|Player:||Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif|
|Event:||ICC Champions Trophy 2006/07|
DateLine: 10th November 2006
Cricketer Shoaib Akhtar has denied charges by the Pakistan team's security officer that he slapped coach Bob Woolmer, misbehaved in a disco and banged on Indian coach Greg Chappell's hotel door.
Anil Kaul, a retired Indian army colonel who served as the Pakistani team's security officer during the Champions Trophy, said the incidents took place in Jaipur ahead of Pakistan's first match on October 17.
"During a bus journey there was an impasse over whether to listen to Indian or western music. Woolmer tried to crack a joke on Shoaib, who then slapped him on the neck," Kaul told NDTV news channel Thursday.
Two days later, Shoaib and fellow fast bowler Mohammad Asif were called home by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after they tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone.
Woolmer denied the slapping incident, but admitted there had been a disciplinary problem with Shoaib, without elaborating.
"The issue is being blown out of proportion," the Englishman told the channel. "I don't know who is spreading these rumours."
"But I will concede there was a disciplinary issue when Shoaib was up in the evening, so we had a little bit of a problem," he said.
Kaul also said Shoaib had to be pulled out of a discotheque by security staff after he insisted on dancing with one particular girl and then created chaos in the corridors of the hotel.
"Shoaib went to the floor where the Indian team was staying and started banging on the doors," said Kaul. "He accidentally banged on the door of Indian coach Greg Chappell and his wife came out, dressed in her night clothes.
"Shoaib made some comments about her. The next morning, I was having breakfast with the Pakistani team manager when Woolmer stormed in.
"He said even Chappell has complained about Shoaib and strict action must be taken."
Shoaib, whose cricketing future is in doubt after he was handed a two-year ban after his positive drugs test, vehemently denied the charges made by Kaul.
"No such incident took place," he told the channel. "I am surprised how you can say such things without any proof."
Pakistan team manager Talat Ali also denied the accusations, which were on the front pages of most Indian newspapers on Thursday.
"I categorically deny any such incident," said Ali. "It has got nothing to do with the doping test. This incident never happened."
The PCB said Thursday it would lodge a complaint at the International Cricket Council (ICC) against the security officer.
"We will demand Kaul be banned for any future assignments with the Indian board or the ICC," PCB operations director Saleem Altaf said.
"The issue is not whether the allegations are true or not, the issue is that Mr. Kaul has violated the strict secrecy code which is a must for all match and team officials at any time," Altaf told reporters.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday distanced itself from Kaul, saying he was appointed to the job by the ICC, which organised the Champions Trophy.
"As the tournament director, I wish to clarify that the BCCI did not appoint Anil Kaul as the liaison officer of the Pakistan team," BCCI's administrative head Ratnakar Shetty said in a statement.
"Kaul was appointed as the close protection officer of the Pakistan team by Bob Nichols, the security consultant engaged by the International Cricket Council."
Pakistan, along with India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, failed to make the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy, which was won by Australia on Sunday.
Pakistan begin a three-Test series against the West Indies on Saturday.
(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)