Pakistan v South Africa, 1st Test, Lahore, 1st day October 18, 2003

Shoaib Akhtar banned for one Test and two ODIs

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Shoaib Akhtar has been suspended for one Test and two one-day internationals after being found guilty of using abusive language against Paul Adams on the first day of the first Test at Lahore. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced that it intends to file an appeal.

Clive Lloyd, the match referee, had summoned Shoaib, Haroon Rashid, the Pakistan manager, Javed Miandad, and three South Africans - Graeme Smith, coach Eric Simons, and Tim Southey, the manager - for a hearing, in which Shoaib was found to have committed a Level 2 offence. The penalty for that would normally be a ban of one Test or two ODIs, but since this was his second breach over the last 12 months, the punishment was upgraded to that of a Level 3 offence. On Pakistan's tour of Zimbabwe in November last year, Shoaib was charged with ball tampering and fined for throwing a bottle at the crowd.

Announcing the decision, Lloyd expressed his displeasure with the behaviour of both teams during the series. "This incident was unnecessary and unacceptable," said Mr Lloyd. "I have been very disappointed in the behaviour of both teams during this series and I would urge the coaches, captains and managers to get their players together and remind them of the importance of playing in a professional manner.

"Cricket is a noble game based on honesty, integrity and fair play and if the players cannot comprehend this they should not be playing the game."

There has already been plenty of bad blood between Pakistan and South Africa in the series so far. Andrew Hall was banned for two ODIs and two Tests after elbowing Yousuf Youhana, while Smith got a one-ODI suspension for using abusive language.

Meanwhile, the PCB has said that it will file an appeal against the ban to the ICC within the required 24 hours. "We are filing an appeal immediately to the ICC along with video footage because we strongly believe it has become an issue from a non-issue," said Samiul Hasan, the PCB spokesman. "It [the South African complaint] came as a surprise to us, it's disappointing."