PCB chief slaps $3.2 million notice on Akhtar

April 3rd, 2008 - 9:18 pm ICT by admin  

(Lead, with new figures)

Lahore, April 3 (IANS) Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar’s bad days are far from over. On Thursday, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Nasim Ashraf through a legal notice asked the speedster to withdraw various charges levelled against him, apologise unconditionally and pay Rs.200 million ($3.2 million) in damages. In a legal notice, Ashraf charged Akhtar - banned Tuesday from all cricket for five years for breach of discipline - with making allegations in a media interview that Ashraf had pressurised him and other Pakistani players for a part of payments they would receive from lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 tournament starting April 18.

Ashraf’s lawyer Taffazul Rizvi in the legal notice asked Shoaib to tender an unconditional apology. Rizvi also asked Shoaib to pay Rs.100 million for defaming Ashraf personally and another Rs.100 million for sullying the name of PCB and the national team.

The PCB chief has taken exception to Akhtar’s interview to Pakistan’s Express News Channel telecast Wednesday.

With this legal notice, Akhtar’s appearance in the IPL looks highly unlikely, unless he tenders an unconditional apology, as sought by Ashraf. At the players’ action, Akhtar was bought by Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s IPL Kolkata team for $425,000.

Akhtar was banned by a PCB disciplinary committee, but still has an opportunity to appeal against the ruling.

“He can’t play for Pakistan or anywhere in Pakistan, but he can play in the Indian Premier League, over which we he have no jurisdiction,” Ashraf told reporters Tuesday.

Akhtar appeared before a disciplinary committee in February after being charged with publicly criticising the board over his retainership. He was already on two years’ probation for hitting team mate Mohammad Asif with a bat before the start of the World Twenty20 Championship in South Africa in September last year.

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