Shoaib set to challenge PCB medical report
Mercurial pacer Shoaib Akhtar is on collision course with the Pakistan Cricket Board after deciding to challenge a medical report that led to his ouster from the Twenty20 World Championship squad.
Shoaib has already made it clear that he would be leading the Islamabad team in the national Twenty20 championship which begins in Lahore on Monday.
Indications are that he would attack the PCB and team management in Karachi tonight at a function being organised by former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif.
"Shoaib is very upset with team coach Intikhab Alam, assistant coach Aaqib Javed and manager Yawar Saeed for not supporting him and believes that they conspired to have him dropped from the T20 World Cup squad.
"He is very angry and he has decided to take on the board by playing in the domestic tournament and he might even come out in the open against the team management soon," one source close to him said.
The 33-year-old was dropped from the squad after a medical panel of the board examined him for a skin infection and concluded that he was suffering from Genital Viral Warts and he needed to be rested for 10 to 12 days before another re-examination in first week of June.
The PCB ordered the medical examination after Shoaib skipped the conditioning camp in Bhurban and was treated by a private doctor and then also missed the practice matches in Lahore.
"I don't know what he wants. Because we simply followed the advice of the medical panel of the board," coach Intikhab said.
He made it clear that even if Shoaib played in the national Twenty20 championship, he would not be considered for the World Cup now as the board had already sent a request to the technical committee of the tournament for a replacement in Rao Iftikhar.
But apparently he could still make the squad due to some technicalities.
"Look the International Cricket Council has made it clear to the PCB that their request for a replacement can't be considered until five days before the starting date of the World Cup," a source close to Shoaib told PTI.
"So if Shoaib plays for Islamabad and performs between May 25 and 29 then he can force the board to recall him to the team and get them to withdraw the replacement request which has not yet been accepted by the technical committee of the World Cup which only becomes active from June 1," the source said.
Intikhab, however, was adamant that the fast bowler should be careful about his health and fitness and not take risks.
"He should rest, recover and then try to make a comeback. We have no issues with his performances it is his health and fitness that is under doubt," Intikhab added.
Shakil Sheikh, the President of the Islamabad Cricket Association and a member of the PCB governing council, said he would not stop Shoaib from leading the team in the T20 championship as the association had not been given the medical report.
Sources close to the bowler also disclosed that he was not averse to using his political contacts to pressurise the board.
"He has done in the past with former Chairman, Nasim Ashraf and been successful," a source said.