Pakistan cricket, already besieged by multiple controversies, has received another body blow with Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, their leading new-ball bowlers, testing positive for the banned anabolic steroid Nandrolone during an internal dope test carried out by the Pakistan Cricket Board. They have been recalled to Pakistan and will miss the Champions Trophy.
October 2006 for Pakistani cricket:
- Younis Khan publically refuses to captain Pakistan.
- The captaincy is given to Mohammad Yousuf; Abdul Razzaq is made vice captain of the team.
- The head of the Pakistan Cricket Board resigns.
- The assistant coach--Mushtaq Ahmed--is fired.
- Mohammad Yousuf is made vice captain.
- Who is the captain now? Younis Khan!
- The best bowlers of Pakistan test positive for a banned substance just six months before the world cup.
The month is only half over.
Significantly perhaps, both players have recently come back from injuries which kept them out of cricket for extended periods. Before he appeared in the ODI series in England recently, Shoaib had been out of the game since February with knee and ankle injuries. Asif too missed much of the Test series against England with an elbow injury.