The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Shoaib no to Patron's Trophy
- PCB findings on paceman's Down Under antics to be made public tomorrow

Islamabad/Karachi: Even as sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that the inquiry into Shoaib Akhtar's conduct on the Australian tour has been completed and that the findings will be made public by Tuesday, the controversial paceman himself has reportedly refused to follow the PCB directive on playing in the first-class Patron's Trophy to prove his fitness. The championship starts Monday.

Sources close to Shoaib said the bowler was 'surprised' at the instruction to play in the match as he had been advised rest till February 18 and also because none of the physical trainers would be at hand to assess his fitness.

Shoaib, recovering from a hamstring injury, has also sought a meeting with PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan to put forward his point of view as he had no intention of resuming playing so soon.

South African trainer Grant Compton, who has been supervising Shoaib's rehabilitation programme, had told him to rest till February 18 before a fresh assessment of his injury was carried out, the sources were quoted as saying in a local daily. 'Grant Compton is due to return home on February 18 but Shoaib is surprised at the instructions given to him to play in a first-class match from the 14th,' they said. 'Shoaib is also surprised at these instructions since even the foreign trainer and physiotherapist would return only on 18 from South Africa, so he (Shoaib) is wondering who is going to assess his fitness even if he plays in the match.'

The sources said Shoaib was also armed with a medical report on his injury, which he wanted to show to the PCB chairman before finding out the logic behind the directive to play in a first-class match when he had been asked to rest by Compton.

A hue and cry was raised Friday when Shoaib did not appear before the PCB-appointed trainer Dr Meesaq Rizvi while the other injured pace bowlers, Mohammed Sami and Shabbir Ahmed, did. 'Shoaib has made it clear to the board he does not believe Dr Rizvi has the qualification or credentials to give any assessment on his hamstring injury,' they said.

The latest insistence by the board that he play in the Patron's Trophy was an attempt to keep the fast bowler under pressure, a PCB official said. 'We also realise Shoaib is a valuable bowler when he is 100 per cent committed. But his antics in recent times are not acceptable. The board wants to not only ensure he is completely fit for the Indian tour but also keep him under pressure so that he does not take his selection for India for granted.'

Meanwhile, official sources in Karachi said the inquiry committee, which investigated Shoaib's alleged breach of PCB Code of Conduct, had completed its investigations and was set to submit its report to Shaharyar Khan Monday. Khan will then forward the committee's findings to the disciplinary committee headed by justice Karamat Bhandari.

'Justice Karamat will study the report and recommendations of the inquiry committee before giving his verdict which, as per PCB constitution, will be announced by Shaharyar Khan,' sources said.

The sources, however, refused to confirm or deny media reports that no disciplinary action would be taken against Shoaib. 'I think people are mixing two issues. Shoaib Akhtar was called from Australia because of fitness reasons and not on disciplinary grounds. For selection in India-bound team, Shoaib will have to prove his fitness.' (PTI)

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