Tuesday, April 1, 2008

RIP Shoaib Akhtar


Shoaib Akhtar has been banned by the PCB for 5 years.

Indiscipline ranging from drug abuse, disregard to authorities, late nights before matches, injuries due to lack of care, hitting team mates with bats to publicly bashing the PCB has resulted in PCB's disciplinary committee banning Shoaib Akhtar for 5 years.

Nasim Ashraf in his statement a few minutes ago said that enough was enough and mistakes can be forgiven once or twice and not all the time.

What I don't understand is what is the point of a 5 year ban? Does the PCB actually believe that Shoaib Akhtar will be fit enough to play 5 years later?

Thy should have just come clean and said that can't handle Shoaib Akhtar and thus will not consider him for Pakistan ever again. In addition because he calls Pakistan's domestic structure useless he will not be allowed to play domestic cricket either.

Imran Khan has called the domestic structure useless for the last 40 years, 20 of which were spent playing for Pakistan, and 10 of them captaining Pakistan!

Shoaib Akhtar at the most had another 2 years to serve Pakistan and the PCB have taken that away from him.

Its more a failure of the adminstrators and the team management than Shoaib Akhtar. They have failed to handle him properly and they were left with no choice but disassociate themselves with him.

Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis managed him quite well. Shoaib gave his best performances under them. After the 2 Ws moved on it was the PCB and the team management that publicly spoke of Shoaib being their match winner and how much Pakistan wanted him and that he was the spearhead after Wasim and Waqar and so on. A more sedate approach would have been far better with a character like Shoaib.

Imran Khan handled men like Sarfraz Nawaz whom Imran Khan says was a 100 times wilder than a Shoaib Akhtar. The problem here lies in the men who have run and lead Pakistan cricket in recent times. There hasn't been that leader who has been able to manage the players and their talent.

Its disappointing to say the least to see a career end unfulfilled.

Shoaib Akhtar could have done so much. He had so much potential. Only if Pakistan had found that 1 man who could handle such personalities and utilize them to their best.

Its sad to see him leave the game on such a note.

I hope the PCB doesn't take away his right to play for the IPL and I hope his Kolkata Knight Riders provide him with a new home and team.

Maybe we'll finally see him in Bollywood now. Maybe its good for him that his right to play for Pakistan has been taken away but its not good for Pakistan nor for us viewers.

Goodbye Shoaib.

This post is just a ramble of all my incoherent thoughts resulting from the disappointment this PCB decision has caused.

Make your pitch on this post...

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12 Pitched:

  1. Anonymous said...

    how long before PCB admin is turned over by the new govt, and the new board "starting afresh" with Shoaib?

    very sad though - he was amongst the 3 match-winners of the country - and and when on song, nobody could stand in front of him.

  2. straight point said...

    first i thought its april fool news...and checked everywhere and now its settling in...

    its sad but not surprising...he invited this onto him...he is classic example of bigger-than-game-attitude

    but i would put blame more on inzmam...he failed to calm him down and include him in team plans...he made him feel aloof in the team so much so that he did what he did just to draw attention...

    sa is the victim of inzy's laid back attitude of captaincy coz he failed miserably in man-management...

    of course this is my opinion...and i may be wrong...but thats how i always felt...

  3. Anonymous said...

    Five years is just long enough, to ensure he never plays again Q, that's why they've gone for it.

    Does this mean he's banned from all cricket?

    I assume he can't play in the IPL now, or does that not count?

  4. SledgeHammer said...

    While PCB can be blamed for many things, Shoaib is almost entirely responsible for his own downfall.

    Shoaib has been a liability and for all his transgressions, it's good that we finally put this saga to rest.

    However, it's amazing that the PCB is so pissed off at criticism. Even with Kaneria - giving him a strong reprimand and all that. I know there are laws governing players against speaking out (it happens in all sports). But when someone feels that they've been treated unfairly and gives some decent reasoning without being insulting, and without making false accusations, come on man...is it that big a deal?

    I think Shoaib has a case for an appeal, but PCB/Shoaib combo is highly dysfunctional so it's best for all sides it ends. Personally, I think he should consider giving PCB the one-finger salute, head over to India, and become cricket's version of Adnan Sami Khan (IPL, Bollywood, etc).

  5. Anonymous said...

    On his day, Akhtar was the most lethal tearaway fast bowler in the last 10 years. I remember his annihilation of Australia when they toured Pakistan (at a neutral venue - Sharjah) a few years ago.

    I hope he does get to play for his IPL team - I had suggested that Akhtar was one of the top 5 buys in the auctions. Sadly, that will have to be changed now.

  6. Q said...

    Anon - I would be very glad to see the doc and co. Toppled over and the new board reinstating shoaib akhtar.

    On a brighter note, shoaib is eligible to play for the ipl and any other league elsewhere. He has been banned for playing cricket IN pakistan and FOR pakistan.

    SP - when I was talking abt the lack of leaders who could manage shoaib, I include inzi in that list.

    Suave - that was exactly my point, pcb should have just said we're banning him from playing cricket for us forever. Why put a 5 year term when obviously he's not going to come back at 37.

  7. Q said...

    Sledge I completely agree with ur sentiments that shoaib should just go to india and make that his home. He's allowed to play the ipl, bolly producers r interested in him, and this might be the best thing that has happened to him in a long time.

    As I said, pakistan will miss him more than vice versa.

    PCB is averse to criticism but not that much. Kaneria was let off with only a warning for criticizing his employer, while shoaibs ban was more a result of his past added on to the criticism..

    If u recall he was put under 2 years disciplinary probation after the bat hitting incident..so it was easy for the pcb to put the ban..actually I think they were just looking for an excuse to do so.

  8. SledgeHammer said...

    Q - problem with giving lifetime ban is that it might be more easily turned over. Shoaib can argue excessive punishment, etc. Plus, there may be specific guidelines for implementing a lifetime ban, and maybe Shoaib doesn't fit those.

    Five years is good enough to end his Pakistan career. And that's what PCB wants.

  9. Obaid said...

    Shoaib can go to the Supreme court which should lead to some excitement :)

    Also I wonder if he knew that this result was coming, causing him to go to India and ask Shahrukh to increase his IPL salary... i wonder if the two are linked

  10. Q said...

    Your right sledge, thats probably why a lifeban wasn't handed.

    The PCB have given him 7 days to appeal against the ban and news reports from last night are quoting Shoaib saying that he is going to fight against the ban.

    So Obaid, he IS going to court.

    The 2 might be linked. There were recent reports that the BCCI had approached the PCB to take a lenient approach towards Shoaib and that happened on Shoaib's request to a top BCCI offcial linked to the IPL. So Shoaib did pull the BCCI strings to try and not get a life ban... he knew this was coming.

    Whats good is that majority of the ex cricketers inclkuding Imran Khan have criticized the decision to ban him. And they are totally right in saying that the PCB's double standards have led to this...

    Rashid Latif has gone on to say that once the Govt changes, the board set up will change and within 2 months the ban will be lifted.


  11. T said...

    Well, I certainly hope he gets back. He is the reason I'm a slinger. Need to see the chap mow down batsmen. At least once. In a test match!

  12. Gaurav Sethi said...

    after his brief guest appearances in the india test series, it was obvious that both the Pak selectors and Shoiab had collectively lost the plot.

    Akhtar can join the the Twenty20 elderly elite. Two2 over spells, just what the doctor ordered - might even complete them. As long as he doesn't mess with his two2!

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