Shoaib Akhtar will play in the lucrative IPL [AFP]
Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar was cleared to resume his career outside the country, while an appeal tribunal considered his challenge to a five-year ban.

The decision clears the way for Akhtar to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition, where he had been signed by the Calcutta franchise.

Previously, he had been unable to take his place in the IPL as Indian authorities considered his Pakistan ban as binding upon their competition.

"Akhtar can play anywhere in the world except for Pakistan,'' said Farrukh Aftab, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board appeal tribunal, said.

Akhtar's lawyer Abid Hassan Minto told reporters that it would request the appeal tribunal meet again before its scheduled deliberation in June if the IPL did not lift its upholding of the Pakistan ban.

The Pakistan Cricket Board had banned the temperamental international paceman for five years earlier this month for repeated disciplinary breaches.

Akhtar appealed the ban, and the PCB formed a three-member appeal committee.

"The appellate tribunal will meet again in June to decide about Akhtar's appeal against the ban, but at the moment he is banned for five years to play any domestic cricket or international cricket for Pakistan,'' Aftab said.

Source: Agencies