Tribunal rejects Shoaib appeal on five year ban
Thursday, 01 May 2008

REUTERS, KARACHI - A tribunal rejected fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's appeal on Wednesday against the five-year ban imposed on him by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Justice Aftab Farrukh, head of the three-member tribunal, told reporters the suspension would remain in place. "Shoaib could play anywhere else in the world but not in or for Pakistan domestically or internationally," said Farrukh.

The 32-year-old Shoaib was banned earlier this month for repeated disciplinary violations, the most recent being his criticism of board policies when the new central contracts were announced in January.

The paceman made an unconditional apology to the tribunal on Monday and pledged to mend his ways. Farrukh, though, was critical of Shoaib's past conduct.

"We feel he has not tried to reform himself in the past and repeatedly violated discipline," said Farrukh. "He has caused problems for the board and to his team mates and not lived up to the expectations of the nation."

Tafazzul Rizvi, the PCB's legal counsel at the hearing, said the tribunal had offered some respite for Shoaib. "They have provided him relief by allowing him to play anywhere else outside Pakistan," Rizvi told Reuters.

He added the PCB did not want to prevent Shoaib earning his living elsewhere, opening up the possibility of the fast bowler joining the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL).

"If someone asks us we will make it clear we have no objections," added Rizvi. "How he (Shoaib) behaves in future is up to him. He has apologised to the tribunal, not to the board."

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