| Shoaib Akhtar coming out of the Gaddafi on Saturday
Calcutta: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)-appointed tribunal to probe the doping scandal involving Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Asif couldn’t formally meet in Lahore, Saturday, as one of the three members — Dr Waqar Ahmad — didn’t arrive as his flight from Islamabad was delayed indefinitely.
As both cricketers had already been summoned to the Gaddafi (where the PCB is headquartered), the Lahore-based members — tribunal head Shahid Hamid, a legal eagle, and former captain and coach Intikhab Alam — “informally” interacted with the tainted duo.
The first full-fledged hearing will now be held on October 26, after the Id holidays. The tribunal, by the way, can call upon the services of PCB doctor Sohail Saleem, who is understood to have treated Asif at some point in time.
The probe is going to be conducted under the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) Code.
According to The Telegraph’s sources, Hamid (a former governor of West Punjab) and Intikhab first spoke to Shoaib and, then, Asif. Each interaction lasted for “30-35 minutes.” The sources added: “Both cricketers were tense, but in control of themselves...”
Besides briefing them on the “procedure” to be adopted, Hamid and Intikhab handed over copies of the reports from the Wada-accredited lab in Malaysia, which held the duo guilty of using the banned Nandrolone, and gave them the “option” of either handing over a written statement or making an oral submission.
One learns Hamid and Intikhab allowed Shoaib and Asif to bring along a lawyer or doctor or “somebody to boost their morale” when they appear for the October 26 hearing. “They should feel comfortable while defending themselves,” the sources pointed out.
It’s not confirmed, but the tribunal may finish its work “within a week” after October 26. Intikhab, in any case, will soon be required to again take charge of our Punjab team. Till the 2006-07 season ends, he’s going to be based in Mohali.
Had the paperwork for his visa not been delayed, Intikhab would’ve already been in Mohali.