PCBs central contract to Shoaib raises a stink

January 8th, 2009 - 3:55 pm ICT by ANI  

Shoaib Akhtar

Lahore, Jan.8 (ANI): Controversy doesnt seems to leave Shoaib Akhtar; just when it seemed that he was on his way back to the playing arena, another one is in the making after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) gave him a central contract despite a court case against him being still pending, and his long standing involvement in indiscipline and fitness issues.
Former players and cricket officials have openly criticized the PCB for giving Akhtar a contract in the A category.
Former captain and wicket-keeper Rashid Latif has said that the PCB has destroyed discipline by awarding a central contract to Akhtar.
“The PCB has violated the merit system while contracting the players,” the Nation quoted Latif, as saying.
“If the PCB has made any criteria for selecting the players for contract then it should be publicised,” he added.
Latif accused the PCB of succumbing under pressure from high profile players.
“The PCB is not the belongings of ex-superstars it is for the people of Pakistan, he said.
“Akhtar was given contract in A category despite him being banned and fined and whose fitness is still under doubt,” a former Test player said.
Akhtar was denied a central contract by the PCB last year due to his disciplinary and fitness issues.
However, the PCB has rejected any soft heartedness in handling the issue, and said that Akhtars sincere efforts have won him the contract.
“Akhtar has basically been rewarded for his honest intentions and attempts to get back to full fitness. As far as his court case is concerned it is pending and the court has suspended the ban on him so he is eligible to play for Pakistan,” a senior official of the PCB said.
Shoaib Akhtar had been in news for all the wrong reasons. In September 2007, he was banned by the PCB for an indefinite period for an alleged brawl with his team-mate Mohammad Asif. On April.1, 2008 Akhtar was banned for five years for publicly criticizing the policies of the PCB.
Akhtar, however, has repeatedly said that he wanted to play for another two or three years for Pakistan, and was trying hard to improve his behaviour and fitness levels. (ANI)

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