Cricket: Partying Pakistan pair sent home

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The Independent Online
PAKISTAN have sent two fast bowlers, Shoaib Akhtar and Fazal-e- Akbar, home from their tour to South Africa for disciplinary reasons.

The team made the decision yesterday after Pakistan suffered an embarrassing 259-run defeat to South Africa at the third Test in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.

The captain, Rashid Latif, blamed the defeat on a lack of commitment by the team's senior players and came down hard on them behind closed doors. Some players, including senior team members, were caught partying until the early hours of the morning during the third Test.

"We have decided to send back Shoaib Akhtar and Fazal-e-Akbar back home on the next available flight," Rashid said. "We will not be replacing them.

"We have to set an example at some time, or else Pakistan cricket is never going to be the disciplined force it should be in world cricket.

"I have made it clear to the senior players, enough is enough. I want total commitment and discipline during a match on the field, and if that is lacking, then there is no shortage of talent back home."

Shoaib was dropped from his maiden tour with the senior team to Canada, after being reported for drunken behaviour on Pakistan's A team tour of England.

India's victory over Australia in the first Test in Madras has caused controversy, with the South African match referee Peter van den Merwe asking for a video review of Rajesh Chauhan's bowling action.

The action of the off-spinner was given the all-clear recently from the International Cricket Council.