PCB's 'harsh' decision evokes mixed response from ex-Pak cricketers

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Lahore, Mar.11 (ANI): The Pakistan Cricket Board's sweeping decision to impose a ban on two senior cricketers and hefty penalties on five other players of the current national squad has evoked a mixed response from former cricketers.

Former middle order batsman Ramiz Raja has questioned the harsh decision taken by the PCB.

Raja said it is not right to impose life term bans on players like Mohammed Yousuf and Younis Khan, as both were the mainstay of Pakistan's batting line-up and had produced some great innings while playing for the country.

"Our main problem was discipline, but barring players, I am not sure, it doesn't look nice to put an end the international careers of such talented players.I think the PCB should have fined both Yousuf and Younis like they did to the others and set an example for other players, but axing them is a bit harsh to me," The Daily Times quoted Raja, as saying.

The PCB had banned both Yousuf and Younis for life, and barred all-rounder Shoaib Malik and fast bowler Rana Naveed-ul-Hassan for one-year besides slapping a fine of two million rupees on each of them.

The board had also issued last warning to star all-rounder Shahid Afridi and wicket keeper Kamran Akmal and his batsman brother Umar Akmal for violating the player's code of conduct during the winless tour of Australia.

One of Pakistan's most successful captains Inzamam-ul-Haq also objected to the PCB decision, saying it would only worsen the cricket scenario in the country.

"You cannot ban someone from playing international cricket on just disciplinary grounds. What sort of message are we delivering to the world by taking such decisions at a time when nobody is agreeing to come to Pakistan to play cricket?" Inzamam questioned.

He said none of the members of the inquiry committee set by the PCB to probe the disastrous tour Down Under were 'neutral', and a decision based on such a committee is questionable.

"The committee comprised employees of the PCB and there was no neutral person in it," Inzamam said.

Former captain and wicketkeeper Rashid Latif said banning players was not the right way of improving things.

"This is not the way to improve things in Pakistan cricket. I am getting a feeling that the board has taken these decisions to save themselves after the recent poor performances and controversies," Latif said.

However, former captain Zaheer Abbas said discipline issues had got out of control and something had to be done.

"The decision is beneficial even if we lose in the Twenty20 World Cup. The move has a lesson for budding players. They will always have in mind that if senior players can be punished, then they too are no exceptions," Abbas said. (ANI)

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