LAHORE, Feb 1: Maverick fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who made a dramatic appearance in the national training camp at the Gaddafi Stadium on Friday, said that he will not accept any monthly remuneration from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) under its central contract policy.
Shoaib while talking to the journalists, however, refused to explain the reasons of declining the remuneration. “I always play for the country, without any lust for money and to me, demanding money for playing is a shameful act,” he said.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has not offered a central contract to Shoaib, placing the fast bowler under a special category which has lowest scale of payments for players. It was learnt through reliable sources that the PCB was not willing to place Shoaib even in the special category but decided otherwise after some pressure from the Governing Board members.
Shoaib, who has a knack of attracting controversies since the time he made his debut in 1998, is finally facing the music from the current PCB set-up. Team manager Talat Ali has given some harsh remarks about the fitness and the attitude of the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ during the last year’s tour of India in November.
Shoaib, despite declaring his availability for the ongoing one-day series against Zimbabwe, was not picked in the team and has been asked to prove his match-fitness in the Pentangular Cup, starting Feb 10.
“I was asked by coach Geoff Lawson to attend the training camp, so I am here and bowled for almost one hour to my full potential,” said the maverick pacer.
“The coach may want to check my match-fitness before the Pentangular Cup,” he remarked. “I wanted to play against Zimbabwe which could have helped me prepare for the tough series against Australia. But I was axed,” he said. “No doubt I am not the first man, who has been dropped. Big names like Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis have also gone through similar situations and I am not disheartened by it.” .
“I will play in the Pentangular Cup to prove match-fitness for the home series against Australia,” he said.