Mansoor Ahmed on shamed Shoaib
Former Pakistan captain and coach, Intikhab Alam, who was a member of 3-man panel that banned Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Asif was quite frank about his reasons for handing out a comparatively harsher sentence to Shoaib.
He announced that both were unable to convince us of their innocence and wanted to make an example of Shoaib. Talking about Asif’s punishment, he said “We decided to ban him for a year because his English is not that good, he comes from a remote village where he would not have been educated on the dangers of drugs in sport and so he doesn’t understand. Whereas Shoaib has been playing international cricket for 10 years and well aware of anti doping laws and regulation”.
Shoaib’s turbulent career is essentially over. Throughout his playing days, he has had disciplinary problems and accused of lack of commitment. He will be remembered for being the fastest bowler in the world and few glimpses of brilliance but overall a disappointing career. One of his highlights would be clean bowling Dravid and Tendulkar in 2 balls on 1999 tour of India.
Mohammed Asif has been touted as the ‘new Glenn McGrath’‚ and will be sorely missed. He has taken 30 wickets in 6 tests and been responsible for winning a couple matches almost single-handedly. He will be 24 when he returns from the ban and still has plenty of time to resurrect his career. There are rumours that his ban may even be reduced or turned into a fine when he lodges his appeal.
Ban on Shoaib and Asif provides an ideal opportunity for the next Pakistani sensation to shine, Mohammed Irshad. Apparently, he is almost as quick as Shoaib if not faster and the only man to bowl all six balls over 95mph in an over.