I will go to court and fight against the ban
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) handed a five-year ban to one of Pakistan’s renowned players, Shoaib Akhtar. The player previously dubbed the Rawalpindi Express for his excellent bowling skills, will effectively no longer be seen playing again in Pakistani international or domestic cricket matches.
A very unhappy, 32 year old Shoaib has vowed to appeal against the verdict for repeated violations of discipline and misconduct, especially towards the PCB. He was said to have criticised the PCB and in return has had the ban imposed on him based on the recommendations of the PCB’s disciplinary committee.
Akhtar in theory can still take part in domestic cricket elsewhere in the world and this includes the Indian Premier League. However, without any changes to the decision made by the board, Shoaib will miss out on all games for his country.
Shoaib said that he was deeply disappointed and hurt by the decision after he attended the hearing in front of the PCB disciplinary committee. With the desire to continue to play for Pakistan he said “I will go to court and fight against the ban. I have always given 100% for the national team.”
This ban for publicly criticising the PCB’s allocation of central contracts, is further to the incident with Mohammad Asif in the 20/20 World Cup in September 2007, where Shoaib hit Asif with a bat, for which Akhtar already was given a two-year probation.
A chairman of the the PCB, Nasim Ashraf said “The board has lost confidence in Shoaib Akhtar and therefore felt that his presence in the field was damaging to the Pakistan team, for Pakistan players and for the image of Pakistan cricket.”
The ban will not affect Shoaib in terms of work, as he has opportunity to play in the IPL and also the Indian Cricket League. In addition, having been offered the role of a gangster-on-the run in the Indian film `Gangster’ by filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt in the past, it is rumored that Akhtar is now looking at a film career in Bollywood. Does this mean he will be a hero or villain? – this remains to be seen.