Ban on Shoaib unjustified, says Pakistani Senate member

April 15th, 2008 - 5:18 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, April 15 (IANS) A key member of the Pakistani Senate’s committee on sports, Enver Baig has termed as unjustified the five-year ban on controversial paceman Shoaib Akhtar, it was reported here Tuesday. “The committee called up officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Akhtar and the meeting lasted for three hours. We feel that some people have settled their scores by banning Akhtar,” Baig was quoted as saying by The News.

A disciplinary committee of the PCB earlier this month banned Akhtar for five years on charges of violating the players’ code of conduct. The committee charged Akhtar for publicly criticising the PCB after the fast bowler was dropped in January this year from a list of 15 players awarded annual central contracts.

A three-member committee will hear later this week Akhtar’s appeal against the ban. The paceman was on a two-year probation for assaulting his teammate Mohammed Asif with a bat just a few days before the start of the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in September last year.

“We have analysed the charges against Akhtar. Criticising the PCB was not as big a crime that he was banned for five years,” said Baig, who also demanded that the new government sack incumbent PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf.

“The cricket administration needs a revamp because they are not professionals and they have damaged Pakistani cricket,” said Baig, a member of the Pakistan Peoples Party, which leads the coalition government.

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