Pakistan news October 22, 2003

Shoaib Akhtar's appeal is turned down by ICC

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Shoaib Akhtar's appeal against a ban for one Test and two one-day internationals has been rejected by Richie Benaud, in his role as ICC Code of Conduct Commissioner.

Shoaib was handed the ban by Clive Lloyd, the match referee of the first Test at Lahore, during which Shoaib was alleged to have used abusive language to Paul Adams, thus breaching the ICC's Code of Conduct. He will now be ineligible to play in the second Test against South Africa at Faisalabad, but he was doubtful for that game anyway after straining his hamstring. Shoaib's next game, fitness permitting, will now probably come in the third ODI of the forthcoming home series against New Zealand.

Benaud, the former Australian captain who is now a respected TV commentator, said in his judgment: "In my view, the reason for the implementing of the ICC Code is so captains in particular and players in general will embrace the Preamble to the Laws of Cricket, which makes quite clear what is required of them on the field."

He went on: "The appeal I am asked to determine relates to the sentence imposed by Mr Lloyd, not to the actual offence. It seems to me that Mr Lloyd correctly followed the Code of Conduct rules in every way after Shoaib Akhtar accepted, and said, he was guilty."

This was Shoaib's second breach of the clause involving abusive language in the last 12 months, so the penalty imposed was "upgraded to that of a Level 3 offence in line with the provisions of the Code", according to the ICC.