Shoaib Akhtar: How Many Times Can You Say You’re Sorry?

Posted on April 28, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, People, Photo of the Day, Sports
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Adil Najam

A general rule that many parents teach their children is that if you have to keep saying “sorry” for the same mistake again and again and again and again; then, apology loses its effectiveness, and you your credibility.

A first instinct at hearing about Shoaib’s Akhtar “unconditional apology” to the nation and the PCB for his repeated misbehavior is to remind him of this fact.At the same time, however, parents do also know that sometimes it does take a few repeat mistakes for us to actually and truly feel sorry. Parents also know that sometimes we ourselves overdo our anger and place in penalties that exceed the mistake.

Shoaib Akhtar’s most recent misadventures may be a case of all of the above.

There is a part of his “bad boy” image that has, in fact, gone out of control. But it may also be the case that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) may actually have been overzealous just to set an “example”. And one does truly hope that age and public humiliation might combine to mellow him down – maybe not as a bowler, but certainly as an impresario.

Here is the news (from Reuters) of Shoaib Akhtar’s unconditional apology to the nation and to PCB as the tribunal set up to hear his appeal against the 5-year ban on him meets.

Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar made an unconditional apology on Monday to a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) tribunal hearing his appeal against a five-year ban. Shoaib was suspended earlier this month for repeated disciplinary violations, the most recent being his criticism of board policies when the new central contracts were announced in January. “I would like to apologise from the bottom of my heart for any grief and embarrassment I have caused with my actions and sayings to the nation, my team and the Pakistan Cricket Board,” said the 32-year-old in a statement read out by his lawyer Abid Minto. “I have resolved to alter my habits and to refrain from any such actions in future.” Former high court judge Aftab Farrukh, heading the three-man tribunal, said: “His apology will be given due consideration … and taken as a cause for leniency.” Shoaib, suspended on six counts of indiscipline, filed his appeal earlier this month with his lawyers saying then that the ban was illegal and unconstitutional.

Now, you decide for yourself.

16 Comments on “Shoaib Akhtar: How Many Times Can You Say You’re Sorry?”

  1. Khurram Farooqui says:
    April 29th, 2008 12:55 am

    We are a very forgiving people. If we can forgive Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari, surely we can forgive Shoaib. Mr. Sharif and Mr. Zardari didn’t even accept any blame for past misdeeds let aone apologize.

    Seriously, though … in the (consulting) company I work for, one of the biggest criteria for a new hire is if he or she is “a good fit”. Shoaib is not a good fit for the team, unfortunately, despite his immense talent.

  2. Ahsan says:
    April 29th, 2008 5:23 am

    Don’t compare oranges with apples Khurram Saheb. We had great cricketers in the past that we all remember as role-models as well. And unfortunately he is not setting nice precedent for all up and coming youngsters who look at everything these famous but crap cricketers do every now and then. Games can never flourish without heroes. It is high time to say enough is enough and with all frankness he is no longer as lethal as he used to be at the start of his career. Nobody is indispensable. If we have to lose matches in any situation then why should we carry an icon of embarrassment with us who invites troubles with mindless rapidity. Imran Khan gone, Wasim Akram gone, Waqar Younis gone so departure of Akhtar cannot be bigger than all those farewells, so let’s put this to an end for once and all.

  3. April 29th, 2008 8:15 am

    At the start of his career Shoaib wasn’t like this. I would rather blame his handlers, the PCB officials, more specifically the Chief himself right from Gen. Tauqeer to Nasim Ashraf. Tauqeer, recognizing his utility had over patronized rather pampered the injury prone cricketer upto the hilt. This, I think, played a great part in shaping up his unprofessional behaviour. By the time Sheheryar Khan took over, Shoaib already started behaving like a ‘bad boy’ and handling him was not an easy task. The incumbent Chairman having no prior experience either of the game or the players, quickly lost his patience with him and resorted to punishment one after te other for things he was mostly ignored previously.

    Also, one must keep in mind that Cricket is no longer remained a ‘gentleman’s game’ with the introduction of one dayers and Twenty20 version, as such, players tend to do things to be called ‘crowd pullers’ or ‘darling of the crowd’. With TV coverage and moneyed sponsorships made Cricket more of an entertaining extravaganza and I’m afraid soon cricketers are going to be called as ‘great entertainers’. Now, the players who are the main source of this entertainement have to be taken care of properly without compromising on discipline. But, then there has been many instances where the authorities (coaches, managers etc.) themselves were involved in activities unbecoming of their stature. How then can they implement code of conduct on players.

    Coming back to Shoaib, my point is that he has been under an unusual punishment but what punishment is there for the officials who I consider equally responsible for bringing him to this stage?

    Honestly, I consider his apology as a compromise for coming back to the game for playing whatever cricket has left in him which he is entitled to, ofcourse. A 5 year ban is unheard of for such violations and it must be reversed or reduced to 6 months max.

    Finally, fast bowlers generally are short tempered. Dennis Lillee, Colin Croft, Kapil Dev and our own Sarfarz Nawaz all had a history of bad behavior on and off the field but look, they were never banned like the way Shoaib is banned.

    Our authorities, perhaps have a habit of behaving ‘holier than thou’. They sometimes over react on acts usually should be ignored and act mildly when the necessity demands a much prudent reaction from them.

  4. Eidee Man says:
    April 29th, 2008 11:33 am

    All this talk about “gentleman’s game” is amusing and somewhat ridiculous. With the amount of money and attention going into cricket, how do you expect the players to act?

    Some of our best players have been the wildest playboys during their tenures; the difference between now and then is that these days everything gets exposed (which is good).

    I understand PCB’s concern for athletes like Shoaib adding to the bad rap Pakistan gets around the world for other stuff. To protect against that, they should have very CLEAR rules of what the they expect the players to not do. This selective prosecution by Nasim Ashraf has more to do with his personal quibbles than with anything else.

    If they had banned Shoaib for drugs, or for beating Asif with a bat, that would have been quite understandable. But I find it quite absurd that voicing your opinion about some board decision is somehow worse than physical abuse and drug use.

  5. Hammad says:
    April 29th, 2008 6:22 pm

    Regardless of how innocent or guilty Shoaib Akhtar is .. the fact of the matter is there is personal tussle b/w Senator Anwar baig and Naseem Ashraf. And former being friend of new dictators will definitely win over later (who is friend of old dictator).
    Hence, Shoaib have very bright chances of being recalled into Pak. Cricket team.

    @mohammed ali jawaid
    [Quote]At the start of his career Shoaib wasn

  6. Javed Bari says:
    April 29th, 2008 7:45 pm

    I think this guy deserved to be fired from the team. Next he should be prosecuted, heavily fined, and then sent to jail. He has brought only disgrace to the country. We need to make an example of him so the other player could know what it means to represent Pakistan.. They are not just players, they are ambasadors of our country.

  7. Dilawar says:
    April 29th, 2008 9:58 pm

    the punishment was excessive but maybe that’s what it takes to tein him in

  8. Imran khan says:
    April 30th, 2008 10:48 am

    what does it mean u can play ipl or play cricket any where in the world except in Pakistan?

  9. Waheed says:
    April 30th, 2008 2:30 pm

    whatever good he does as a player is less than the bad feelings he creates in the team and the public.

    So I will not miss him

  10. Mus says:
    April 30th, 2008 3:22 pm

    Akhtar has said sorry just as many times as he has breached his conduct,as if saying sorry is a standard solution to all of his offences.
    He must be punished.

  11. Lubna says:
    May 1st, 2008 5:27 pm

    I do not think he shpuld be given any breaks

  12. Babar says:
    May 1st, 2008 10:30 pm

    Consider it this way. If the player in question was not one of the most talented fast bowlers in Pakistan, would he have been given as many chances?

    Shoaib does more harm than good to the team as he is a negative influence on morale. I strongly believe that if a more competent board had been in place, rather than the sham ad hoc committee that has been in place for years, they would have nipped the problem in the bud. The only damage-limiting option now is to ban Shoaib.

  13. Ali Dada says:
    May 2nd, 2008 9:28 pm

    In India, he would have been larger than Sachin
    In Australia, he would have been the biggest celebrity
    In England, he would have been equal to Beckham

    Pakistan didn’t use him. Forget his attitude, forget his words/actions…those are of no concern to public and PCB. What he does off-field is off-limit to PCB and to public. Who cares if he had bad mouthed PCB, I ask you, so what? Players like Miandad and Imran Khan who made fortunes with cricket bad mouth PCB.

    The problem lies with Nasim Ashraf – he has an attitude problem. Shoaib not only has cricket value, he has entertainment value. He gives the Pakistani team that unique feeling. Yes, for sure PCB should have been strict about making Shoaib play more than he did…he should have easily played twice as many matches by now.

    He is 32 and he is still the most talked about cricketer in Pakistan and one of the most recognized sports figure in India (atleast in Mumbai), what else do you want? I say let him in, fire the likes of Nasim Ashraf, and make Akhtar the captain – he deserves it. At the same time, PCB has to twist his arm behind the curtains so Akhtar doesn’t screw up his game.

    I tell you, today Akhtar is gone, tomorrow Afridi will be pulled out, and then who else is left worth the excitement? Mohammed Yousuf, and Shoaib Malik are very graceful figures, and they don’t add that ‘masala’ in the game.

  14. Abrar Bhai says:
    May 4th, 2008 9:18 pm

    I liked this comment:
    “In India, he would have been larger than Sachin
    In Australia, he would have been the biggest celebrity
    In England, he would have been equal to Beckham”

    Countries like India, Australia, and England have many super stars and celebrities but Shoaib could be the ONE and ONLY in Pakistan.. Sachin and Beckham would have envied him. He could be like what Maradona used to be for Argentina.

    What a loser…

  15. Saleem says:
    May 19th, 2008 10:31 am

    I think this is the right question to ask.
    how many times will he say SORRY and how many times will we overlook his behavior?

    Frankly I think that now he is more famous for his misbehavior than for his cricket.

  16. shaheryar says:
    September 16th, 2008 10:41 pm

    i think now it is time for PCB to take some action aginst this so called “rawalpindi express” and set an example for others for good.take an example from australia about Andrew Simonds.there should be no compromise on discipline atleast.
    i think worst is definitely about to come for SHOAIB.

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