Court rejects liquor ad complaint against Akram

Published: Tuesday, May 18, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:A Pakistani court rejected a case against former cricket great Wasim Akram that he hurt religious sentiments by modelling in an Indian liquor advertisement, court officials said.

Judge Musheer Rao dismissed the case and ruled that "the petitioner had no right to file such a case as he was not directly at a loss," they said on Tuesday.

The private petition, filed by Mohammad Fayyaz, demanded a public apology from Akram and payment of damages amounting to 25,000 rupees (about 400 US dollars) for allegedly posing in an Indian liquor company advertisement.

The 37-year-old Akram retired in May last year after taking 414 Test wickets and a world record 502 One-day wickets.

He along with seven international players modelled for the Indian company Royal Stag but his lawyer Chaudhry Fawwad said Akram modelled for the company's cricket equipment and not liquor.

India's Harbhajan Singh, Australia's Glenn McGrath, Jonty Rhodes of South Africa, Mervyn Dillon of the West Indies, Stephen Fleming of New Zealand, Marvan Atapattu of Sri Lanka and Andy Flower of Zimbabwe had also modelled for the company.

The court also dropped another case against Akram for coaching Indian bowlers last year but a case of allegedly stealing a jeep is still pending against the renowned bowler in a court in Karachi.

"Such frivolous petitions are designed to seek publicity," Fawwad remarked.

Commenting on the dismissal of the liquor ad case, the petitioner's lawyer Ansar Mahmood Bajwa said his purpose had been achieved.

"Indian journalists and people who came to Pakistan for a cricket series two months ago told us that after our case the advertisement was stopped so our purpose was served," Bajwa said.

Since retiring, Akram has switched to cricket commentary for a Hong Kong based television network and recently turned down an Indian film offer saying he wants to remain involved in a cricket related job.

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