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PCB chief terms Shoaib an 'asset'
November 21, 2007 14:20 IST
Shoaib Akhtar [Images] has often been the troublemaker abroad but the enigmatic speedster's impeccable behaviour on the India tour so far has earned him a pat from Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Nasim Akhtar said the pacer was an "asset" to the team.
- Images: Shoaib the show-stealer
Ashraf played down reports about Shoaib's nightlife in India and said the pacer had not done anything wrong since he arrived here for the cricket series.
"Shoaib is an asset for the team and he has been behaving well. We have no concern about his behaviour," Ashraf told reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday.
"We have a team manager who leads the contingent and he is very happy with Shoaib's behaviour," he added.
The PCB chief also criticised those who claimed Shoaib was seen doing charity works in India just to hog media attention.
"It's wrong to say that he is publicity-hungry. He has genuine concerns about certain issues and in Pakistan also, he engages himself to such causes," Ashraf said.
"Cricketers are the ambassadors of the country and whenever they go on tour, we leave instructions with them to get involved in such activities. It also improves country's image."
Ashraf also announced that the Asia Cup would take place in June next year.
"The Asia Cup is in its 25th year and India is one of the founder-members. The tournament would now be held in June 2008," he said, thus avoiding coinciding it with the BCCI-backed Indian Premier League, which is also scheduled in April.
Ashraf shot down suggestion that the visiting Pakistani team was perhaps one of the weakest, if not the weakest, sides to tour India, saying "that's not the case. Similar statements came in 2005 as well and we proved them wrong. This is the best available talent in Pakistan.
"The one-day series was very, very close. In ODIs it takes just 4-5 overs to change the complexion of a match and the same happened in the series," he said.
Ashraf said Pakistan needed to play as a unit to success in the Test series.
"You may have couple of good players in the side but it's only when you play as a team that you win. We won in Mohali and Jaipur because we played as a unit there," he said.