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World Cup better off without Shoaib, Asif: Border
March 02, 2007 14:35 IST
Former Australian captain Allan Border is relieved that dope-tainted pace duo of Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif are out of the World Cup, saying that the sport has no place for drug offenders.
"The bottom line here is there is no room for players who take drugs in our game," Border was quoted as saying in The Australian.
Shoaib and Asif were ruled out of the mega-event after the Pakistan Cricket Board said the pacers had failed to recover from their respective knee and elbow injuries.
However, there are doubts that the duo has been left out to avoid a repeat of the doping scandal which led to their ouster from last year's ICC Champions Trophy.
"Players who have been selected from other teams for what is cricket's biggest tournament are there performing to the best of their ability and on a level playing field," the former Aussie captain said.
"There has been a cloud hanging over both of them for a good while. It is to be hoped that they are truly injured and that it's not a repeat of their previous [drug] problem," he further commented.
Border said he is ready to accept the PCB explanation for Shoaib and Asif's ouster and hopes nothing else comes out later.
"If it were to be true that it wasn't an injury, and it turned out be something else, then it would be better for all concerned that they didn't make the trip.
"If it was revealed at some later stage they had taken an illegal substance, then the sport doesn't need another black eye. I would feel genuinely sorry for both the two young blokes if that were not the case," he added.
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