The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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PCB considers Akram option

Islamabad : The PCB is considering reinstating Wasim Akram as the national team’s captain for the forthcoming World Cup.

According to a PCB official, the Board chairman Lt Gen. Tauqir Zia and a strong lobby were in favour of bringing back the fast bowler as captain replacing Waqar Younis.

“As things stand, Wasim Akram has not been ruled out as a candidate to lead the team in the World Cup despite the fact that the Justice Qayyum match-fixing inquiry commission has fined him and advised a special sanction on him to the Board,” the official was quoted as saying by the local daily The News.

He said the Board has sought the opinion of Justice Qayyum, “on the implications of reinstating Wasim as captain and they have been told the problem is not a major one. “The reason for this is that Wasim and other players were fined by the commission not for their involvement in match-fixing but for not entirely co-operating with the commission.”

Emphasising that a lot would depend on the response of the senior players on the issue, he said the left arm fast bowler would file his appeal against the commission sanctions as soon as he returns from South Africa. Pakistan are currently engaged in a series comprising of five ODIs and two Tests.

“Knowing how things work in Pakistan cricket, the captaincy remains open for debate. A lot also depends on how the senior players in the team are willing to respond to the possibility of reinstating Wasim as captain,” he said.

The left-arm paceman has already appealed to the PCB for lifting the ban against him. But he insisted that he was not in the race for captaincy for the World Cup.

“It’s a wound which refuses to go away. These allegations have been hell for me and my family. I became a diabetic because of the tension and stress. That’s why I hope when I file my appeal it’s successful.”

Squad on December 22

Pakistan’s selectors are expected to announce the 15-member squad for the World Cup on December 22. The logic behind this move was that the selectors want the players currently touring South Africa to know if they have made the squad so that they could totally concentrate on the two Tests.

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