'I am not running away from dope tests'
Pakistan's controversial pacer Shoaib Akhtar says that he has no fears of undergoing a dope test ahead of Champions Trophy.cricket Updated: Jul 19, 2008 22:33 IST
Pakistan's controversial pacer Shoaib Akhtar said that he has no fears of undergoing a dope test ahead of Champions Trophy and he would be the first one to give a sample on Sunday.
"I have no issues with giving the dope test and I have informed the board about this. I will be the first to give sample tomorrow," Akhtar told reporters at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, where he arrived for training.
PCB will conduct dope tests on its 30-man preliminary Champions Trophy squad tomorrow to avoid any further embarrassment following pacer Mohammad Asif's failed test in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Akhtar, who was handed a two-year ban by the PCB after testing positive for nandrolone in October 2006 only to be overturned by an appellate tribunal, asserted that he would prove his fitness and bowling form in a week.
"I have no injury issue. I just need a week to regain my full form and fitness. I am going to start training under team trainer, David Dwyer from tomorrow onwards," he said.
"I will also be playing all the matches arranged by the PCB to prove my fitness," he added.
Akhtar is expected to be asked to play in three practice games -- on August 5, 7 and 9 -- before the Pakistan team embarks to play a Twenty20 tournament in Canada.
Meanwhile, PCB Chief Operating Officer Shafqat Naghmi said the board did not invite Akhtar for the week-long conditioning camp at Kakul from July 21 as it was not a fitness assessment camp but a fitness enhancement camp.
"We don't want him to break down as we don't know his fitness level as he has not played for a while. We will decide whether we want to have a specific training programme for him or he should give a fitness test," Naghmi said.