Thursday, April 3, 2008

The WAR is ON !! - Shoaib Akhtar Rips Apart the PCB and Nasim Ashraf

Shoaib Akhtar appeared on Capital Talk on GEO TV last night.

Before I go on to disclosing what he said on and off camera, let me brief you on GEO TV, Capital Talk, and its host Hamid Mir.

GEO is a privately owned Pakistani television channel based and telecasted out of Dubai Media City. The onwers are also the owners of Pakistan's most widely read newspapers - Jang and The News. There are a number of talk shows aired on GEO and majority of them have the reputation of being anti-establishment. Capital Talk is one of them and Hamid Mir usually bounces on every opportunity to criticize the Government. At times rightly so, at times maybe not.

Back to Shoaib Akhtar.

The show was aired last evening and Shoaib Akhtar talked about how he has been victimized by the PCB and criticized Nasim Ashraf and the PCB of having double standards and personal vendettas against him. He said a number of other things, the key ones being:
  • He said that the PCB had no right to ban him since he is not a contracted player and thus the PCB laws do not apply to him.
  • He questioned Nasim Ashraf's eligibility to be PCB Chairman since he was a US citizen and not a Pakistani one.
  • He blamed President Pervez Musharraf of nepotism saying that Nasimn Ashraf was chairman only because he was the president's friend.
  • He brought up the match fixing issue mentioning that those players who were involved didn't get any bans and yet he was being banned.
  • He also talked about instances where he was offered money to under perform yet refused to do so - he mentioned Johannesburg and India as the 2 places where he was offered money.
  • He reminded everyone of the times when he played for Pakistan despite being injured or not fully fit because the team management demanded it.

Shoaib spoke about all this on camera. But what happened off it is what I think is going to start a war within Pakistan cricket!

Once the show ended, Star News ran a story on Shoaib Akhtar. They gave their views on him and reported about the ban and the reactions associated with it. Half an hour or so into the program the reporter contacted Hamid Mir via telephone.

Hamid Mir mentioned that he had just interviewed Shoaib Akhtar and spoke about the above mentioned points. As the Star News reporter probed further into Shoaib's criticism of Nasim Ashraf and the match fixing comment, Hamid Mir opened up and said that Shoaib Akhtar had made a number of glaring revelations off camera.

According Hamid Mir these were:

  • Pakistani, South African, Indian, and Australian cricketers are all involved in match fixing.
  • Shoaib Akhtar has been offered money to throw matches by cricketers from all these countries and in all these countries.
  • Shoaib Akhtar slapped Moin Khan and Inzamam Ul Haq on 2 separate occasions inside the dressing room when they offered money to him to under perform.
  • Briefcases full of money have been left in Shoaib's hotel rooms in South Africa and India by players from SA, Ind, and Pakistan to throw matches.

For Pakistani readers these stories have been heard of before but only partly - Shoaib getting into a spat with Moin Khan or Shoaib and Inzamam having arguements in the dressing room are commonly known facts but there were never any concrete stories as to why the spats took place. According to Hamid Mir, Shoaib Akhtar came clean on those incidents.

But even that is not what I think will shake Pakistan cricket. It is what Shoaib Akhtar said about Nasim Ashraf.

Hamid Mir told Star News that Shoaib Akhtar told him that he has always given a share of his match fees to Nasim Ashraf. Not only from matches played for Pakistan but also from those played for counties, World XIs, Asian XIs, etc. He also mentioned:

  • The PCB Chairman demands a cut of the fees earned by all players representing Pakistan - whether is is their match fee for playing for Pakistan or their county contract.
  • The latest cuts that are to be paid to Nasim Ashraf are those from the IPL contracts.
  • All Pakistan players give a share to Nasim Ashraf to play for Pakistan.

After disclosing all this, Hamid Mir said that Shoaib told him that if his ban is not overturned he will go to court and go public with proof on all these allegations on Nasim Ashraf and the cricketers involved in match fixing.

Concluding his tele conversation with Star News, Hamid Mir signed off by saying that the PCB did not have any just reason for banning Shoaib and he thought that it had happened because of Shoaib treating Nasim Ashraf the same way he had treated former captains Moin Khan and Inzamam Ul Haq - i.e. with a slap.

In Hamid Mir's words: "ho sakta hai Shoaib ne Nasim Ashraf saahab ko bhi apne haath ka maza chakhaya hoga kabhi".

It could be a result of sour grapes on the part of Shoaib Akhtar or it could be a case of political motives on part of Hamid Mir but the kind of facts that have been disclosed, whether true, false, or exaggerated, are bound to shake up Pakistan cricket.

Shoaib has a case on his hands - against the PCB, against the cricketers, and against the man that banned him, Nasim Ashraf.

He claims he has proof of match fixing, nepotism, and demand of shares from players' fees.

He has threatened to go public with all these facts and proof.

Pakistan's newly elected Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has already passed on his request to the PCB to overturn the ban.

A lot has already happened within 36 hours of the announcement of the ban.

I sense a lot more is in store. The War has just started and I believe it will end in a reinstated Shoaib Akhtar and a sacked Nasim Ashraf.


Make your pitch on this post...



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20 Pitched:

  1. Ottayan said...
     

    Q,
    Surely he is a vindicative man.

  2. Anonymous said...
     

    this whole thing is pathetic and disgraceful ... get rid of these morons please ... don't need none of them.

  3. Q said...
     

    Anon - I think its the end of Nasim Ashraf.

    As for Shoaib, even if his ban is overturned I highly doubt he will play for Pakistan again after this outburst.

  4. Straight Point said...
     

    i agree Q

    he is outspeaking himself...the wise thing would have been to pose as calm and compose and take the advantage of looser sympathy he is getting...but by doing this he is proving exactly why he should be banned...

    but i guess you cant associate anything with him remotely close that sounds like wisdom...??

  5. Q said...
     

    SP - he is an impulsive character and i guess it was an impulsive reaction. He obviously wan't thinking.

    Hamid Mir also probed him quite a bit and out words in his mouth but as u said the Wisdom seems to be missing.

    But note that the more serious allegations against Nasim Ashraf and the names of those involved with match fixing were made by Hamid Mir in his talk with Star News.

    Its anybody's guess whether Shoaib actually said all that off camera, or whether Shoaib used Hamid Mir to convey all that to the world, or whether its Hamid Mir being himself and going anti-establishment.

  6. arjwiz said...
     

    Hmm...that must have dampened his chances! He needs a manager. A great captain would have made him one of the best bolwers ever in test cricket. Imran Khan comes to mind.

    Not Inzamam. Sorry.

  7. Sree J said...
     

    Mr. Q let me just say that I think you're doing a great job. I only just discovered this blog and I've found it to be quite objective. I welcome the fact that it's mostly Pakistan-centric and will certainly be visiting your blog regularly.

  8. Cricket Guru said...
     

    By speaking out this cr@p, Shoaib has lost whatever little credibility he had before.

    I could sense feeling of desperation in Akhtar's outbursts.

    The moot question is why now? If match fixing/commissions/cuts were so routine, what was he doing all these years? By not making it public before, isn't he guilty of being a passive participant? Would he have spoken out if there was no ban on him?

    I think he is going the Sarfraz Nawaz way.

  9. obaid said...
     

    This is very interesting. I know Shoaib has hired a lawyer but Im not sure if he is ever consulted. Before this latest "interview" by Shoaib public sympathy was with him because people felt the punishment was too harsh. Now if he goes the "Sarfaraz Nawaz" route as someone says he eitehr looks totally wacko or looks like a hypocrite for having silent so long and coming out after he has been banned.

    I know fast bowlers are supposed to be half mad with an irrational streak, after all they try and harm the batsman :) But common sense seems to be missing completely in this case

  10. obaid said...
     

    Btw, I was at Lahore Airport last night and ran into Shoaib Malik. He's a very humble and polite chap... since he was on the phone and looked tired I didnt bug him with questions about this saga, maybe I shouldve

    Anyways, what was funny was that he was watching Inzi's comments from India on TV , Shoaib's comments as well as his own comments :)

  11. Sam said...
     

    Shoaib is still the best bowler in the country,he is not the only one with the fitness problems the other three frontline bowlers are also injured, as far as his fight with Asif and Afridi is concerned their have been many other incidents in the past which went unnoticed or unpunished he served a 13 match ban and paid 34 lacs that was more than enough his criticism of the pitch is nothing new every fast bowler has done that in the past.

    Regardless of his mental maturity he deserves sympathy on this ban,PCB is not trying to penalize him for indiscipline if tha was the case then he should have been kicked out of the team long time ago.

  12. Sam said...
     

    I donot think that he is going to become another Sarfraz,but he did jumped on the gun too early and probably shot himself in the foot,
    the doors of ICL were closed on him because of his criticism of Inzi,Mushtaq and Moin.
    IPL closed doors on him because either PCB exercised their leverage with BCCI or BCCI got annoyed with Shoaib because he mentioned that he was offered bribe in India by some Indian player.He has done damage to himself he might get restored in the coming weeks but I don't know what he will do of ICC who are going to investigate him for the match fixing allegations.

  13. Q said...
     

    Arjwiz - Definitely Imran Khan. I think Wasim Akram also managed him very well.

  14. Q said...
     

    Thank you for your comments Sree J - welcome to Well Pitched :-)

  15. Q said...
     

    Cricket Guru - Ur right in saying that he was being a passive participant. Had he spoken up before he would have been long gone by now... Could be desperate measures but there is some semblance of truth in his statements - either way its sour grapes, he shouldnt have done it, and he has lost any little chance he might have had of overturning the ban and playing for Pak again.

  16. Q said...
     

    Obaid, did u speak to Shoaib Malik at all? Thats the problem of our captain - he's way too down to earth, modest, calm, seedha saadha, bhola bacha.

    A captain needs to ruthless, aggressive, arrogant, and all that!

  17. Q said...
     

    Sam - Good to see a Shoaib supporter. Welcome to Well Pitched.

    I agree with you that he's shut the door on himself. I so hope he can play the IPL but it won't be till the court case comes to an end which can take months ...

    I highly doubt Inzi would have wanted Shoaib in the Badshahs team whether he had made those comments or not due to their turbulent past - but Shoaib can always play for any other team in the ICL like Razzak and Shabbir Ahmed.

    The after effects of Shoaib's comments are kicking in - ICC's ACU is going to interview him and Nasim Ashraf has filed a court case against him for defamation.

  18. amk said...
     

    the problem i have with all this discussion (in the media not this forum!) going on and the action taken by PCB is that it is a complete and utter waste of time. We all know that Shoaib is deadwood, even if he wants to play he cant because of his injuries. All this does is it deflects the light from all the good cricket going on around the world. while Pakistan is missing out because of security situation.
    Shoaib is history whether he is banned or not, what he will do is give his 100% in IPL and would then be injured for national team, so if he is banned or not that doesn’t make a difference.
    Bring the discussion back to cricket, did u guys(and gals. i doubt if there are any) see the ball that got Dravid in the first inning, an absolute beauty.
    Q you should have corner were we and you, the bloggers can exchange links to videos or news article we find interesting, and worth sharing.

  19. Q said...
     

    AMK - ur not the first one to say that. Many people ar wondering why the PCB is wasting its time and energy on this entire fiasco.

    Its become more Gossip mag type material now rather than cricket news.

    Thanks for the suggestion, will do something on it soon.

  20. obaid said...
     

    No q, didnt chat with Shoaib Malik.. he was stuck on the phone but he put it down when he was also frisked by airport security... I found that ot be quite funny. Everybody should be treated equally when it comes to security, but can you imagine someone trying to frisk Imran, Wasim etc in their playing days ?!

    I just shook hands with him and asked him how he was... he was very polite and said "Aap kaisay hain?" with emphasis on the Aap. "How are you?"

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