Using illegal substances is something that has haunted the game for cricket for years now and the latest to fall prey to this was Pakistani opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad, who was handed over a ban for testing positive for an illegal substance in June this year. This was confirmed by PCB but the substance used was not specified.
Doping bans always vary and could go up to 2 years too. In Shehzad’s case, the ban was a 4-month one and since that was coming to an end, Shehzad was eager to put this controversy behind him and move on at least in the Pakistani domestic circuit, where he very recently joined a top first-class department side called Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC). Incidentally, SSGC also recently welcomed back Mohammad Amir to their squad after he was dropped by the national team.
SSGC Head Coach Atiq Uz Zaman is one of the best in the business and with Shehzad under his training, his career could’ve very well been on the right track once again. Zaman is a former international cricketer and a highly qualified cricketing coach as well, and you can get all details on his career here.
Zaman would’ve been taking quite a risk accepting Shehzad to the side after his reputation over the doping incident. However, he was prepared to do that and was very positive about mentoring Shehzad towards the right direction. However, tragedy struck just as the player was getting ready to join SSGC. His ban was extended by another 6 weeks by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and this would’ve left Shehzad in tears.
Amir is also with the SSGC squad, and he recently picked up a 5-wicket haul for the team in a very welcome return to form. Now, it was time for Shehzad to get his confidence back and when his ban does end, he will be in the right hands. “Ahmed wants to play for SSGC because he likes the environment of the outfit. He (Ahmed) is keen to put controversies behind him”, said a top source when his first-class move was announced.
Read Scoops is in regular touch with Atiq Uz Zaman and we decided to speak to him regarding Shehzad joining his team. Zaman welcomed him with open arms and was looking to making the most of having Shehzad in the team. He was quite disappointed with the news of Shehzad having to wait out another 6 weeks, but we’re sure he’ll be ready for the player once this ban does finally end.
When we spoke to Zaman, he said, “Ahmed is one of the best opening batsmen in Pakistan, if not in the world. I am delighted that he preferred to play for SSGC. He came here due to the fantastic coaching environment I have given to the players and he also expressed to play under my coaching.”
We’ll be tracking the progress of Shehzad and SSGC in the current domestic tournament and we wish both Shehzad as well as Atiq Uz Zaman the best of luck. Until then, keep reading ReadScoops.com for similar cricketing updates from around the world.
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