Ex-Pakistan captain Akram asks Inzamam, Shoaib to mend fences
by AFP

Player:Wasim Akram, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shoaib Akhtar
Event:Pakistan in West Indies 2004/05

DateLine: 8th May 2005


Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and pacer Shoaib Akhtar must sort out their differences for the betterment of cricket in the country, former skipper Wasim Akram said.


"Inzamam and Akhtar are grown-up guys and they must sort their differences out by talking with each other. Pakistan cricket needs this badly," Akram, the former great pacer and ex-Pakistan captain, told AFP on Sunday.


Akhtar, 29, was left out of the 17-man squad for Pakistans tour of the West Indies where they are to play three one-day games and two Tests starting May 18. The team leaves for the Caribbean tour on Tuesday.


Pakistan's Cricket Board last week said Akhtar lacked match fitness.


Inzamam also lashed out at Akhtar, citing lack of discipline as one of the factors for his exclusion.


"Shoaib Akhtar has disciplinary problems and I believe no player is bigger than the team. Weve had these problems with him in the past and my concern is that it has a negative impact on other players also," Inzamam has said.


But Akram said dropping Akhtar was unjustified.


"Inzamam sought my advice last month and I told him to handle Akhtar properly. Its injustice. You cant sit someone out because he doesnt listen," said Akram.


Akram retired in 2003 after taking 414 Tests and a world record of 502 one-day wickets.


He said Akhtar looked fitter than two months ago when he had to pull out of the India tour due to a hamstring injury.


"When a fast bowler comes back from injury he tends to put some weight. I have been through it a lot and thats why Imran Khan used to take me on tours to get me fit," said Akram.


"You get fit after one match. I am not happy with all those medical panels. How can they check your fitness?" he said, adding Pakistan will badly miss Akhtar on the West Indies tour.


"With Akhtar dropped and Mohammad Sami injured, Pakistan bowling lacks depth and would find it hard to cope against a resurging West Indies," he said.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)


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