PCB distances itself from Akhtar`s controversial book

Lahore: The PCB has distanced itself from Pakistan cricket`s enfant terrible Shoaib Akhtar, who hit the headlines on Friday for his controversial autobiography, saying the retired pacer was no longer associated with the board and was free to do whatever he wants.

In his autobiography, "Controversially Yours", which was released in New Delhi today, apart from slamming the PCB, Akhtar has also questioned the abilities of two of cricket`s greatest batsmen -- Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.

Even though the PCB preferred to stay clear of the controversy, it said that being a former Pakistan cricketer Akhtar should atleast "behave rationally".

"Shoaib (Akhtar) is a retired player so we have no say on what he does. We have not seen or read the book as yet so we don`t know what the real facts are," PCB chief operating officer said Subhan Ahmad.

"But obviously, some of the things he said today are a bit surprising but the fact also is that Shoaib is no longer employed by the board and is free to do whatever he wants. But having played for the country we would except him to behave rationally," he added.

In his autobiography, Akhtar had claimed that Tendulkar and Dravid, who have scored 56,000 runs between them in Tests and ODIs, don`t know "the art of finishing the game".

He also criticised the PCB in the book and held the board responsible for all the ills in Pakistan cricket.

In the book, Akhtar has also insisted that action should be taken against PCB for ignoring the match-fixing scandal.

"He has a right to his opinion but if we find anything slanderous in the book about the board we will decide our future course of action," the PCB official said.

"As far as the fixing controversy is concerned I think our actions speak for themselves. As far as the ball tampering issue is concerned the board for the last few years had already taken stringent measures to deal with this problem in domestic cricket," Ahmad said.

The PCB official said every player had a right to write his autobiography but hoped it would not damage the image of Pakistan cricket.

Akhtar had announced his retirement from international cricket during the this year`s ICC World Cup.


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