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Pakistan suffer major blow ahead of World Cup


Pakistans chances of successfully defending their Twenty20 World Cup title in the Caribbean was doubt a major blow after Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Malik and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan were banned by the PCB.

Pakistanís chances of successfully defending their Twenty20 World Cup title in the Caribbean was doubt a major blow after Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Malik and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan were banned by the PCB.

After Pakistanís disastrous tour to Australia at the start of this year where the team lost all nine games on the tour the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) held an internal review into the behaviour of its players.

After hearing the personal accounts of the team management and players and examination of records, videos and statistics the committee today have announced a range of bans and fines for a number of senior players.

Despite being Twenty20 World Cup champions the PCB committee were unrepentant, saying in a statement: "This will go a long way to arrest the continuing decline of Pakistan cricket and improve the state of cricket in Pakistan."

Instead of going into Mayís Twenty20 World Cup as one of the favourites Pakistan will now enter the tournament in turmoil missing the services of three of their biggest stars.

Mohammad Yousuf was banned from playing for Pakistan for life because of his continuing infighting with skipper Younus Khan while Shoaib Malik and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan were both banned for 12 months.

The decision to hand out these bans before the World Cup as been meet with disbelief by ex Pakistan players including Inzamam-ul-Haq who was scathing of the decision.

"Why was action not taken earlier against these players? Why did the board keep quiet for so long when the team was on tour?"

But the PCB's general media manager Nadeem Sawar said the committee was all in agreement saying team discipline is essential.

"This is not a harsh decision because the committee has recommended that these steps are necessary and mandatory to keep the team in order" he said.

"The PCB believes team discipline is essential and it does not matter whether the players are senior or junior."

"The morale of the other players will be up as this would let them know that any breach of discipline would not be tolerated in future."

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