Asif’s in trouble; Shoaib Akhtar replaces him. Akhtar’s bad boy alter ego rears; Asif is back in the fray. How long can this game last?
They say, it is only a reflection of the times that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is going through to. It is perhaps time to put this case to rest. The B sample has shown what the world always suspected. After all can it be a mere coincidence that a man was caught in Dubai on the suspicion of possessing banned substances, has had a ban that was subsequently repealed and had his first sample taken during the IPL testing positive. Where will this road head?
Pakistan’s trouble in cricket kingdom continues. Perhaps they rightly washed their hands of Mohammad Asif after the last transgression. After all, if internal sources are to be believed, it was not an easy task to bring Asif out of detention in Dubai and while the PCB played their part, they were in little doubt that there was another major misdemeanor on their hands. Asif’s B sample contains 5.4 mg of nandrolone as against his previous A sample of 6.2mg.
Even as Pakistan Cricket Board is facing a crisis of sorts with Nasim Ashraf calling it quits abruptly and the Champions Trophy put in considerable doubt with other boards continuing to play hard ball and unwilling to commit to step into the county, Asif’s second sample test makes him a serious doubt for the future.
The penalty for testing positive banned substances is a two year ban. Pakistan managed to cover up once before the last Champions Trophy. A sham verdict was quickly overturned and the bad boys of Pakistan were let loose once more. Pakistan is seeing the danger is allowing one too many indiscretions to be protected in national interests. It has now snowballed into a full blown problem for not checking the ways of men such as Shoaib Akhtar. Repeated mistakes were forgiven and it has allowed other apples to rot.
To think that Asif has such a huge future in front of him and now it seems all but disappeared is a mind boggling concern – why would these players risk doing time for a crime they have already committed once? The sympathy of ignorance is beyond comprehension, especially in light of repeat offenders. It is always a sad situation when a promising player from any nation brings on the burden of the world by tarnishing not only his reputation but that of his nation, board and the game itself. The worst part is that in going light on punishment the first time rounds, the boards have become catalysts for problems like these that have become chronic.
The whole ridiculousness of the case hinges on his lawyers fighting the fact that the IPL officials released the result of the A sample against normal procedure and now a marginal discrepancy of the nandrolone level present in his two samples. It may raise the question as to how a sample taken on the same day at the same time can show variations, what seems less in doubt is the fact that unless the system is cleansed and players brought to book and problems nipped in the bud, this will not be the first high profile case nor the last.