It is unfortunate that Pakistani Cricket players fail to stay out of negative press and disappoint fans with their antics time and time again. In the most recent let down, the International Cricket Council (ICC) provisionally suspended Pakistan’s leg-spinner Yasir Shah for failing a dope test. The test, conducted on 13 November 2015, contained the presence of chlortalidone, a prohibited substance that appears in Section 5 of the World Anti-Doping Agency list. From spinner Saeed Ajmal’s prohibited bowling action, to Mohammad Amir’s controversial return to cricket and now a failed dope test, Pakistan’s cricket and its players keep things a bit too interesting for anyone’s comfort.

Yasir has been a constant fixture in Pakistan’s bowling line-up in Test matches since his debut in October 2014, prompting some big wins for Pakistan against England and Australia. If this provisional suspension becomes a more serious two-year ban, it will surely be a huge loss for the team, especially ahead of the impending World Cup.

It is speculated that Yasir took a steroid to speed up his recovery from the back injury that he incurred in Abu Dhabi, and was subsequently advised to use chlortalidone as a masking agent. If this is indeed true, players must realize that injury and recovery are part of the sport and to speed up the process, is a grave offence despite their penchant to want to keep performance up and themselves relevant. However a PCB official claimed that Yasir took a pill to settle his blood pressure without consulting the team doctor.

No matter what the excuse this time, players must adhere to the rules and regulations that hold sanctity of sportsmanship. We must stop giving them the room to make mistakes so Pakistani cricket can thrive and reach its full potential. If we allow the team to be a mix of rule violators and trust breakers we set ourselves up for perpetual disappointment.