Retired Indian Army Col Anil Kaul, who was handling security for the Pakistan team in India during the Champions Trophy, has told news channel NDTV that Shoaib Akhtar slapped coach Bob Woolmer on the team bus in Jaipur.
“The boys (Pakistani team) were listening to Hindi songs on the bus when Woolmer got up to change the music and put on an English song. Shoaib then got up to put on a Hindi song,” Kaul was quoted as saying.
“Initially, Woolmer kept quiet but then started making fun of the song that was playing. At this, Shoaib suddenly got up and slapped Woolmer round the neck. Everyone was stunned and quickly intervened,” he added.
According to Kaul, this incident occurred merely hours before the Pakistan team management announced that Shoaib and Mohammed Asif were being sent back home after failing a dope test.
Following this revelation, it is being speculated that the incident could have contributed to Shoaib’s exit.
‘Banging on Indian doors’
According to Kaul, that very night Shoaib got involved in a brawl with some people at a discotheque after he forcibly tried to dance with a girl.
About this incident, Kaul told NDTV: “The team’s chief liaison officer had to go in (to the disco) and get Shoaib out. Shoaib then went to the floor on which the Indian team was staying and started banging on the doors. He banged on Greg Chappell’s door and his wife came out in her nightclothes. Shoaib even made some comments about her.
“The next morning, I was at breakfast with the Pakistani team manager when Woolmer stormed in and said that Chappell had complained about Shoaib’s behaviour and that strict action must be taken against him,” Kaul added.
On Wednesday, Woolmer asserted these incidents never occurred, though he did accept that there had been disciplinary issues with Shoaib.
“This issue is being blown out of proportion and Shoaib and I remain friends,” the Pakistan team coach said.
Shoaib also denied the allegation. “Nothing of this sort happened and Kaul is doing this for cheap publicity,” he said.
Akhtar files appeal against doping ban
Meanwhile, Shoaib filed an appeal with the PCB in Lahore on Wednesday against his two-year ban for positive doping test.
“We have filed an appeal through our lawyer,” Akhtar’s doctor Tauseef Razzaq said.Asif filed an appeal on Monday to challenge his ban. The appeal committee is expected to meet next week to consider both appeals.