Shoaib can play in IPL despite ban(Lead)April 30th, 2008 - 6:10 pm ICT by admin
By Muhammad Najeeb
Islamabad, April 30, (IANS) A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) panel Wednesday upheld the five-year ban on fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, but allowed the cricketer to play outside the country. Akhtar can now play for the Kolkata Knight Riders team in the Indian Premier League (IPL). “After taking into consideration his apology and other circumstances, the appellate tribunal has decided to continue the five-year ban on Shoaib Akhtar, but he can play in any country other than Pakistan,” chairman of the appelate tribunal Justice (retd) Aftab Farrukh announced after the hearing.
The PCB appointed the three-member tribunal after Akhtar appealed against the ban imposed on him early April. The tribunal will hold the next hearing in June, Farrukh said after the interim decision Wednesday.
Reading the decision out to reporters, Farrukh said that Shoaib has been found guilty of misconduct where he has “caused harm to PCB, its chairman and people of Pakistan”.
“He cannot play in the country or cannot represent the country anywhere,” he added.
Asked if the tribunal’s interim decision on allowing Akhtar to play outside Pakistan was taken under pressure from IPL, the chairman said: “Absolutely not. We have taken the decision in view of Shoaib’s unconditional apology to the PCB and the people of Pakistan”.
After the announcement, Akhtar’s lawyer Abid Mento said it wasn’t clear if and when Shoaib would go to India for the IPL matches. However, he said that they would contact IPL and if the decision was acceptable to them, the cricketer would leave for India soon.
On Monday, Akhtar had tendered an unqualified apology before the PCB-appointed appellate tribunal.
“It was a planned move and the tribunal was to announce its interim decision on Monday but delayed it as Justice Farrukh was against making a quick verdict,” a PCB official told IANS.
“When Shoaib stunned everyone by tendering the written apology during the meeting, one of the two members of the tribunal suggested Justice Farrukh should pardon the pacer and allow him to play in the IPL,” the official added.
After the suggestion, the tribunal head held a short meeting with the other two members - Salman Taseer and Haseeb Ahsan. It was then decided that it was up to the PCB chief to accept or reject Akhtar’s apology, he said.
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