U-turn!: Akhtar will be considered if fit, says PCB

Published: Monday, September 8, 2008, 17:00 [IST]
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Lahore: In a complete turnaround from its earlier stance, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced that the pacer Shoaib Akhtar could be considered for selection even if he doesn't pay the fine of Rs 7 million-slapped earlier on indiscipline grounds.

Last month, the PCB issued a legal notice to Akhtar asking him to either pay the fine imposed on him by the PCB-appointed appellate tribunal or forget a national call-up.

Speaking to mediapersons, Chief Operating Officer Shafqat Naghmi said despite the notice, national interest would be put before everything else when it came to selection matters.

''We will prefer to give national and team interest priority and the reports we have got about Akhtar from our team trainer and coaching staff at the national academy is very good. So if he is fit we will definitely consider him when time comes,'' Naghmi stated.

However, PCB legal counsel Taffazzul Rizvi had recently said Akhtar was selected for the Champions Trophy, which has been postponed until October next year, but condition of 'paying the fine first to play for Pakistan' still lies.

The fine was imposed on Akhtar in June by the appellate tribunal which, however, reduced the five-year ban imposed on him by the Board's disciplinary committee to 18 months.


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