Saturday, 10 March 2007

Drugs Could Steal The Headlines

As the World Cup becomes ever nearer, the amount of drug usage in sport, and in cricket, seems to be rising, not falling. Just a few months ago, we saw the fall of two great fast bowlers (Mohammed Asif and Shoaib Akhtar) due to drug abuse, only for their bans to somehow be over-ruled.

I ask myself: "How can those two cheats get away with that? How could the PCB bail them out like that - overturn the sentence?" And it is cases like this that is harming the sport. How can that be detterent to younger players, ones for the future, not to take drugs? If all they will do it be sentenced and then have their sentences over turned.

I am using Asif and Akhtar as an example because their case is very recent and is a major talking point. Heres another strange twist and turn: they will not be playing in the world cup. Due to injury so Pakistan say, but who could rule out the possibility that they have been pulled out over the possibility of them failing another drugs test? To me it all seems a set up.

I used the title 'Drugs Could Well Steal The Headlines' at the World Cup, because I can seriously see that becoming reality. I can just see the headline in the papers - "Mr X wins the World Cup for country X, but is under investingation for drug use". Think how much negative press that would give cricket in general. This is why we need rules that say; You can't overule bans, any offence is two years - no arguing. Because if one player gets made an example of, the rest might think first.

We've seen Warne, Asif, Shoiab and many others use drugs and been banned for World Cups before, lets hope that this time, the next generation of young international cricketers aren't lured in.

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