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October 11, 2007
Shoaib Akhtar has been handed a 13-match ban and a fine of approximately US$57,000 for a number of breaches of discipline, including his spat with Mohammad Asif in South Africa. He has also been placed on a two-year probationary period during which any disciplinary breaches could result in a life ban.
A three-man disciplinary committee of the board announced the results of their investigations in to four separate charges against Shoaib. The most serious of the charges was the fight with Asif, but others included playing a charity match without authorisation, making statements to the press about last year's doping case and holding an unauthorised press conference in Pakistan about the incident with Asif, which saw him sent back from Johannesburg.
The ban, however, includes the seven matches already played at the ICC World Twenty20 and the two Tests against South Africa. Effectively, it means he will be available for the last ODI against South Africa but more realistically, the tour to India.
"We have decided to ban Shoaib for 13 international matches," said Shafqat Naghmi, the Pakistan board's chief operating officer. "These include Tests, ODIs and Twenty20 matches. We have upheld the five-match ban given to him by Talat Ali in South Africa [for hitting Asif] and given him an eight-match ban on top of that. We have also fined him Rs3.4 million. The match-ban will run consecutively."
As well as deducting disciplinary points [a component in deciding central contracts] Naghmi added that Shoaib is now on probation and any breach of contract or disciplinary issues could result in a life ban over the next two years.
Shoaib, who was present at the press conference, has the right to appeal but said he was eager to put the matter behind him now. "I have apologised to Asif, my team-mates, the country. It was a nightmare for me and something that happened in the heat of the moment. I have suffered enough in the last four weeks.
"I want to put this matter behind me now and focus on cricket. I want to thank the board for considering this matter carefully. I will pay what penalties I have to but I want to get ready for India now."
The decision to select Shoaib for the India tour, to begin from November 1, or the final ODI against South Africa, will be left to the selectors now.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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