Don’t mention his herpes: how the Pakistan Cricket Board humiliated Shoaib

It’s been 5 years since Shoaib Akhtar was completely humiliated by his own cricket board. Journalists couldn’t believe their luck when the Pakistani Cricket Board released one of the most unnecessary and explicit press statements our sport has ever known.

“Shoaib Akhtar will miss next month’s World Twenty20 tournament due to a genital infection,” said the Pakistan Cricket Board. You could hear a pin drop as the assembled media took a moment to digest the news.

“The medical board has reported that Shoaib Akhtar was suffering from genital viral warts and the wound needs further care and treatment for another 10 days.”

The Pakistan Cricket Board

Vengeance is a dish best served cold, and Intikhab Alam served up a ploughman’s platter fit for a king. It was time to settle an old score with one of Pakistan’s most tumultuous players, Alam was sick of his renegade behavior and he was going to let him have it…warts and all.

Intikhab Alam, the man responsible for the PCB's statement. Source : Cricinfo
Intikhab Alam, the man responsible for the PCB’s statement. Source : Cricinfo

The statement continued in a fashion so painful that even Shoaib’s horrible affliction would be preferable:

“Shoaib was diagnosed with genital viral warts and underwent a course of electrofulguration treatment – a procedure where electrical current is used to destroy unwanted tissue.”

Shoaib Akhtar was never far from controversy.
Shoaib Akhtar was never far from controversy.

For those of you who would rather not delve into the shadows of a search engine, the paceman was derailed by “raised, flesh-coloured lesions that may occur singly or in clusters which, left untreated, may rapidly enlarge and take on a cauliflower-like appearance.” Not something you want to hear over food.

As for the procedure that the Pakistani medical team felt the need to document, I’ll leave that to the Guardian’s Barry Glendenning:

“Electrofulguration is a treatment that sounds more like the kind of torture designed to break particularly stubborn prisoners who laugh in the face of waterboarding, but involves nothing more sinister than having an instrument not unlike a cattle-prod held close enough to one’s manhood for the sparks it generates to desiccate any “unwanted lesions” (as opposed to all those wanted lesions us chaps like to see down there).”

Shoaib once said that his life was a series of embarrassing stories strung together, with the rest of the time spent telling those funny stories. For a man that found controversy in the strangest places, one has to ask why the PCB felt the need to expose his embarrassing secret. It’s testament to the shambolic operation that takes place within Pakistan’s management.

Shoaib left cricket in 2012 was reported to have settled down. He married one Miss Ruhab Khan, who was allegedly 17 at the time. We wish the couple well, and hope that the family doctor promotes patient confidentiality.


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