Akhtar escapes disgrace of being sent back from England
Karachi: Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has escaped the ignominy of being sent back home from England after he refused to sign the new code of conduct for players enforced by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
According to sources, Shoaib was asked to sign the code of conduct which he had been delaying since the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.
"Eventually manager, Yawar Saeed threatened to send him home from England if he didn`t sign the code of conduct," sources in the board said.
Sources said that it was captain, Shahid Afridi who played the role of mediator and convinced Shoaib to sign the code of conduct.
"Shoaib`s stand was that he would only sign the code of conduct when he was given a new central contract by the board.
His argument was that since he was not a centrally contracted player he was not bound to sign the code of conduct," one source said.
Shoaib returned to the national squad in the Asia Cup after a 14-months layoff due to fitness and disciplinary issues.
He was later retained in Pakistan`s squad for the two T20 internationals against Australia being played on Monday and Tuesday but dropped for the Test series in England.
The fast bowler didn`t get a new contract this year due to the fact that he had not played any cricket for Pakistan since last year in May and the board has said it would decide later on whether he will be given a new contract.
The fast bowler also had to face the ignominy of having nearly seven million rupees deducted from his earnings and fees by the board earlier this year as part of the fine imposed on him by the appellate tribunal that heard his appeal against a five year ban two years ago.
The source said that this time PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt had given clear instructions to the manager to not tolerate any indiscipline or give any preferential treatment to any player and if any player broke the code of conduct he should be flown back home immediately.
"The message was there should be no compromise on discipline," one source said.
The new board policy came about after the troubled Australian tour early this year which led to the board banning and fining seven leading players.
The source said that Yawar had been asking Shoaib to sign the code of conduct in England but he kept on refusing.
"It was only because of Shahid Afridi who intervened and sorted out the matter that an ugly situation was averted in the Pakistan camp as all the other players had signed the new code of conduct that carries severe penalties for indiscipline," the source added.