Pakistan news March 30, 2010

PCB asked to provide material relevant to sanctions

Cricinfo staff

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been directed to provide all relevant material pertaining to the punishments handed out to seven of the country's leading cricketers, including the inquiry report, as the independent arbitrator Irfan Qadir began his hearing into their cases on Friday.

"I have instructed the PCB to give the required material so that lawyers [of the players] come well prepared in the next hearing for arguments," Qadir told reporters. This was based on requests placed by the lawyers of Younis, Malik and Naved, who appeared before Qadir today.

The PCB imposed the fines and bans after Pakistan's disastrous performance on the tour of Australia earlier this year. Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan were banned indefinitely while Shoaib Malik and Naved-ul-Hasan were banned for one year. Shahid Afridi and the Akmal brothers - Kamran and Umar - were fined Rs. 2-3 million ($24,000-35,000) and put on six-month probations.

Yousuf and Younis had been charged with causing infighting in the team, but the PCB did not furnish clear reasons for the bans on Malik and Naved. The fines on Afridi and the Akmal brothers were more clear-cut - Afridi was caught biting the ball during the final ODI, while the Akmal brothers openly opposed the team management's decision over Kamran's participation in the third Test. All the punished players barring Yousuf, who announced his retirement from the game in late March, formally appealed against the punishments.

Younis' next hearing will be held on May 8, while Malik and Naved will reappear before the arbitrator on May 22. Younis' lawyer Mohammad Ahmed Qayyum is reported to have asked for the trial to be open to the media, which would be considered before the next hearing.

"I still feel my client's hands are clean as he did nothing wrong," Qayyum said. "So far we don't even know on what grounds PCB gave Younis such a punishment."