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PCB to probe Shoaib's injury

"I want to make it crystal clear that any player who is found incapable to give 150 per cent for team will have no place in the Pakistan team," PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said.
PTI | By Rizwan Ali (AP), Rawalpindi
UPDATED ON APR 19, 2004 02:17 AM IST

The Pakistan Cricket Board on Sunday announced plans to investigate fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's injury during the third Test against India.

Akhtar, nicknamed the Rawalpindi Express, ruptured a back muscle during the second day of the third and decisive Test against India at Pindi Cricket Stadium on Wednesday and did not bowl on the third day.

Pakistan eventually lost the Test by an innings and 131 runs to lose the series 2-1.

Akhtar came out to bat on the last day, on Friday, and hit a strokeful 28, showing no sign of pain.

"I have no problem with Shoaib, but the way he batted today surprised me," said captain Inzamam-ul-Haq after the match on Friday.

"I have decided to set up a medical inquiry committee to report on Akhtar's injury and also the large number of injured players who have depleted and undermined Pakistan's cricketing strength," PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said in a statement.

Pakistan seamer Shabbir Ahmed (shin injury) was injured after the first Test in Multan, which India won by an innings and 52 runs, while paceman Umar Gul broke down with back injury after his man of the match winning performance in the second Test, which Pakistan won by nine wickets.

Wicketkeeper Moin Khan (groin) and Abdul Razzaq (side strain) were the other players injured in the first Test. The medical committee, to be headed by a senior orthopedic consultant, will be announced by the PCB Chief Executive Ramiz Raja within days .

Khan made it clear that on the completion of the committee's report, disciplinary action will be taken against Akhtar, if required.

"I want to make it crystal clear that any player who is found incapable or unwilling to give 150 per cent for team morale and national honor will have no place in the Pakistan team," Khan said in a statement.

The Pakistan batting lineup crumbled for 224 and 245 in its two innings of the third Test, while India scored a mammoth 600 in its first innings — thanks to Rahul Dravid's masterful innings of 270.

"My main concern for the present is the manner in which the Rawalpindi Test was lost without the semblance of a fight," Khan said.

"In his recent address to the players, President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf, who is also our Patron, had indicated to the players the need to fight and the will to win," he said.

"While some players, like the courageous Asim Kamal clearly demonstrated this will, even in a desperate cause, there were others who patently failed the Test by their carefree, unprofessional approach in Pakistan's second innings."

Pakistan's second innings ended 37 minutes after lunch on the fourth day with Kamal braving an elbow injury to finish unbeaten on 60.

Akhtar had a disappointing series against archrival India. He claimed just seven wickets over the three-Test series and three wickets during India's only innings in the final Test.

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