Fast bowler is already on two-year probation period February 13, 2008

Latest tiff with board could earn Shoaib life ban

Cricinfo staff

Shoaib Akhtar finds himself in the middle of yet another controversy © AFP

Shoaib Akhtar's latest tiff with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) could potentially earn him a life ban from cricket, a board official has warned.

The Pakistan board has sought an explanation from Shoaib - as well as from Danish Kaneria - for statements attributed to them in the media which the board believes to be critical of its policies.

Shoaib was overlooked for a central contract last month and instead offered a retainership. He later refused the offer, insisting he doesn't need money to play for Pakistan, and questioned the board's policy in issuing central contracts. In particular, he highlighted the case of a player who had been retained in the top category of contracts despite having barely played any cricket in the six-month period on which contracts were based.

But Shoaib is currently on a two-year probation period, as part of the punishment he received for his infamous altercation with Mohammad Asif at the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa last August. He incurred a record monetary fine for that breach, as well as a 13-match ban and was publicly told by the board that any further indiscretions would result in a life ban.

"We are waiting to hear explanations for their statements," said the official. "They have till February 18. Shoaib is on a two-year notice period and any further violation could lead to a life ban.

"The board was clear on this. He was put on probation after the Asif incident for two years, during which any act of indiscipline or breach of code of conduct could result in an automatic life ban."