PCB submits strong chargesheet against Shoaib Akhtar
Controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar appears to be in deep trouble as the Pakistan Cricket Board has submitted a strong chargesheet against him, while coach Geoff Lawson has asked the PCB not to consider the maverick speedster for Test matches.
In a chargesheet submitted to the disciplinary committee hearing the case against Shoaib, the PCB has described the bowler as a lawbreaker in the game.
According to sources, the PCB has written that Shoaib has a record of breaching the terms of his central contract and he has remained in the spotlight for wrong reasons.
To make matters worse for Shoaib, Lawson has also suggested that the express bowler be selected only for the ODIs as he was not reliable for Test cricket. "His future may lie in just being a ODI bowler as his lack of reliability is not good for Test match cricket," Lawson wrote.
The disciplinary committee met yesterday to go through the chargesheet submitted against the fast bowler, who is under a one year probation after being banned for 13 matches and fined Rs 3.4 million for having a brawl with teammate Muhammad Asif in South Africa last year.
Now, the board has charged Shoaib with giving media statements against the policies of the PCB after he was dropped from the new central contracts list in January.
Shoaib accused the board of having double standards while dealing with the players and accused it of conducting 'B' grade matches at domestic level.
Shoaib, in his response to the PCB notice, has written rather passively to Board Chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf. "I have every respect for you as one would for an elder brother. More so, because you have been quite a helping hand throughout your tenure," he wrote.
Shoaib also stated that it was not his intention to be critical of the PCB and he regrets any inconvenience caused by him.
But now it seems unlikely that the PCB is willing to be lenient with the bowler as they have told the disciplinary committee that his off-the-field activities did no more than tarnish the image of the country and the game.
"His outbursts in the media, brawls with his colleagues and team officials, disinclination to accept PCB policies on sponsorships and other issues, snubbing establishment procedures on fitness, paint him as a lawbreaker in cricket," the chargesheet says.
"PCB in the past faced the brunt of ignoring his acts. The Board has been labeled as helpless when it comes to taking action against Shoaib," it adds.
The PCB has also informed the disciplinary committee that based on his recent performances and behavior, the governing body decided to downgrade Shoaib's central contract from 'A' category to special retainership.
Sources in the board have also pointed out that even former coach Bob Woolmer was never happy with Shoaib's behaviour and commitment to the team.
Woolmer had even informed the board that during the second Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth in early 2007, Shoaib refused to take the field saying he had a hamstring problem. But team physiotherapist Darryn Lifsun found no clinical signs of any injury, a source said.
"When I confronted him questioning his commitment, his response was to create a scene and swearing at me," Woolmer wrote in his report.