Indian Premier League May 3, 2008

Shoaib can play IPL only if ban is lifted - Modi

Cricinfo staff

Shoaib Akhtar's IPL future now rests with the Pakistan board © AFP

Shoaib Akhtar will not be allowed to play in the Indian Premier League despite being cleared by the Pakistan Cricket board, IPL chairman Lalit Modi has said, putting to rest all the speculation over the fast bowler's participation in the tournament.

Shoaib had been banned by the Pakistan Cricket Board for five years on charges of indiscipline, but a PCB panel confirmed he was free to play outside the country.

"Our stand is clear," Modi said. "We will adhere to domestic guidelines of any country's board. A player can play only when his country clears him. He can play only when he is cleared and eligible to play for his country."

Shoaib was signed up by Kolkata Knight Riders for US$ 425,000 but was barred from appearing in the tournament by the IPL council "in the interests of international discipline" after the PCB banned him on disciplinary grounds last month.

A Kolkata spokesperson said that the franchise would abide by whatever decision the IPL council took on the issue but would "obviously be pleased" if Shoaib was cleared to play. The PCB is due to make a final ruling on Shoaib's five-year ban in June.