Pak's Akhtar appeals against ban

Published: Friday, April 4, 2008, 15:55 [IST]
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Karachi: Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar said Friday he has appealed against a five-year ban imposed by Pakistan board for repeated breaches of discipline.

The 32-year-old paceman was banned after a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) disciplinary hearing on Tuesday. He was charged for violating the players' code of conduct by publicly criticising the board.

"I have filed an appeal against the ban and hope that I will get justice," Akhtar told AFP.

He was already on two years' probation for an earlier offence committed when he hit teammate Mohammad Asif with a bat just days before the start of the Twenty20 World Championship held in South Africa last year.

The recent ban has attracted contrasting reactions, with legends such as Imran Khan and Sarfraz Nawaz slamming the PCB's move, but Akhtar's former captains Inzamam-ul-Haq and Moin Khan backing the five-year punishment.

The saga took an ugly turn on Thursday when the PCB sued Akhtar for three million dollars for allegedly defaming the board's chairman, Nasim Ashraf.

The PCB also demanded an apology after Akhtar, in a television interview on Wednesday, accused Ashraf of demanding a commission on his fee from the Indian Premier League, which Ashraf strongly denied.

Ashraf on Thursday said Akhtar's appeal will be dealt with according to PCB regulations.

"If Akhtar appeals we will tackle the matter as per our rules. I have the right to be the chairman of the appellate committee but I withdraw from it and form an independent committee," said Ashraf.


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