After an impulsive post regarding Shoaib Akhtar's 5-year ban, I have taken the time for the news to sink in, read other reactions from around the world, and conclude on what I feel is the best way forward for Shoaib Akhtar.
Shoaib has decided to the fight against the ban in court while saying that he does not want to live on with the stigma of being banned from cricket. The PCB have given him 7 days to appeal. Deja Vu?
With a new Government in Pakistan set to assume power a changing of the guard at the PCB is a near possibility. With a new board the chances of Shoaib being reinstated are even higher.
Voices of this issue being discussed within the Government are already doing the rounds:
“The people who have banned him will not stay (in power) for long with the new government in. This issue will be discussed in parliament.” - Hanif Abbasi, a newly elected member of the National Assembly.
“Disappointing is no word to describe Shoaib’s ban, I would call it pathetic and request the new political government to sack Nasim Ashraf-led Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)” - Sarfraz Nawaz, former Test fast bowler.
This is probably not such a grave issue to be tackled by the Government especially when Pakistan is faced with a million other larger political and economic issues, but the decision of a ban on a star the PCB could not handle is so unjustified that even political figures are speaking against it.
They may be doing so only to further their political agendas but this PCB decision has stirred the entire country.
Imran Khan had this to say: "The ban on Shoaib and even on the players who have gone to play in the Indian Cricket League are unacceptable and will shake the foundations of our cricket system. We are losing good players to bad policies of the board."
Starting of with Inzamam, Abdul Razzak, and then Mohammad Yousuf to a certain extent; Shoaib Akhtar is the latest cricketer whose career has been destroyed by the current PCB set up.
Javed Miandad lashed out at the PCB's double standards saying that they had let off others who had done what Shoaib did and also blaming the board for not being able to handle him in the past - "I would like to add here that it is the result of the PCB's leniency towards Shoaib's blunders he did in the past. But now his [latest] offense is not that grave as several Pakistan Test cricketers in the past have done this type of wrong acts repeatedly and got away with those."
This I believe is the key reasoning behind the ban - PCB's inability to handle Shoaib Akhtar. They have banned him when they themselves are to be blamed. Not that Shoaib isn't, but the PCB deserves more blame than the pacer.
So where does Shoaib Akhtar go from here?
According to him and press reports the course of action will be a case in the court, an appeal, a probable change in the PCB set up, a ban overturn, and a return to international cricket.
Is this the best way forward?
I don't think so. Especially with 6 months of potential legal hassles only to play for your country for at most another year or two - definitely not the best way forward Shoaib.
Despite being extremely disappointed with this unjustified PCB decision, after having given it thought, I feel that this may be the best thing to have happened to Shoaib Akhtar.
He is a free man today with no responsibilities towards Pakistan. He shouldn't get involved in legal hassles and just let this be. Make India your home Shoaib, people love you there and we will still love you.
Win the tournament for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Sign some bollywood movies.
Join Wasim Akram and Ravi Shastri on the ESPN Commentary Team.
Host a game show for Star Plus.
Become a judge on some ZEE TV reality show.
Make guest appearances on other TV shows.
Maybe star in a saas-bahu TV serial as well.
Appear on Koffee with Karan with your team owner Shahrukh Khan.
Star in a Yashraj movie.
Star in a Sanjay Gupta action thriller.
Co-produce a movie with SRK.
Endorse Pepsi and Lux and Mach IV shaving blades!
Build your brand in India.
Do a music video with Adnan Sami Khan.
Participate in Nach Baliye IV with Rakhi Sawant!
Sign some more Bollywood movies.
Replace Shahrukh Khan as the #1 Bollywood star.
Jump ship to Delhi or Mohali for a higher package than Kolkata.
Marry Rakhi Sawant.
Win a filmfare award for "most dramatic couple".
Build your holiday home in Goa and become known for throwing the most lavish parties. Invite us as well.
Stay in the Headlines as you always have.
Live life King Size and entertain us Shoaib, because thats what you do best.