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Last Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007, 07:11 GMT 08:11 UK
Shoaib sent home after Asif row
Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib admitted to hitting Asif during a row in Thursday's training
Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar has been sent home from the World Twenty 20 after a bust-up with Mohammad Asif.

Shoaib, who was already on probation for a disciplinary breach last month, confronted team-mate Asif during practice in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Shoaib admitted to hitting Asif with a bat, causing bruising to his left thigh and prompting a team investigation.

"A decision has been taken to call back Shoaib after an initial inquiry," said Pakistan chief executive Shafqat Nagmi.

"The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) fully endorses this decision. Shoaib Akhtar will be returning on the first available flight.

606: DEBATE
ClassAbbas

"No one will be spared if he flouts the rules and team spirit. What has happened is something that has shocked us."

Shoaib Akhtar said he intended to reveal more about the explosive clash shortly. "I was provoked and I will brief the media about it when I return home. I have never hit anyone like that and I am very sorry," the 32-year-old said.

"What happened was not good but I am a human being and what can happen in a random fit of anger, is unbelievable."

Naghmi added that a detailed inquiry into the "unfortunate incident" would be held when the player returned to Pakistan.

Shoaib's actions have been condemned by a number of former Pakistan stars.

"Senior players have a responsibility in the team and what Shoaib did was sad," Aamir Sohail commented.

"Anyone behaving like this should not be in the team. His act has brought shame to the team and the nation," said former fast bowler Waqar Younis

Rameez Raja, now a cricket commentator, said both players were "the temperamental type".

But he added: "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."

National Aacdemy coach Aaqib Javed said Shoaib should never be picked for Pakistan again.

"There must be a life ban imposed on him because this is anincident that has embarrassed all of us and is a black mark for our cricket community," he commented.

The incident occurred just five days before Pakistan play their opening World Twenty20 fixture against Scotland.

Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif
Asif (right) sustained bruising to his thigh

Media manager Dr Ehsan Malik insisted Asif would be fit to start that game, saying: "Asif has a bruise on his left thigh but he has had X-rays and has been cleared. He is fine as far as I know."

But Shoaib's future as an international cricketer could now be in doubt.

The 32-year-old was looking to relaunch his career after 16 months in which he has played just one Test and four one-dayers, mainly due to fitness problems.

He has been dogged by controversy for much of his career, and was banned for two years after failing a drugs test last October before having the suspension lifted on appeal.

Asif was also handed a reprieve after receiving a one-year ban for a similar offence.

Last month he was fined for leaving a training camp in Karachi without asking permission, though the penalty was suspended for two months and the bowler placed on a six-week probationary period, again on appeal.

Now we play on good batting tracks all the time, they've made laws about bouncers and free hits for a no-ball

Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib also courted controversy on Thursday when he hit out at cricket's administrators, claiming rule changes and pitch conditions in the modern game favour batsmen over fast bowlers.

"Cricket should be about fast bowlers, not batsmen," he said. "Spectators like to see fast bowlers running in, hurting people, and pitches that make batsmen struggle for runs.

"But now we play on good batting tracks all the time, they've made laws about bouncers and free hits for a no-ball."

And it has emerged the Pakistan Cricket Board will refer Shoaib's comments to the "to the Disciplinary Committee for action under the Players Code of Conduct as contained in the Players contract".

A statement added: "The PCB is committed to a zero tolerance policy regarding indiscipline."

SEE ALSO
Shoaib slams pro-batsmen changes
06 Sep 07 |  Pakistan
Shoaib launches appeal over fine
13 Aug 07 |  International Teams
Shoaib given time to explain case
20 Aug 07 |  Pakistan
Pakistan suspend fine on Shoaib
24 Aug 07 |  Pakistan


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