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Ban on Akhtar justified: Rameez

Former Pakistan captain and commentator Rameez Raja believes the PCB's decision to ban Shoaib Akhtar was completely justified.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Karachi
UPDATED ON APR 02, 2008 01:21 PM IST

Former Pakistan captain Rameez Raja has supported the decision to impose five-year ban on Shoaib Akhtar, saying the temperamental fast bowler had become a "problem child" and the verdict was just and expected.

Rameez, who worked as chief executive of the Board between 2003 and 2005, said the speedster had brought the problem upon himself.

"He has been a problem child for some time now. This is not the first time he has had problems with discipline. I think the five-year ban is justified and was coming for a while now. The authorities had no other choice," Rameez said.

"It was time the authorities took a hard decision because indiscipline should not be tolerated at any costs," he told 'Geo News'.

Former captains like Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas and Rashid Latif have all condemned the ban, saying it would effectively end Shoaib's career and also prove to be detrimental to Pakistan cricket.

Shoaib was banned on six counts of speaking out against the policies of the Board and defying orders from the manager and coach of the Federal Areas team for whom he played in the recent Pentangular Cup.

But the Board said the disciplinary committee had recommended the ban based on the fact that Shoaib was already serving a two-year probation period since last year for his conduct and behavior.

Rameez did not agree with suggestions that Shoaib's ban would weaken the Pakistan bowling attack and have a negative impact on the team's performances in future.

"As it is how many matches has he played in recent times. He was missing more matches than playing and this was having a bad effect on other players. With him not in the team his negative influence will not be there and the team will do better," he said.

The former captain said Shoaib with his habit of violating discipline had become a negative influence on the team.

"I think it was time to do something for the Board. There has been a lot of leniency shown in the past."

Rameez said Pakistan was blessed with lot of pace bowling talent and it did not need to worry about the depth for the future.

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