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Akhtar dropped from Pentagular Cup squad

Lahore, Feb 15 (UNI) In another twist to the Shoaib Akhtar saga, the controversial fast bowler was sacked as captain and removed from the regional side he was leading in the inaugural Pentangular Cup.

Shoaib, however, insisted that he opted out due to personal reasons.

''I am busy in my sister's wedding, therefore, at the moment I am not available for any more matches and am not sure if I will be free for the last match of the cup also,'' he was quoted as saying by the 'Dawn'.

Shoaib had been asked by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to take part in the tournament, as captain of the Federal Capital Areas (FCA) team, to prove his fitness for future international matches.

However, the ''Rawalpindi Express'' was unable to impress, failing to get a wicket during the opening match against Punjab, which ended in a draw.

The FCA team management decided to remove him citing poor performance, indiscipline and the negative influence he has on team-mates.

The decision comes in the wake of the ongoing spat between Shoaib and the PCB.

The pacer has been openly critical of the board's policies, particularly in awarding central contracts, for which he was overlooked. He has also publicly refused to respond to the PCB's demands for an explanation of his comments, arguing that as he wasn't contracted to them, he isn't bound to answer to them.

If he is found guilty of indiscipline or breaching the players' code of conduct, he could well be gone from Pakistan cricket, as he is already on a two-year probation period, in which any indiscretion could result in an automatic life ban.


Story first published: Friday, February 15, 2008, 15:05 [IST]
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