Brawling Shoaib heading home
Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is being sent home from the World Twenty20 after a bust up with team-mate Mohammad Asif.
By Michael Wise
Last Updated: 07/09/07 10:32am
Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is to be sent home from the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa after a bust-up with team-mate Mohammad Asif.
The pair, who were caught up in a doping scandal last year, clashed during a training session in Johannesburg on Thursday.
A team source said that a heated argument between the two led to Shoaib striking his fellow paceman on the thigh with a bat.
"A decision has been taken to call back Shoaib on the basis of an initial inquiry by the touring team management in South Africa," Shafqat Nagmi, chief executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board, said.
"Shoaib has also admitted to hitting Asif. Thankfully Asif didn't suffer any major injury but a bruise on his left thigh and he will be okay."
Nagmi also said that an enquiry into the incident would only take place after Shoaib returned home to Pakistan.
"No one will be spared if he flouts the rules and team spirit. What has happened is something that has shocked us," he added.
The 32-year-old has a history of run-ins with both players and officials, and has been reprimanded several times for his conduct.
Last month he was fined US$5,000 after leaving a training camp without informing the team management in Karachi.
In October 2006, both Shoaib and Asif tested positive for the banned substance nandrolone ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy in India.
He was handed a two-year ban by a PCB tribunal, while Asif was banned for a year. A PCB appellate tribunal later reversed the decisions.
Former Pakistan stars have been quick to condemn the player, with Waqar Younis telling news channel CNN-IBN: "Harsh punishments have to be given to Shoaib. Anyone behaving like this should not be in the team.
"His act has brought shame to the team and the nation."
Rameez Raja added: "Both the players are the temperamental type. But this behaviour is not acceptable. I don't see him playing in the immediate future for Pakistan.
"I don't think he will get much support from the fans as well - people seem to be tired of his tantrums."
No decision has yet been taken on a replacement - allowed under tournament rules - although a PCB source said Mohammad Sami was a possibility.