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Inzamam opposed Shoaib's inclusion

Source: PTI
March 25, 2005 16:21 IST
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The cold war between Inzamam-ul Haq and paceman Shoaib Akhtar has come out in the open with the Pakistan captain admitting that he had opposed the inclusion of the bowler on a few occasions due to his "non-cricketing attitude".

"Yes there have been occasions when I told the selectors and the Board (that) I don't want him in the team because his behaviour has a bad influence on the youngsters," the 35-year-old Pakistan captain was quoted as saying in local daily in Karachi 'The News' on Friday.

This is the first time in nearly 15 months that Inzamam has admitted to his differences with Shoaib. Previously, both the parties have been vehemently denying the cold war.

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Inzamam was so candid in slamming the attitude of Shoaib that he alleged that the pacer performed in one match and rested on its laurel for the next two years.

"Pick up his record of the last two years and see for yourself how many matches he has missed due to some 'fitness problem' immediately after taking wickets in a game.

"What I feel is he wants to perform in one match and rest on its laurels for the next two. He is not there when the team needs him most. I have nothing personal against him. But he lacks cricketing discipline. He wants to play on his own terms which is unacceptable to me," Inzamam said criticising the bowler.

The Pakistan captain said Shoaib was still the team's best bowler but insisted that the speedster would have to maintain a discipline whenever playing for the country since his behaviour affected the other players as well.

"I don't care what he does off the field as long as he performs for the team. I again repeat there is no doubt I would like to have him in my team as he is a match winner.

"But he has to learn to play with discipline and according to the team requirements. I tell you some of the players have been very uneasy with his level of commitment because they have seen his behaviour in recent times. So tell me what am I supposed to do," Inzamam added.

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