two days ago,'' sources said while quoting Shoaib.

Shoaib, who has never been far from controversies, was fined this time for leaving the training session on August 4 without permission. Also 1.5 of the 20 points were also docked for the year over indiscipline according to new central contract.

The temperamental bowler had also broken a mirror in the dressing room of Karachi's National Stadium in an outburst during the camp.

After failing in contacting Shoaib to give him a hearing, the PCB wrote a letter, asking the bowler to appear before a PCB committee last Tuesday. But as Shoaib did not show up, Naghmi announced the penalty at a press conference the next day.

The PCB Director Media Ahsan Hameed Malik, however, said he didn't hear Shoiab using harsh words in Gaddafi Stadium where the PCB is headquartered.

''I was sitting in my room and Shoaib came to me but he did not express any grievance over the PCB decision about the fine.'' ''Shoaib has also talked to Shafqat Naghmi over the phone but I have no idea what he said to the COO,'' he added.

Sources said that Shoaib believed the PCB must have given a three-day notice to him instead of announcing the penalty after 24 hours which, he felt, was unjust.

They said Shoaib claimed that the camp commandant Talat Ali was on record having said that he missed the camp after doctor had advised him a week's rest.

Shoaib, who along with bowling partner Mohammad Asif had refused to play in the Indian Cricket League, preferring to represent the country, is part of 15-member Pakistan squad announced for the first Twenty20 World Championship to be held in South Africa from Sept 11 to 24.

Shoaib's recent outburst may force the PCB to take strict action against him. The PCB had recently banned entry of former Test cricketer Mohammad Ilyas into the stadium who allegedly threatened selection committee members after they excluded his son-in-law Imran Farhat from the team for the three-match series against Sri Lanka held in Abu Dhabi in May.

Later, the PCB lifted the ban on Ilyas, without any announcement as the former Test cricketer could be seen visiting the PCB offices.


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