Akhtar saga set for the next stage April 4, 2008

Shoaib files appeal against ban


Another appeal: Shoaib Akhtar is trying to overturn his five-year ban © AFP
 

Shoaib Akhtar has filed an appeal against the five-year ban imposed by the PCB for repeated breaches of discipline. He was banned on Tuesday after being charged with violating the players' code of conduct.

"I have filed an appeal against the ban and hope that I will get justice," Akhtar said. "I thank the people who supported me like Imran Khan and Sarfraz Nawaz and I am especially thankful to the people of Pakistan."

He was already on two years' probation for an earlier offence when he hit Mohammad Asif with a bat before the start of the World Twenty20 in South Africa last year. The ban imposed on Akhtar has attracted mixed reactions, with Imran and Sarfraz slamming the PCB's move, while Shoaib's former captains Inzamam-ul-Haq and Moin Khan backed the five-year punishment.

The saga took an ugly turn on Thursday when the PCB sued Akhtar for approximately US$3 million for allegedly defaming the board's chairman, Nasim Ashraf. The PCB also demanded an apology after Akhtar, in a television interview on Wednesday, accused Ashraf of demanding a commission on his fee from the Indian Premier League, which Ashraf strongly denied.

Ashraf added Akhtar's appeal will be dealt with according to PCB regulations and said he won't be sitting on the appeal committee. "If Akhtar appeals we will tackle the matter as per our rule," he said. "I have the right to be the chairman of the appellate committee but I withdraw from it and will form an independent committee."

The board's chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi confirmed the board had received the appeal. "A committee will be formed to hear his appeal in due course. A decision will be made on facts and not on political grounds. We know the decision has received various reactions but the disciplinary committee made a decision on facts and a detailed copy of that decision will be given to Akhtar on Monday.

"The players' central contract and the code of conduct have all the guidelines which players are bound to comply with and every player comes under the PCB code."

Board sources said the PCB chairman was likely to name the appeal committee within two days.

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