Bengaluru, April 30: In a grim reminder of the Shane Warne episode ahead of the 2003 edition held in South Africa, England batsman Alex Hales lost his place in the Three Lions' squad for the upcoming World Cup at home after failing the recreational drug test at home for the second time.
The 30-year-old was serving a 21-day ban and despite assurance from concerned quarters that it would not affect his chances of playing in the World Cup, Hales was dropped from England's preliminary 15-member squad that will be in the thick of action in a month's time.
In 2003, Australian spin wizard Warne had tested positive in drug test on the eve of the WC and was sent back home. Member of the 1999 World Cup-winning squad, Warne never got to play an ODI again. Instances like these remain a blot in the game's name.
The Hales incident rekindles the memory of a similar embarrassment that the Pakistan cricket team had faced two-and-a-half decades back. It was in 1993 and after a successful tour of England, the then world champions Pakistan had gone to the West Indies to play in three Tests and five ODIs.
There, Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram, vice-captain Waqar Younis, pacer Aaqib Javed and leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed - the cream of the side's bowling - were arrested on charges of possessing marijuana while relaxing on the beach near their hotel in Grenada.
The Pakistan Cricket Board had cried foul then saying its cricketers were framed after the visitors came back strongly in the ODI series which ended 2-2 with the final one getting tied.
It so happened that soon after the Pakistani cricketers reached Grenada from Georgetown where they had played a three-day practice match, some of them went straight to the beach near the hotel.
They were joined by two English women tourists who supposedly came for a chat. Soon after, a beggar approached the Pakistani cricketers and Aaqib gave him a few Eastern Caribbean dollars. The beggar sat nearby and then two other men came to the cricketers, calling themselves fans and started conversing.
But in the next few moments, they brought out cigarette butts buried from the sand near the cricketers and calling themselves as policemen, arrested the visiting players for "constructive possession of drugs". Under Grenada's the then new drug enforcement laws, it was a big offence.
Sources in the International Olympic Committee Medical Commission had said the Pakistani cricketers could not be held guilty unless it was proved through scientific tests that they had taken drugs.