The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced a three-man tribunal that will hear doping charges against fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, possibly as early as this week. Nasim Ashraf, the PCB chairman, announced that the tribunal will be chaired by barrister Shahid Hamid and will also include Intikhab Alam, the former Test captain and coach, and an unnamed doctor who is an expert on doping.

Shoaib and Asif, sent home on the eve of Pakistan's first match after they tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone, await the results of the 'B' samples. "Shoaib and Asif are likely to appear before the tribunal later this week," Ashraf told reporters at a press conference in Karachi. "On the recommendation of the tribunal and of the overall findings we will take action. The responsibility is on the alleged offenders [to prove their innocence] because it is an individual act."

Incidentally, Hamid represented former player Salim Malik during a match-fixing inquiry in 1998 but left midway through the case. Malik was given a life ban in 2000. The doctor, the PCB added, would be named on Thursday.