Controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's prolonged fitness problems maybe primarily due to his addiction to strong pain killers.
According to the sources privy to the Pakistan cricket camp, Akhtar is so addicted to pain-killing injections that it seems he can not live without it.
"He (Akhtar) is addicted to strong pain-killers and it seems he can't live without them," The News quoted the source, as saying.
He also revealed that Akhtar virtually begged for a particular pain killer during the recent one-day series against Australia in the UAE.
"Akhtar was so desperate for a particular pain-killing injection during the tour of UAE that he almost begged a local doctor for it. The doctor, however, told him that he would risk being thrown out of UAE is he administered that injection," he said.
Akhtar looked out of sorts during the whole series and failed to bowl his quota of ten overs in any of the five games of the series.
It may be noted that the PCB had initially selected Akhtar for the World Twenty20 championship, but later axed him from the 15 man squad after the pacer developed a 'mysterious' skin disease.
Akhtar also missed the five-day conditioning camp in Bhurban, and stayed out of the three practice games played in Lahore from May 20-22.