KARACHI: Days before the announcement of the ODI and T20 squads for the New Zealand tour, Pakistan cricket was rocked by another major scandal on Sunday. Emerging leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who has taken 76 wickets in 12 Tests, has been suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) over doping charges.
An ICC press release stated that the sample Yasir provided on November 13 was found to contain chlortalidone, a prohibited substance. “In accordance with the ICC Anti-Doping Code, pending the outcome of the disciplinary process, Yasir has been provisionally suspended.”
Speculation is rife that Yasir took a steroid to speed up recovery from the back injury and was subsequently advised to use chlortalidone as a masking agent. However, a PCB official claimed Yasir took a pill to reduce his blood pressure without consulting the team doctor.
Yasir faces at least a two-year ban if the offence is confirmed, leaving experts to believe the board needs to carefully examine their reply.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2015.