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Is Pakistan Still Fighting With The Ghosts of Shoaib and Asif?


School Boy/Girl Cricketer
Pakistan lost the tournament opener but still has got all the potential to win the cup. Now, what they need is to regroup and forget the drug test dilemmas which have already costed much.

Here's is an article about Pakistan's dismal status.

Is Pakistan Still Fighting With The Ghosts of Shoaib and Asif? By Khondaker Mirazur Rahman
14 March 2007

Pakistan started their World Cup campaign in a way which many cricket pundits including former Pakistani cricketers have anticipated. A dismal display with bowling and fielding, a submissive batting and lack of composure, these are the words which only can tell the one side of a sorry Pakistan side. A 54 run defeat in the World Cup opener might open the tin worm Pakistan was trying hard to hide.

It all started when the bowling mainstreams of Pakistan, Shoaib Akhter and Mohammad Asif failed the drug tests for anabolic steroid. Initially, Pakistan Cricket Board took the right decision and banned Shoaib for two years and Asif for one year. The bans were subsequently overturned in a much debatable procedure and that was the true start of Pakistan’s misery. ICC and Cricket world showed it’s displeasure over the decision and Pakistan started to loose its morale in the cricketing arena.

Although PCB cleared Shoaib and Asif of any wrongdoing it was clear that they were carrying a substantial amount of banned nandrolone in their blood. After ICC’s decision of targeted dope test in the world cup, PCB started to realize the worst part of the dope drama.

When every other participating teams were fully concentrating on the build-up of the mega cricketing event, Pakistan was busy in covering up the drug test stories and kept everyone guessing about the inclusion of Shoaib and Asif in the squad. They apparently failed to turn up in the official drug tests but it was speculated that PCB conducted secret tests on them which they failed.

Finally, PCB decided to withdraw them from the Caribbean bound squad. The official explanation was injury but everyone could smell the original reason. It was way too late for a rather inexperienced team with histories of provincial infightings. Captain Inzamam Ul Huq tried hard to play down the damage caused but had to admit the loss of focus.
''We waited for too long for them to get fit but when the doctors realized that they will not be in a position to play in this tournament, we asked for their replacements. Now we are trying to get focused and concentrating on the matches we have to play. We know there are lots of expectations from us back home and we will try to live up to them,'' Inzamam said.

His frustrations were clear when he faced the official media conference in the Caribbean.
''Both Shoaib and Asif are match winners. But now that they are not here, we have to move on. We have played and won without Shoaib in the past while Asif has started playing for the country only one year back,'' said Inzamam.

An unhappy looking Inzamam also admitted that he would be the centre point if they fail to cope up with the expectation of the fans. "In 2003, there were a lot of senior players. This time it's only me who would face the brunt of the attack," Inzamam added.

Ramiz Raja, their ex-Captain and former CEO of Pakistan Cricket Board asked for a public apology from Shoaib and Asif for cheating with the nation.

While Ramiz was more annoyed with the players involved, other Pakistani greats slammed PCB for poor handing of the doping scandal and eventually destroying the morale of the team. After Javed Miandad’s strong criticism, now Pakistan’s all time legend Imran Khan showed his dismay and came hard on PCB. According to Imran, PCB has messed up the entire dope test issue concerning fast bowler Mohammad Asif and star pacer Shoaib Akhtar.

In an interview with local newspaper Imran said, "Now, the PCB clarifies a hundred times regarding the dope tests of the duo but no one would accept the speech of the PCB chairman, Dr Nasim Ashraf. We had at least three months to find the substitutions of Shoaib and Asif, as both were diagnosed positive for dope tests before the ICC Champions Trophy tournament in 2006, but the PCB chief mixed up the whole situation and turned it into a burning issue".
From CricketWorld


International Regular
West Indies weren't always scoring well. After the end of twenty overs, Pakistan and West Indies were neck and neck in terms of run-rate and wickets fallen. It wasn't until the middle of Kaneria's spell that the WI counter-attack gained any notable momentum; around the thirty over mark. The difference between WI and Pakistan was the preservation of wickets.


Cricket Spectator
Just a little bad decision as after Samuels, Gul should have brought back in attack but yet 241 was quite a chase able score but the batting line was dissapointed. But its a wakeup call for them, they should get their heads up and go for the victories in next games:)


U19 Vice-Captain
Ghosts of What ???? Both Asif and Akhtar has played on similar kind of strips before for Pakistan and Pakistan ended up giving more runs to opposition.

Lets face it, the bowlers did a goood job for Pak in last match, bowling at death wasn't good but 241 total was gettable.Its Pak batting that messed up everything in the match.

Atleast in first match they didn't miss Akhtar and Asif that much, infact i think the absence of those two bowlers is now an overblown issue, the real issue for Pakistan is the openers.


School Boy/Girl Cricketer
IBH, the term 'ghosts of Shoaib and Asif' was used in this article to analyze the mental state of Pakistan team, not their bowling strength. :)


International Debutant
Atleast in first match they didn't miss Akhtar and Asif that much, infact i think the absence of those two bowlers is now an overblown issue, the real issue for Pakistan is the openers.
If Akhtar and Asif had been playing, Rana Naved would've been on the bench. They could've possibly restricted WI to less than 200. I guess they would've still fallen short at 187 or smth though. Hmm.