Akhtar says considered suing PCB

KARACHI: Controversial paceman Shoaib Akhtar said Thursday he considered suing Pakistan's cricket authorities for releasing a medical report over a condition that forced him to miss the World Twenty20.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) withdrew the injury-prone fast bowler from last month's squad after announcing that he was suffering from "genital viral warts".

Complete medical reports of players are usually not made public.

Pakistan went on to win the World Twenty20 with a new-look bowling attack, beating Sri Lanka in the final at Lord's.

"I have a central contract with the PCB and that's why I kept quiet. I still have the right to sue the management," Akhtar said in television interviews aired Wednesday and Thursday.

"Had I taken that course, it would have created some controversy and I didn't want the Pakistan team to suffer because my news is published all over the world."

The 33-year-old was awarded a central contract this year after being excluded in 2008 following Pakistan's 2007 tour of India where he suffered injuries.

In April last year, he was banned for five years following an outburst against the PCB over being axed from his central contract.

An appeal committee reduced the ban to 18 months but also levied a fine of seven million rupees (95,000 dollars).

Akhtar returned to cricket for a three-nation Twenty20 event in Canada in October but failed to impress in the four matches he played.

A month later, he was selected for the one-day series against the West Indies in the United Arab Emirates but was sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Akhtar was then dropped from the team after he took just one wicket in the two one-day internationals against Sri Lanka in February this year, and again under-performed in the series against Australia in April-May.

But he vowed there was still a lot of cricket left in him.

"I can still play for four to five years," said Akhtar, adding "If I am selected I am fit to play in Sri Lanka," in a reference to Pakistan's one-day series later this month.

"I am the fastest bowler in history of cricket. It's not possible for everyone to bowl at 150-160 kilometres (94-100 miles) an hour and when you bowl at such speed you tend to get injuries."

Pakistan's two previous coaches, the late Bob Woolmer and former Australian paceman Geoff Lawson described Akhtar as "a negative influence on the team."