Shoaib unlikely to play any role in World Cup

Updated: Mar 21, 2011, 22:29 PM IST

Karachi: Enigmatic fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is unlikely to play any further role for Pakistan in the ongoing World Cup. Shoaib, 35, announced on Thursday that he will retire after the tournament.

The bowler seems to have lost favour with the team management, including skipper Shahid Afridi, after conceding 28 runs in a single over in a league match against New Zealand and, according to sources, is unlikely to feature in Wednesday`s quarterfinal against the West Indies.

"Shoaib basically has lost favor of the captain, coach and some of the other players after the game against New Zealand," a well-informed source said.

"Some of the players are not happy with the way he reacted after the New Zealand innings in Pallekele and behaved with wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal," the source added.

The "Jang" reported from Sri Lanka that Shoaib, apparently, had argued with Kamran soon after he dropped two catches, one of his over, and than pushed him.

The source confirmed that after the New Zealand innings, Shoaib had a heated argument with Kamran over the dropped catches, leading to a tense atmosphere in the dressing room.

Pakistan lost the match to New Zealand, but the source said that the team management later spoke to the PCB chief,informing him of the incident. The PCB chief, reportedly, told the team management that if fast bowler was not behaving he should not be played again. "Subsequently, Shoaib was fined USD 2000, and also told by the management in clear terms that it is better if he decided to retire from international cricket," the source said.

According to the source, Shoaib now hardly have any friends left in the team. "Practically, Shoaib`s career is over and the management has decided to at least give him the honour of retiring gracefully by remaining with the team and not going public with his feelings," the source said.

Shoaib has had a controversial and colorful career since his debut in 1997. He has been being fined and banned several times during a 14-year-long career. However, after making a comeback to the team last year, he appeared to have reformed himself, but the source said he remained at loggerheads with the management on disciplinary issues in recent months.

"As it is there is an emphasis now on inducting and reposing more faith in the younger players and to quietly sideline some senior players, including Shoaib and Mohammad Yousuf," the source said. He said both coach Waqar Younis and Afridi were in favour of inducting new faces, the reason why they had been showing confidence in players like Asad Shafiq and Wahab Riaz.

The source also stated that a recent statement by Shoaib that if he had played under a captain like Imran Khan it would have helped his career as Imran knew how to use fast bowlers, has also not gone down well with the management. Manager, Intikhab Alam, however, has maintained that their was no major fight between Shoaib and Kamran, and that was not the reason behind Shoaib announcing his retirement.

"I think Shoaib had decided before the World Cup it was time for him to retire and he consulted his family members who are in Sri Lanka before announcing his retirement. It didn`t come out of the blue. They are no issues within the team," Intikhab told a Pakistani newspaper.