| Shoaib Akhtar has been described as a positive force in the team
Islamabad: The behaviour of some Pakistan players during the recent trip to England, on and off the field, has been reported to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
According to The News, a board-appointed observer has charged a few players with late night hang outs and irresponsible behaviour on the field.
Shoaib Mohammed, a national selector who accompanied the team to England, reportedly saw some players roaming around late in the night before and after matches in Manchester and London.
A recalled opener is among those named by the selector in his report. Shoaib Akhtar, however, has been described as a positive force in the team.
Mohammed identified the top three batting positions as the weak link in the team and criticised the attitude of certain players who threw away their wickets after good starts.
Meanwhile, a court on Tuesday warned Shoaib of stern action if he failed to appear over a petition demanding an apology for his criticism of fellow cricketers. “Shoaib or his lawyer must appear in the court on September 1 and respond to a petition against his newspaper interview,” said the judge.
Shoaib reportedly criticised Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis and said in an interview in England that he would have been a greater force with better support from the other end. Shoaib, who has called the petition a publicity stunt, is likely to miss the hearing as he is currently playing County cricket in England.
Latif given longer run
The PCB announced on Tuesday that Rashid Latif would remain captain until the tour of New Zealand early next year.
Having recently announced that the 34-year-old wicketkeeper would be captain for next month’s home series against Bangladesh, PCB chief Tauqir Zia said on Tuesday he would be allowed a longer run in the job.
“Rashid is our captain until the tour of New Zealand in December-January 2004 and we have no intention of dropping our rebuilding policy after the World Cup,” Zia said.
“We have decided to give the captain, coach and players a run of three to four series against Bangladesh, South Africa and New Zealand in the rebuilding process,” he added.
However, fast bowler Mohammed Sami has been ruled out of the Bangladesh series with an ankle injury.
The PCB spokesman Samiul Hasan said that Sami had twisted his ankle while playing for Kent and would be out of action for a minimum of six weeks.
“The PCB and Pakistan team doctor Tauseef Razak have also confirmed to us that Sami requires at least six weeks to recover from the injury,” Hasan said.
“Sami will be returning home soon to start treatment on his injury. Although his contract (with Kent) was until August 10, he was available for the Bangladesh series.”
Shoaib will also skip the series, which starts on August 20.
Pakistan has voiced its concern over lack of consistency among the Elite Panel of ICC umpires. A letter has also been sent to the ICC by the PCB in this regard.
The Elite Panel includes 11 umpires with no representation from Pakistan.
The PCB believes it suffered badly at the hands of ICC panel umpire Doug Cowie of New Zealand and alleges some questionable decisions deprived them of a golden opportunity to win their only series in the West Indies three years ago.
They also felt decisions went against them in the last one-day match against England at Lord’s in their 1-2 defeat in the NatWest series in June this year.