Thursday, February 15, 2007

Help Needed

I was hoping one of Five Rupees' twelve readers could clear something up for me, because I am majorly confused. My question is this: in the likelihood that some fairly plausible events unfold in the next two weeks, is there anything stopping Pakistan from having a squad of 13 players in the West Indies, which will include one fast bowler (Umar Gul) who's injured or, at best, coming back from a 2-3 month layoff due to injury, one spinner (Danish Kaneria) who's played seven ODIs in three years, one seriously out-of-form medium fast bowler (Rana Naved), one keeper (Kamran Akmal) who's apparently forgotten how to keep (not to mention forgotten how to bat), one opener (Imran Nazir) who didn't play in the national side for three years, was recalled for five games and went on to fail in four of them, and a middle order that, for all its records and pedigree, seems to play as if only one of them needs to play well in every game?

I'm not particularly bothered about questions of form. That comes and goes. But this Shoaib-Asif situation is really worrying/interesting/funny. Consider this: They have both been selected in a squad of 15. They both, according to a doping expert, still have traces of Nandrolone in their body. This is why the PCB is using "secret" doping tests this week (how fucking secretive is it if a blogger sitting in Chicago knows about it?). The plan is that if Shoaib and Asif still have nandrolone in their blood, they'll be replaced, lest the ICC test them before the World Cup and ban them for however long they deem fit. How will they be replaced? Apparently, the ICC has given permission to the PCB that they can replace any of their players from the squad if they are injured. Let me emphasize: there is no "if your guys have Nandrolone in their blood, they can be replaced to obviate the ICC drug testing procedure" clause. So in the event that Shoaib and Asif do test positive in the "secret" tests, what the hell does the PCB do? Go to the ICC and lie? Tell them they are injured when at least one of them (Asif) is clearly not? The PCB does know that the ICC has a technical committee for assessing injury replacement requests right? That committee will presumably take one look at Asif and start laughing at the notion that he suddenly developed an injury after the conclusion of the South Africa tour (keep in mind, he played the last ODI even though they were rumours he was suffering from a niggle). At the very least, they will have their own doctors, medical experts and physiotherapists who will check Asif and/or Shoaib for signs of injury. Right? What am I missing here?

So in case Shoaib and Asif test positive again (which, again, is quite likely), how does the PCB send a squad of more than 13 players to the West Indies? How will that work? Someone please explain this to me, because to be honest, I'm completely lost.


f-machine said...

Yeah that's a very valid point about how they plan to pull Shoaib and Asif out if they test positive. One thing though, is that rarely in Pakistan cricket is there smoke without fire so I think that the 'secret' drug test might well have been conducted and Shoaib found positive and Asif cleared.

This might be the reason that Shoaib is downplaying his chances of playing in the world cup (something he's never done before.. always insists he'll be back soon or ready for this series or that). How hard can it be to pull Shoaib out of a squad for injury anyways!

And about Asif there were statements by the Pakistan camp that he might be rested/unfit for the final ODI but then he showed up to play. So maybe they told the media that he might be unfit so they would have an excuse to pull him out if he tested positive.

Ahsan said...

if ever i wanted 2 hours to myself so i could write a nice solid 1500 word post on this blog, it would be now. this shoaib situation is beyond hilarious. its KILLING me that i cant write about it at length. instead, i have to read "ordinary people in extraordinary times: the citizenry and the breakdown of democracy". well, who knows, maybe it'll be good for one "excerpt of the day" post.

by the way, you guys DO know that either sri lanka or india's winning the world cup, right?

omar said...

They'll have to lie about it. They have made some stuff they can work on . Shoaibs back or Asif's elbow.

I am not sure about the Nandrolone issue as such, but I feel the ICC will allow doped players to be replaced too.

Just a feeling..though if they won't allow it. We're going to be hammered even more than I expect

Anonymous said...

stop jinxing us you evil bastard.

Pakistan is going to win the next 3 world cups, AI is going to be MVP for the next 4 years, and Giselle is about to show up at your door wearing nothing but a smile (and holding a piece of fried chicken in her hand).

by way of explanation to the uninitiated, our esteemed blogger here ate nothing but fried chicken all through junior year of college.

Ahsan said...

hahaha im not jinxing you man. i honestly and truly believe india is a co-favourite along with the team they just beat, sri lanka. by the way, you should know that vengeful jinxing attempts (such as yours) never work.

also, it wasnt the whole year, it was just the first semester.