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    October 16, 2006

    Pakistan significantly enhances chances of victory

    Pakistan are now officially on track to win the ICC Champions Trophy for the first time. The team thrives under situations where there're controversies and infighting.

    A little more than a week after Younis Khan re-accepted the captaincy, the Pakistan Cricket Board revealed that Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif have tested positive for drugs in an internal test.

    Are they out to prove Tim May right? Given they've hardly played any international cricket in the last couple of months, over-work can surely not be the excuse?!

    What is it about high profile ICC tournaments and drug intake revelations? Shane Warne before the 2003 World Cup, and now these two!

    Given Pakistan's coach Bob Woolmer fervently argued for Law 42.3 to be scrapped after his team was accused of altering the condition of the ball, it may perhaps come as no surprise if he now argues that drug testing in sport needs to be scrapped as well.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 4:05 PM |
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    5 sledge(s):

    I'm not sure, but if the only tournaments where drug tests are carried out by the ICC are the World Cup and Champions Trophy, then obviously boards will ramp-up their drug testing levels (or, as they'll claim, 'maintain their high standards and vigilance'). As much as the boards are incompetent, I don't think any wants to be the first to see one of its players caught for drug use by the ICC rather than their own officials.

    And Asif was nailed-on for the Emerging Player of the Year. Will he win it and do a Symonds, be struck from the reckoning, or win it and accept the aweard?

    By Anonymous Geoff (16-Oct-2006, 3:06:00 PM)  

    geoff: True, the two ICC tournaments are the only ones to have random drug testing. The situation was identical with Warne too, wasn't it? I think Cricket Australia (or was it the ACB then?) found this out rather than the ICC. I'm also not sure if Pakistan can seek a replacement, given the rules are explicit about replacements being allowed only in case of injuries, although I think ACB were allowed to replace Warne [not sure if they did].

    As for Asif's award, he's definitely out of the reckoning, particularly if the ICC accepts Pakistan's investigation.

    By Blogger Jagadish (16-Oct-2006, 4:16:00 PM)  

    Very amusing. Why in the world would Woolmer accept doping. That's silly. He was the one who got them all tested in the first place.

    as far as ball tampering goes. Woolmer knows every bowler does fidget with the ball. he just wants the rules to reflect how cricket is changing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous (16-Oct-2006, 9:27:00 PM)  

    I think the ICC will allow replacements. If not, Pakistan is screwed.

    I think both players are looking at a 2 year ban.

    Is that what Warne got ?

    By Anonymous Anonymous (16-Oct-2006, 9:29:00 PM)  

    omar: Woolmer's track record suggests it may not be too long before he makes out a case for allowing drugs in cricket since there's no scientific performance enhancement anyway. Warne got a 1 year ban. But as far as I know, replacements are allowed only if there's an injury. I haven't seen any explicitly define rule book yet online though, so I maybe wrong. Inzamam was replaced by Faisal Iqbal and Pakistan was told that they couldn't bring Inzy back. So why are replacements allowed for Shoaib and Asif?!

    By Blogger Jagadish (17-Oct-2006, 1:31:00 PM)  


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