Heavy security cover as Shoaib arrives in Delhi

May 5th, 2008 - 7:16 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Shoaib Akhtar

New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) Controversial Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar arrived Monday afternoon at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here amidst heavy security cover to play for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL). “I am happy to back here and thank Lalit Modi (IPL commissioner) for allowing me to play. I am fully fit and looking forward to play in the IPL,” Akhtar told reporters on his arrival here.

The 32-year-old temperamental fast bowler was allowed to play in the IPL after an appellate tribunal suspended a five-year ban on him for a month. He also got a reprieve after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided not to pursue its defamation lawsuit following a compromise between the speedster and board’s chairman Nasim Ashraf.

The meeting between the 32-year-old fast bowler and Ashraf took place late Sunday night at the residence of Rehman Malik, a key adviser on interior affairs to the prime minister. Shoaib apologised to Ashraf following which the defamation suit worth $3.37 million was dropped.

The meeting reportedly was organised by Malik, who called Ashraf and informed that Shoaib was ready to apologise to him personally and that the matter should be resolved for the good of Pakistan cricket.

A disciplinary committee of the PCB banned Shoaib for five years for repeatedly violating its code and conduct. PCB chairman Ashraf also slapped the defamatory suit after Shoaib had alleged on a TV show that he had demanded a share of Shoaib’s salary from the IPL. He also alleged that Ashraf had tried to extort money from other Pakistan cricketers.

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