PCB wants team to lose: Akhtar


Former Pakistan fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar has questioned the integrity of some of the Pakistan Cricket Board officials, saying that they wanted the national team to lose. Akhtar, who announced his retirement during the World Cup last year, said some of the officials at the PCB were not well-wishers of the team, adding that ‘politics’ always had a negative impact on the performance. “It’s the truth — some people in the PCB don’t want Pakistan to win,” the former fast bowler said. “There’s too much politics. Our board also becomes the enemy of the player the day he becomes captain of the team. The PCB should take help from former cricketers rather taking revenge or settling old scores,” he said. Akhtar’s career had been a roller-coaster ride as he remained in and out of the team due to various controversies, injuries and problems of ill discipline, media reports.
The former pacer was also banned on various occasions including a five-year ban when Dr Nasim Ashraf was the PCB chief.
Meanwhile, Pakistan express fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar Saturday paid tribute to pace rival Brett Lee who has announced his retirement from international cricket, saying the Australian was a fierce competitor. The 35-year-old Lee said Friday he was quitting, ending a glorious career that was marred by injury problems.
Lee sent down the second-fastest delivery on record at 99.9 miles per hour (160.8 kph) at Napier in New Zealand, only surpassed by Akhtar who hit the 100-mile barrier on two occasions, first in 2002 and then in 2003. “Lee was a fierce competitor and became an identity for express bowling with his passion and love for the game and for fast bowling,” Akhtar, who retired last year after a career plagued by injury and controversy, was quoted by a foreign news agency. Akhtar said Lee’s retirement was a sad day for the game. “Friday was a sad day for international cricket because a bowler with express pace has retired, someone who was loved by the fans around the world, and he will be missed,” said Akhtar. “Lee gave everything to cricket and was a true Australian: fierce and battle-hardened. He was always willing to bowl and willing to bowl fast and like all the fast bowlers had injuries, which is part and parcel of fast bowling.” Akhtar said cricket would be less attractive with the absence of express pace. “Cricket had very few express pace bowlers and now after the retirement of Lee we don’t have any bowler who can bowl 99 mph and the terror on the batsmen will be less,” said Akhtar.