Akhtar~~s romance with PCB is not-so-fine...

Published: Friday, July 11, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Lahore: Temperamental fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's dispute over the payment of whopping Rs(Pak) 7 million in the shape of fine to the PCB has caused further delay in the announcement of the preliminary squad of Pakistan for the Champions Trophy.

The ICC had set today as the deadline to release the list of the preliminary squad and the PCB included its two controversial bowlers Shoaib and Mohammad Asif in the 30 probables for the biennial tournament but decided not to release the list even on the last date.

''We have got clearance from the ICC for delaying announcement of the squad until the 15th. Shoaib's name would only be considered for selection if he clears the fine first,'' a PCB spokesman said on Friday.

Shoaib was banned for five years by the board in March on charges of disciplinary violations.

He appealed against the ban to an appellate tribunal which reduced it to 18 months but imposed a fine of Rs 7 million on him.

The bowler then filed a petition to the Lahore High Court against the ban and fine last month.

The court suspended the ban but refused to clear the fine until the case is taken up for regular hearing in September.

''The squad will be announced by July 15 now as the board has sent a notice to Shoaib Akhtar asking him to pay the fine by July 14,'' a PCB spokesman told Reuters.

Shoaib's legal counsel Abid Hasan Minto made it clear that the board had never asked the bowler to pay the fine until now.

''Unless they tell him to pay the fine how can he move forward because the case is still under consideration of the court,'' he said.

Minto added that the court did not say that if Shoaib did not pay the fine he cannot be considered for the national duty.

PCB Chief Operating officer Shafqat Naghmi, however, said Asif, who was detained for 19 days in Dubai for allegedly possessing a banned substance, is free for selection if he comes out clean in the inquiry against him.

''The committee will start its work once its gets the official report about Asif's case from authorities in Dubai.

''If Asif is found guilty he will have no place in the final squad,'' Naghmi said.


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