KARACHI: Pakistan will introduce drug testing in its domestic Twenty20 tournament that begins Saturday in accordance with rules from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), its cricket board has announced.
Pakistan has been embarrassed internationally by doping offences with frontline paceman Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif failing tests in 2006.
Akhtar was banned for two years and Asif for one, but the bans were controversially overturned on appeal as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) tests were conducted out of competition.
Asif was again banned for a year after the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League in 2008.
The incidents prompted the International Cricket Council to direct member countries to introduce doping codes in domestic competitions.
“The PCB is introducing in-competition dope testing during the Twenty20 tournament in order to strive for drug free sports and to protect the basic framework for the athletes,” the PCB said in a statement.
“Cricketers from all the regional teams participating in the National T20 Cup will randomly be picked for dope testing.
“These tests will be conducted by WADA accredited independent doping control officers throughout the competition,” the PCB said.
The PCB said it would put domestic cricket on a par with other countries and that a doping code had been prepared in accordance with WADA standards.
It said around 500 first-class cricketers were taught about doping during the last domestic season and made aware of rules and regulations through lectures.
The PCB said all players were also provided with a doping guide in Urdu, an updated list of banned drugs and a revision CD about doping standards.