Tuesday, 4 September 2007

ICL fallout: Shoaib blackmailed PCB to get charges dropped!

It’s not only BCCI top brass which is squirming in the heat turned on them by the Indian Cricket League. If recent media reports are to go by, ICL has created havoc on the other side of the Line of Control where Pakistani cricketers have resorted to arm-twisting and blackmailing their board, claiming they have multi-million dollar offers from the breakaway Indian league and they can take the plunge any time.

Shoaib Akhtar’s action maybe suspect but his propensity to throw tantrums is not. The “Rawalpindi Express” recently got all disciplinary charges dropped against him, reportedly after he threatened to join ICL. Having already lost four cricketers – including the run-glutton Mohd Yusuf – to ICL, PCB surely couldn’t take chance and hence Shoaib escaped scot-free. The penalty and charges were brought after the pacer had left a training camp in Karachi without informing the manager.

Even those players who have not been approached by the deep pocket ICL organizers are also creating pressure on the board. And those who have been approached, like Shoaib, Mohd Asif and Shahid Afridi, are quoting figures that are really difficult to believe and PCB insiders feel it’s just a ploy to keep the pressure on.

PCB thought they had cut the rogue in Shoaib Akhtar down to size and chairman Nasim Ashraf insisted the erratic pacer would be punished for his indiscipline. But post-ICL, things have gone sea change and PCB is among the first to feel the heat of the breakaway league.

Image: AP

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