It's painful to miss World Cup, says Shoaib
- Disgruntled Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar Thursday said his failure
to make it to the World Cup in the Caribbean had caused him great pain.
"I am going through hell. I can't describe it in words what it means to
miss an event like the World Cup," Akhtar told AFP, a week after he was
withdrawn from Pakistan's squad on fitness grounds.
The 31-year-old paceman failed to recover from knee and hamstring
injuries which ruled him out of the mega event starting with a match
between Pakistan and the West Indies in Jamaica on March 13.
"I have been waiting for this event for two years and to play in a
cricket-loving region like the Caribbean was my dream. Not being able
to play in the World Cup is like taking all my dreams away." Akhtar
said he had played only one match in the West Indies in 2000 and was
anxious to play because every fast bowler wanted to do well in the
Caribbean, which is known as a fast bowlers' paradise. "I am badly
missing the atmosphere," he added. Akhtar's new-ball partner Mohammad
Asif was also pulled out of the 15-man squad due to an elbow injury,
badly hitting Pakistan's chances in the World Cup. The PCB claimed that
the duo were withdrawn on fitness grounds.
But several newspapers reported that private tests, carried out while
Akhtar and Asif were having their injuries reassessed in England,
revealed they still had banned substances in their systems.
Pakistan had to withdraw them from the Champions Trophy in India in
October last year after both tested positive for banned steroid
nandrolone. Akhtar was subsequently banned for two years and Asif for
one year by an anti-doping tribunal in November. A month later both
were exonerated by an appeal committee.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) challenged the ban overturn in the
Court of Arbitration for Sport, which is yet to announce a date for the
Akhtar said it was not new that people doubted his injury.
"I have always played to the best of my abilities but people have
doubted my integrity. My injuries are always doubted as if I am
feigning it and I always had to prove that I am unfit.
"People don't understand. Why would I not the play the game I love? I
wanted to be in the Caribbean and I wanted to help my team win but
unfortunately my injury forced me to miss the big event and the chance
will never come again," he said. "Now my best wishes are with the team.
This Pakistan team has the capability to play.... I pray that my team
achieves the best result in this World Cup." Akhtar said he would start
training once the knee injury healed in the next two weeks.
"My next target is the Twenty20 World Cup and then we have two good
home series against South Africa and Australia, so I will gear up for
them," he said.
Article from the newspaper "The Nation".
I will miss u my 'rawalpindi express'....