Aug 23, 2007

Shoaib Akhter Not to Join ICL

Enigmatic pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar has said that he is not planning to join the Indian Cricket League (ICL) even though he is in touch with them.

Speaking to reporters on the opening day of the national training camp at the Gaddafi Stadium for the Twenty20 World Championship to be held in South Africa next month, Shoaib expressed that he wanted to give his best to Pakistan, adding he was eagerly waiting for the chance to do so not just in the global Twenty20 event but also in the three forthcoming series against South Africa, India and Australia.

Commenting on the recent row with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over skipping the national camp in Karachi and the Rs300,000 fine which had been imposed on him, Shoaib said it would have been better had the board quietly resolved the issue itself. He also hoped that instead of delivering notices to the players the PCB would focus more on the game of cricket.

In this instance, the PCB’s appellate tribunal had later set aside the penalty asking Manager Talat Ali Malik to hold fresh inquiries giving the bowler equal opportunity to defend his case.

Shoaib had not been able to appear before the disciplinary committee as the letter summoning him could not be delivered to his address. Giving his view on the issue, Shoaib said there was no space to write one’s residential address on the central contract document, therefore, he said, he did not write it.

The head of the tribunal, Mueen Afzal, and PCB’s Chief Operating Officer Shafqat Naghmi have admitted this mistake saying that neither the fast bowler wrote his proper address on the central contract nor did the board check for it.