The Pakistan board will appeal to the ICC on behalf of Saleem Malik, the former captain, if he decides to contest the life ban imposed on him for match-fixing.

"In case Saleem Malik appeals, we will consider it and forward it to the ICC," Dr Naseem Ashraf, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, told reporters.

Malik was banned in 2000 after a judicial inquiry conducted by Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum, a former Pakistan high court judge, found enough evidence of match-fixing against him. Australian players Shane Warne, Tim May and Mark Waugh had alleged that Malik offered them money to underperform during their team's tour of Pakistan in 1994.

The Qayyum inquiry banned Malik and fast bowler Ata-ur-Rehman for life and fined six others including Inzamam-ul-Haq, the current captain, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Mushtaq Ahmed, Saeed Anwar and Akram Raza. Rehman's ban was lifted during the ICC Executive Board meeting in Mumbai last week.

While reinstating Rehman, the ICC said, "The board was keen to stress that this decision does not represent a precedent in respect of other banned players and any subsequent applications for reinstatement would be considered on their individual merits."

Malik said the lifting of Rehman's ban and Pakistan's promise to forward his appeal to the ICC had given him a lifeline.